Benefits of Cycling with Knee Braces - Icarus Medical (2023)

Knee pain is the most common injury for cyclists in any given year, according to the University of Rochester.If knee pain is exacerbated and persistent, many cyclists will consider wearing knee braces – many recreational and professional cyclists have and will wear them at some point in their lives.It's important to understand that knee braces aren't a one-size-fits-all solution to cycling-induced knee pain—in fact, wearing the wrong knee brace can be detrimental to your recovery. In this article, we explain who should wear knee braces while cycling and why, so you can start on the right path to recovery.

How does cycling affect your knees?

To understand why knee braces are beneficial for cycling, we need to review the basic physiology and function of the knee while cycling.Cycling is a non-impact sport that is generally more prone to knee injuries than sports such as running. However, cycling can still affect your knees due to the knee's involvement in the motion of cycling and the repetitive nature of cycling. Your knees are especially vulnerable to injury when dealing with:Improper form: Without proper form, your knees will be doing more work than they should or need to. Over time, this constant extra stress can lead to injury or muscle weakness.

inappropriate equipment: Even if you know how to ride properly, if your bike is too large or too small, it can greatly affect your ability to ride correctly and avoid injury.muscle imbalance or weakness: If certain muscles are underdeveloped, your body has to transfer the stress elsewhere while cycling. Your knees may end up taking unnecessary stress.Before using a knee brace, it's important to understand why you want or need it, or why you have knee pain. Once this is established, it will be easier to find the right brace and treatment plan.

(Video) Which Knee Support & Brace for Arthritis Pain?

Who should use knee pads while cycling?

There is a wide range of people who should wear knee pads while cycling.This includes people who have injured their knees, people whose knees are prone to re-injury, and people who want to prevent knee injury or wear and tear. The following sections provide an overview and explanation of these groups.

I. Individuals recovering from knee surgery

Recovery after surgery will weaken the affected part of the body for a period of time. For example, if you tear your ACL and need ACL surgery, your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes to reduce the pressure on your ACL and reduce your risk of another tear in the short term.Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional about when knee braces are appropriate given the type of surgery you're having. Not all doctors are versed in the intricacies of every sport, such as cycling, so visiting a physical therapist may be a smart idea.A physical therapist can also develop a course of treatment for you that will give you the best chance of avoiding another injury. This is critical because starting cycling or playing sports too soon after surgery could set you back months or more.

two. weak knee person

Cyclists with health conditions such as arthritis and degenerating knees cannot use their knees to their full potential. In these cases, knee pads can provide extra support for a more comfortable and safer ride.It's important to note that not all health conditions automatically cause knee pain while cycling. Knee pain from cycling is often due to poor posture rather than an underlying medical condition, especially if you're new to the sport. However, it's easy to attribute cycling-induced knee pain to an underlying medical condition rather than poor form, especially if other parts of your body are affected by the underlying medical condition.If you have a medical condition that causes knee pain, it is best to consult a healthcare professional. You'll be able to determine which workouts and movements are best for you, especially given your underlying health conditions, and you'll also be able to review your riding style with an expert to make sure you're not accidentally injuring yourself in some way.

3. Athletes who wish to maximize performance

If you're an experienced cyclist, you're probably looking for an edge wherever you can. Knee pads help you ride faster and longer because of the support they provide while also reducing the chance of injury.However, even with knee pads, don't get too comfortable. If you're not paying attention, once you start to feel tired after a certain number of miles, your body will degenerate. Incorrect form can lead to knee pain over time. Using knee braces to avoid knee pain can be counterproductive if you injure your knees through poor form.

(Video) A Breakthrough in Knee Arthritis and Injury Management - Spring Loaded Bionic Knee Braces

The main benefits of cycling with knee pads

Benefits of Using Knee BracesCycling comes down to one key point - support.When you ride a bike, you put excess weight on your knees. Repeatedly placing this weight on your knees can lead to injury or weakness over time. Knee braces support your knees by slightly reducing your range of motion and taking pressure off your knees. The pressure is not transferred directly to your knee, but is distributed to your knee and the brace.Knee pads also benefit cyclists by boosting their confidence, especially if they are recovering from surgery or injury. However, this confidence boost can backfire if it leads to overtraining. If you wear knee braces, your body will receive less feedback when you need to stop, so be mindful of your limits.

