Mountain bikers can suffer from a variety of injuries whether from overuse or following a crash or fall from your bike, all with varying degrees of severity. The more extreme the route, the bigger the adrenaline rush but also the bigger the injury should you come off your bike at speed. Luckily, the majority of injuries sustained are minor and self-limiting in that you should expect to recover following a few days of rest.
The sport of mountain biking is extreme, giving riders an adrenaline
rush as they speed their way down hills and mountains over varying
terrain. The more extreme the course the bigger the challenge and the
bigger the risk should they fall.
It is always important to
understand the types of injuries which can be sustained in your chosen
sport so that you are able to consider the preventative measures
available to you in the form of protective clothing, padding or even a
sports brace. While minor injuries can simply result in abrasions and
grazes to the skin, injuries to the knee can occur from downhill riding
or through falling from your bike.
What is the knee joint?
the knee joint remains active in the majority of sports it is
susceptible to injury as a result of the forces passing through the
joint, with impact damage from undertaking extreme sports such as
mountain biking increasing the risk of injury further.
itself joins the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), with the
patella (kneecap) and the fibula (second bone of the lower leg) also
forming the joint. There are also four ligaments working to stabilise
the joint which are the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior
Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Lateral
Collateral Ligament (LCL).
In general research
suggests that 25% of cyclists will suffer from knee pain at some stage
either as a result of overuse or from not having the correct setup on
their bike in the first instance. Overuse injuries are typically
self-limiting and following a period of rest you should expect to see a
Whilst a person may complain of knee pain it is a
very general statement and can encompass a number of different injuries
from mild strains where a person can expect to recover in a few days to
ligament tears and ruptures which may require surgery and a lengthy
spell on the sidelines. The more serious injuries are typically as a
result of impact damage from falling from your bike.
ACL is the main ligament within the knee joint and is responsible for
stabilisation, allowing a person to walk and run. An injury here can
vary in severity from a few weeks out of action to up to a year
following surgery and intensive physiotherapy. Typically 40% of all ACL
injuries occur as a result of participating in an extreme sport such as
mountain biking, wakeboarding or snowboarding.
In the event of a
rupture or tear to the ACL surgery may be offered to remedy the
condition though this requires the torn ligament being replaced and
following an extended period of rest a patient can work on strengthening
exercises to help stabilise the joint before getting back on the bike.
Following surgery a person may be unable to participate n their chosen
sport for up to a year, whilst undertaking intensive physiotherapy to
help strengthen the joint.
Soft Knee Supports
supports are typically worn post injury as a means of providing
compression and support during recovery whilst remaining active. There
are a variety of sports braces available on the market, each designed to
manage specific conditions.
A support is designed to be worn when
active, with breathable material which fits closely to your joint
offering you compression without restricted movement. Depending on your
condition there are knee supports available to help manage anything from
mild sprains to tendonitis to mild ligament damage so that you can
continue being active during your recovery from injury.
The use of
a knee support is as much about enhancing the confidence of the patient
as it is about helping with your rehabilitation, giving you the
confidence to ride your bike normally and enjoy everything the
countryside has to offer.
Rigid Knee Supports
A rigid knee
support is designed to be worn as a preventative measure, though can
equally be worn post injury to protect the joint from further injury in
the future. A CTi knee brace is manufactured from carbon fibre to
minimise unnatural movements whilst stabilising and maintain bone
alignment and is worn by extreme sports stars the world over because of
the protection it affords them.
The CTi knee brace is worn by
professionals and amateurs from a range of sports, including
snowboarding, wakeboarding, BMX and Speedway. The professionals know the
importance of staying fit as they compete to be the best in their
chosen field and the CTi gives them the confidence to push harder and
faster as they strive for glory. It is typically used by sports people
for any ACL / PCL / MCL / LCL injuries. In the event of any accident
they can be assured that the CTi will offer maximum protection for their
What should I do if I am injured?
It is important to not play through the pain to avoid causing any further damage,
with resting giving you the best chance of a speedy recovery. Ice can
be used to help manage any inflammation as well as lifting your leg
above your chest.
During your recovery a soft knee support can be
used to offer additional support when active as well as compression to
minimise inflammation. A rigid knee support can help to minimise the
risk of further injury to the joint in the future by protecting it from
unnatural movements and impact damage.
If you are in doubt as to
the extent of an injury or the type of knee support which would be best
suited to you then you should speak with a clinical professional.