These results come from the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical therapy who found that stationary group cycling was an effective way to reduce pain and increase mobility in people with mild to moderate osteoarthritic knee pain. So come on Sydney-siders time to get on your bike!!
Unfortunately painful, disabling knee pain is common. 10% of people over 55 suffer painful, disabling knee osteoarthritis. The physios at Bend + Mend Physiotherapy can assist in managing painful exacerbations of your knee pain through manual therapy and exercise.
Physiotherapy has been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms but once that painful stage has passed the American College of Rheumatologists suggest that the best medicine for osteoarthritic or degenerative knees is weight loss and exercise. So how do you exercise if your knees are sore?? Answer: cycling!!
Over a 12-week period, stationary cycling at a moderate intensity for 40-60 minutes twice a week significantly improved knee pain and walking speed. This was shown in a group of 19, men and women with an average age of 57 years. The bikes were stationary spin type bikes with an adjustable heavy front flywheel. To avoid aggravating their knee, the participants were encouraged to not leave the saddle or cycle in the standing (climbing) position (they didn’t have the luxury of a bike fit from Tom Petty, Athlete Lab). Throughout each session, the class leader coached subjects to increase and decrease the resistance in line with a scale of perceived exertion which is basically a scale of how hard they feel they are individually working.
Sounds easy, so gather your friends and get yourself to the athlete lab for some cycling and keep those knees happy.
The effects of group cycling on gait and pain related disability in individuals with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis: A randomised controlled trial
Salacinski, A.J., Krohn, K., Lewis, S.F., Holland, M.L., Ireland, K., Marchetti, G. (2012) Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; (42) 12: 985-995