What are the best knee pads for cycling?

There are many knee pads available for cyclists. However, we've narrowed our choices down to these three.

  1. Icarus Medical Ascender Unloader Knee BraceA custom knee brace with the features you need and the light weight you want. The Ascender provides up to 40 lbs of unloading force in a stand that weighs less than 1 lb. If you need to minimize pain and protect your knees with knee braces, look no further than the Ascender. Unlike many bulkier or heavier knee pads, you won't even notice it's there.

    2.Donjoy Defiance Knee Padsis Donjoy's flagship knee brace, best for general knee pain caused by sports, whether contact or non-contact. The Defiance's low-profile profile makes it perfect for everyday use.
  1. Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee BracesOne of Bauerfeind's more popular knee pads. It is lightweight and fits easily under clothing. The only downside is that the structure does not allow for the adequate unloading capacity required for more serious injuries.

If you are interested in learning more about Ascender Knee Braces,Contact our team of expertsSee the difference Icarus makes.

Should you be using knee pads?

Even though cycling is a non-impact sport, it still causes knee pain in many cyclists. Knee braces can relieve cycling-related knee pain for many people, such as those recovering from surgery or those with arthritis. The way knee braces work is by transferring the pressure from the knee to the brace, which takes pressure off the knee during activity.If you're considering using a knee brace yourself, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what type of knee brace and level of support you need and what your needs are. Everyone is different and their needs may be unique.

PrevPreviousBenefits of Unloader Knee Braces

(Video) How to Choose a Knee Brace for Arthritis or Knee Pain| GUIDE

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Is it OK to wear a knee brace while cycling? ›

Wearing a knee brace while cycling or biking can aid in preventing and avoiding cycling injuries. Cycling poses high pressure on knees due to the repeated movement of the knees when peddling. Bauerfeind knee braces help to promote healing with the use of medical grade compression.

What are the health benefits of a knee brace? ›

A knee brace can take pressure off the part of your joint most affected by osteoarthritis and help relieve pain. If your knee feels like it might buckle when you put weight on it, a knee brace can also help you stand and move around with more confidence.

Does knee brace help nerve damage? ›

The knee stabilizer brace is designed for those who have had a stroke, weakness or nerve damage that requires stabilization of the knee and patella. It is proven in a clinical trial to help prevent hyperextension and side to side motion to help restore muscle activity by assisting in rehabilitation like gait training.

What's the difference between a knee brace and a knee stabilizer? ›

The stabilizers offer a slightly more advanced support, while the hinged braces confer the most advanced support due to their ability to more or less mimic the natural movement of the knee.

Does cycling reduce knee inflammation? ›

The lesser impact at the knee joint means a lower chance of knee injury, so this is why most research suggests that cycling and swimming are the best exercises for patients with knee problems. Therefore, cycling is a very great exercise for patients with knee osteoarthritis condition.

Does cycling strengthen knee ligaments? ›

The bicycle provides quadriceps rehabilitation while controlling the stresses to the knee ligaments. With pedaling on the bicycle, forces are applied to the anterior cruciate ligament, the capsular ligaments, and the posterior structures of the knee joint as the tibial plateau is posteriorly tilted.

How many hours a day should you wear a knee brace? ›

If your orthopedist recommends it, you can wear your brace all day. However, improper use of a knee brace can worsen your pain or cause further damage to the knee. If you are using a brace that immobilizes your knee, the joint can weaken.

How long at a time should you wear a knee brace? ›

Typically, a complex knee brace is worn for the first year. After that, a brace usually isn't needed for low-level activities. Keep in mind it can take up to two years to return to baseline stability. Once you're returned to full function, you can stop wearing a brace.

