Cyclist or Runners Knee - Are you making it better or worse
by Christopherhole Mar 14th 2010
The last 2 weeks have been a struggle, i have battling with a recurring knee problem and this has led to taking a few days off the bike and many questions to the physio. It wasn't until i looked into the problem further that i found out i was only curing half the problem.
Cyclist knee or as it is more commonly own runners knee is a pain occurring on the inside of the knee. This is in part due to an imbalance within the quadriceps, more specifically the vastus medialis oblique (the muscle on the inside).
Since having this injury all the phsyio's have suggested that i strengthen this muscle by shallow squats or legs extensions of the top 20% of the movement, this is the most common treatment i have come across.
Since nothing seemed to be happening I went on a quest to find out more, I have now come across new information and here it is.
The VMO is one of 4 quads and part of its function is hold the knee cap in place, this is where strengthening the VMO come in, because of the weakening VMO as it is not fully used in the pedaling action and the other three quads are overused and become tight pulling the knee cap to one side. Common thought says strengthen the VMO and the re-balancing is addressed.
I have come to find out that it's not only the knee cap that is the problem but also the Femur or thigh bone.
If the femur is not straight this directly affects where the knee cap goes more so than the VMO. So the solution to cyclist knee lies with the thigh bone.
There are 22 muscles in the hip and only 4 in the thigh, meaning there are 22 muscles that control the position of the femur which controls the position of the knee cap.
So by re-balancing the muscles in the hip with strength and flexibility you in turn re-align the femur and allow the knee cap to sit in its natural position.
To summaries, strengthen both the VMO and Hip muscles to overcome Cyclist or runners knee. Strengthen the VMO will improve quad function and Strengthen your hips to improve the position of the femur and therefore the position of your knee cap potentially solving knee problems.
I'll update the next blog with the best exercises to overcome VMO syndrome
Thanks for reading