Do knee braces prevent arthritis? ›

While braces don't keep knee arthritis from worsening, they can help reduce osteoarthritis knee pain. “You may find that braces are very comfortable for you,” says Dr. Thut, “or you may find that they don't help a whole lot.”

How tight should a knee brace be? ›

It should fit snugly so it doesn't slide down, but not so snug it pinches your skin. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you should wear a knee immobilizer. It may or may not be needed when you sleep.

Is it bad to wear a knee brace too much? ›

Wearing a brace too long can be counterproductive. If a brace is worn too long, that can cause muscle weakening (atrophy) and de-conditioning of the surrounding ligaments, joints, and muscles; especially if daily exercises to strengthen the area are not done.

Does a knee brace help a torn meniscus? ›

Will a knee brace help a torn meniscus? Yes. Although knee braces do not heal or treat your meniscus tear directly, they can provide extra support and stability for your knee while your meniscus injury heals. A good brace will protect your knee and take the pressure off your meniscus, allowing it to rest.

What are the 3 different types of knee braces? ›

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,5 knee braces fit into several categories: (1) prophylactic—braces intended to prevent or reduce the severity of knee injuries in contact sports; (2) functional—braces designed to provide stability for unstable knees; and (3) rehabilitative—braces designed to ...

Can I sleep on my side with a knee brace? ›

Risks of Sleeping with a Knee Brace On

One concern is that wearing a knee brace for an extended period of time can cause skin irritation or pressure sores. This can be especially problematic if you are a side sleeper, as the brace may rub against your skin and cause discomfort.

Is cycling good for degenerative meniscus? ›

Physical Therapy

Low-impact exercises such as stationary biking may reduce your level of pain, improve mobility, and restore function to the area around the meniscus tear.

Can too much cycling damage knees? ›

Whether you ride competitively, commute daily, or just exercise occasionally, if you aren't careful, you can cause permanent damage to your knees. If you have pain anywhere around the knee area, you could end up with severe knee damage in the end.

Is cycling or walking better for your knees? ›

Cycling is a nonweight bearing activity, so it is better for your knees and joints,” Dr. Tanaka said, “and it does not cause much muscle soreness.” Walking, likewise, results in few injuries, unless, like me, you are almost comically clumsy.

How much cycling is good for knees? ›

Research has shown in people with knee osteoarthritis, low-intensity cycling is as effective as high-intensity cycling in improving function and gait, decreasing pain, and boosting aerobic fitness.

Does cycling help arthritic knees? ›

Cycling is a fantastic activity, especially if you have arthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis, as it places very little stress on your joints. It can be done outdoors, at a gym or at home.

What is the best exercise cycle for knee pain? ›

Research shows that low-intensity stationary biking is just as effective at easing pain and increasing fitness for people with knee osteoarthritis as tougher. high-intensity cycling workouts. After you're comfortable on the bike, gradually increase your speed. Then work on upping the resistance.

Do you wear a knee brace over or under pants? ›

If you have a cotton-lycra knee sleeve or tight leggings that are not slippery, you can wear your functional knee brace over your pants. Non-functional knee braces such as the knee immobilizer can be worn over pants if necessary because they do not allow the knee to bend.

How often should you wash knee braces? ›

For a simple sleeve or brace without metal components, it's probably safe to launder every few days. For a larger brace (for example an ACL or OA brace) with a metal structure, wipe it down with a damp washcloth or baby wipe after each day.

Is it OK to wear a knee compression sleeve all day? ›

Knee compression sleeves are not suitable for constant use. Instead, they are for wearing during physical activity, when people may need extra knee support. They can provide stability to the knee during exercise or prevent post-workout soreness and pain.

What makes knee pain worse? ›

But high-impact activities can make knee pain worse. Exercise like running, kickboxing, or high intensity interval training (HIIT) can jar your joints and make your knee pain worse. Some stretching exercises, like squats and lunges, can put extra pressure on your knees as well.

What happens if you don't wear your knee brace? ›

Wearing it too much or not enough can cause problems. On the other hand, taking your brace off before your knee joint is ready can impair healing. And neglecting to wear it when you are susceptible to an injury means that you could end up with knee damage.

What is the best painkiller for knee pain? ›

Over-the-counter medications — such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) — may help ease knee pain. Some people find relief by rubbing the affected knee with creams containing a numbing agent, such as lidocaine, or capsaicin, the substance that makes chili peppers hot.

What is the best support for an arthritic knee? ›

“The most effective brace for arthritis is the unloader-style brace.” But, she says, they're expensive (insurance may cover part of the cost with preauthorization) and available only through a physician. In addition, Dr. Hogan says they work best on thinner people with arthritis on only one side of the knee.

Do knee braces work for bone on bone? ›

Knee braces are one treatment option that can help reduce bone on bone pain so you can get back to doing what you love. Some knee braces are better for treating osteoarthritis than others.

Why does it hurt when I wear a knee brace? ›

Knee braces may cause pain or further injury to the knee if they are not worn properly. If your doctor recommends a knee brace, be sure to check its fit and placement regularly after you put it on. A knee brace is not a substitute for professional medical care.

Can knee braces cause blood clots? ›

If properly worn, there should be no significant risks associated with it. Any brace worn too tightly, however, has the potential to cause blood clots.

How long does it take for a torn meniscus to heal without surgery? ›

Meniscus tears are the most frequently treated knee injuries. Recovery will take about 6 to 8 weeks if your meniscus tear is treated conservatively, without surgery. If your symptoms persist after 3 months or your symptoms become significant, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the tear.

What is the best type of brace for a torn meniscus? ›

Compression sleeves are often the best knee brace for a torn meniscus if you also suffer from arthritic knees or from a degenerative condition. They are also a good choice for an athlete at the end of the rehabilitation process and requiring compression therapy to reduce pain and promote more rapid healing.

What does a mild meniscus tear feel like? ›

Individuals with a meniscus tear often complain of pain along the joint line. They often have pain or weakness with bending the knee and sometimes they have a catching or locking sensation. With an acute tear, individuals may notice a lot of swelling in the knee and often report that they heard or felt a pop.

What types of knee braces are on the market today? ›

Types of Knee Braces
  • Functional Knee Braces. Originally made for athletes recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, functional knee braces are used for stability. ...
  • Rehabilitative Knee Braces. ...
  • Unloader Braces. ...
  • Prophylactic Knee Braces. ...
  • Sleeves.
Jan 4, 2023

What is a Level 3 knee brace? ›

Level 3 knee protection represents advanced knee braces that support and stabilise the knee for post-surgery recovery. It can also help mitigate the effects of various conditions like osteoarthritis.

What knee brace prevents rotation? ›

A PCL brace can reduce unwanted forces on the injured or reconstructed ligament by limiting rotation and backwards movement of the shin bone during bending and straightening. Static PCL braces do this by providing a constant force to the knee during the entire range of motion.

Should I wear a knee brace when resting? ›

Although there are comfortable knee braces available in the market, it is not advised to wear a knee brace while sleeping unless instructed by your doctor. This usually applies to surgical patients to make sure that the affected joints stay in place, or for those who are suffering from insomnia due to their knee pain.

What is the best sleeping position for knee recovery? ›

Sleep on Your Back

The best way to sleep after knee surgery is on your back. This position makes it easy to keep your leg straight while sleeping, allowing proper blood flow to the surgery site. You can also prop your leg up using pillows while sleeping on your back.

What is the difference between a knee brace and a knee immobilizer? ›

Knee immobilizers are sometimes beneficial, but not always. They can be painful and hinder mobility, causing muscle atrophy and range of motion loss. Knee braces give support and stability while allowing mobility. Consult a healthcare practitioner to evaluate your best choice.

What is the difference between a knee brace and a knee stabilizer? ›

The stabilizers offer a slightly more advanced support, while the hinged braces confer the most advanced support due to their ability to more or less mimic the natural movement of the knee.

Is knee brace covered by Medicare? ›

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will cover medically necessary knee braces under its durable medical equipment (DME) benefit.

What is the difference between knee brace and knee compression? ›

The key difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace is that a brace is meant to protect the anterior knee and patella, while the sleeve does not provide the same ligament support. This makes sleeves a poor choice for those that have unstable knees.

Are knee compression sleeves good for cycling? ›

Compression sleeves do not impede movement, making them perfect for cyclists or other athletes that rely on constant, smooth knee movement in their activities.

How do you rehab a knee with cycling? ›

At first, try to do 5 to 10 minutes of cycling with little to no resistance. Then, bit by bit, increase your time and the resistance... until you can do 20 to 30 minutes without pain. If you start cycling and have pain, rest your knee until your pain gets back to the level that's normal for you.

What is the best knee position when cycling? ›

As a general rule of thumb, your knee should have a slight bend in it when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke. As a starting point, you can achieve this by setting a saddle height that, with your heel on the pedal and pedalling backwards slowly, your knee just barely locks out at the point of maximum extension.

When should you not wear knee compression sleeves? ›

Are there times when you should avoid compression knee sleeves? You should talk to your doctor before using a sleeve, since without diagnosing your injury, a compression sleeve may make it worse. If you have a wound or you're recovering from surgery, make sure your doctor says it's safe to use a sleeve.

What pedal bike for bad knees? ›

Electric bicycles are particularly helpful for people who struggle with joint pain due to bad knees. That's because e-bikes are equipped with a pedal assist system (PAS). When pedal assist is activated, the e-bike motor helps move the bike forward.

Is a stationary bike good for knee therapy? ›

Research shows that low-intensity stationary biking is just as effective at easing pain and increasing fitness for people with knee osteoarthritis as tougher.

Which is better for knees biking or walking? ›

Number one: less joint stress. “Cycling is a low-impact exercise,” says Shroyer. This means that cycling limits impact stress on weight-bearing joints, like your hips, knees, and feet.

Does cycling reduce belly fat? ›

In conclusion, cycling more and eating better will certainly help lose belly fat. But the benefits of cycling aren't reserved for lean riders and weight is no barrier to cycling.

What cardio is good for bad knees? ›

Best Cardio Workouts for Knee Pain Sufferers
  • Walking. Since running or jogging may not be the best option, walking (including speed walking) is a good low-impact cardio workout if you keep a brisk pace. ...
  • Swimming/Pool Exercises. ...
  • Elliptical Machine and Bicycle. ...
  • Low-Resistance Circuit Training. ...
  • Other Exercises.

Is cycling good for arthritic knees? ›

Cycling is a fantastic activity, especially if you have arthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis, as it places very little stress on your joints. It can be done outdoors, at a gym or at home.

How do you warm up your knees before cycling? ›

Lie faceup, then bend both knees and position them directly above your hips so shins are parallel to floor. Slowly lower one heel to tap the floor then raise it back up to the starting position, and repeat on the other side. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor; do not let it arch.

Does cycling tone your knees? ›

Riding a bike is considered a cardiovascular exercise that's good for your heart and overall endurance, but its emphasis on the use of your legs also provides great toning potential. This includes your quads, thighs, and calves, which will in turn tone your knee areas, too.

How many degrees do you need to bend your knee to ride a bike? ›

In general, your knee must bend about 90 degrees to be able to fully pedal around on the bicycle. Have your physical therapist use a goniometer to check your knee ROM. When you have reached 90 degrees of knee flexion (bending), you most likely will be able to pedal fully on the bike.

How far do you have to bend your knee to ride a bike? ›

Your knee must be able to bend about 90 degrees before you can fully pedal on a bicycle – your physiotherapist will be able to measure your range of movement and let you know when this has been achieved.

How far should your knee bend when cycling? ›

Position your foot parallel to the ground. In this position, your knee should be at approximately 30 degrees of knee bending. If the knee is excessively extended, lower the saddle. If the knee is flexed more than 30 degrees, the saddle is too low.


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