The knee joint is one of the body’s strongest and most complicated joints. It connects the thigh bone to the shinbone and is responsible for bearing the weight of the body as well as allowing the knee to bend. Because of its complex structure, the knee joint is vulnerable to a variety of problems. If you’ve ever had knee pain, you know how unpleasant it can be and why pain management is so important. Pain can originate from any part of the knee joint (femur, tibia, fibula), patella, or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage (meniscus). Knee pain can be worsened by any vigorous activity, as well as also triggered by other issues (i.e foot injury). It affects people of all ages. Knee pain is a common problem among people that is usually caused by everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, twisting, kneeling, standing, carrying, and lifting. Athletes who participate in sports are more vulnerable to developing knee problems. Whether you’re a professional player, weight lifter, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with or know someone who has dealt with knee discomfort. Sprained or strained ankle, cartilage tears, tendinitis, and arthritis are all common knee issues.
Anatomy of Knee Joint
The femur, tibia, and patella are the three bones with two articulations i.e. tibiofemoral and patellofemoral that make up the knee joint. It is a hinge type synovial joint that allows flexion and extension with small amounts of medial and lateral rotation. The ends of the femur and tibia, along with the back of the patella, are covered in articular cartilage. While the meniscus cartilage cushions the joint and functions as a shock absorber. There are four bursae (synovial fluid filled sac) that help to protect the structures from wear and tear. The knee joint is stabilized by ligaments (patellar, anterior and posterior cruciate, lateral and medial collateral) that support, protect and attach the bones together. They also regulate and control any unexpected movement that may occur.
Types of knee problems
According to the orthopedic and sports medicine institute, there are three types of knee injuries:
Acute knee injuries put the joint into a higher than the normal range. A direct hit to the knee can result in an acute injury, but the most common cause is a quick and abrupt incident that causes unusual twisting or bending of the knee.
In this gradually developed overuse injury, the knee is subjected to repetitive or extended pressure that can be caused by activities such as skiing, bicycling, running, or jumping, which ultimately leads to discomfort and inflammation of the knee joint.
A variety of chronic diseases can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in or around the knee e.g. osteoarthritis, baker’s cyst, septic bursitis etc.
Tips to Avoid Knee Pain
- Rest your knee
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.
- If you ever want to increase the exercise intensity, do it progressively. But if your knee hurts, you should stop exercising.
- Before and after exercise, stretch your legs.
- Use knee pads, brace, sleeve or compression bandage during kneeling or during going outside
- Stretching and strengthening your knee muscles on a regular basis will keep them strong.
- If you’re overweight, try to lose weight so that the knee joint is less stressed.
Exercise bikes for Knee Problems
In some physiotherapy clinics and health clubs all around the world have exercise bikes. Cycling is a common and sometimes an important part of many knee rehabilitation programs.
Benefits of exercise bikes
- It improves range of motion and stability
- It helps to restore muscle strength and endurance
- It reduces pain, discomfort, inflammation and avoids recurrence of damage
- It helps in weight loss
- Provides a low-impact exercise that utilizes a gentle range of motion to strengthen joints without putting them under too much pressure.
- It helps to allow you to get great aerobic training without putting too much strain on your knees
Cycling is a comparatively ‘knee friendly’ workout that can assist to enhance knee joint strength and flexibility when compared to other workouts. Cycling is commonly used as a rehabilitation activity following a knee injury or surgery, as well as in osteoarthritis-like disease. Moreover, cycling has been found to be a generally safe exercise for anterior cruciate ligament repair because of the minimal strain imposed on it. According to an article of Aussie, the quadricep muscles group, specifically the rectus femoris, is the primary power-generating muscle and these quadriceps primarily operate throughout the pedal cycle whenever you move the pedal down and straighten your leg, similarly the hamstrings work to bend the knee. Cycling can be used as part of rehab to strengthen the quadriceps by reducing the amount of stress on the knee. In fact, cycling has also been shown in research to help minimize the symptoms of arthritis.
Some Indications before starting cycling with arthritis:
If you’re a beginner, firstly consider your current joint’s condition. Your physical therapist can also help you, how to include it in an exercise program. Although here are some other suggestions to help you prevent your joints from further injury:
- Warm up through simple five to ten minutes of range-of-motion exercises.
- Start slowly and progressively increase the duration and intensity as you gain experience.
- When your joints start to hurt, take a rest or change gears to reduce the resistance.
- If your RA or OA pain worsens, you should keep active. Simple stretching may help relieve some of the discomfort and pain.
Types of Exercise Bikes
There are several types of exercise bikes in the market, the most common of which is upright, recumbent, and indoor.
- Upright Exercise Bike
Like an outdoor road cycle, an upright bike with narrow saddle seat enables you to sit in an upright position, helps to move without any obstruction, and is designed to allow you to move between sitting and standing positions. According to research, in stationary bikes, the rectus femoris muscle showed greater activation during upright pedalling as compared to other types of cycling.
- Recumbent Exercise Bike
The affordable recumbent bike with larger seat and reclined position, is the fastest-growing nowadays, because of its access and availability that also reduces lower back tension through providing additional support. Moreover it is also lower to the ground than other types of bikes which enables it easier to get on and off. These bikes are an excellent alternative for people who are new to exercising or who want additional back support. Depending on your power, strength, and exercise duration, these bikes may also provide a significant cardio and lower body workout.
Indoor Exercise Bike
Indoor bikes became popular with the trend of spin classes, and are commonly referred to as spin bikes that are specifically designed for calorie burning. Multiple manufacturers are creating luxury indoor cycles, typically with live steam and on-demand functions for a workout at any time of day, which is another important driver of this expansion. These bikes are also one of the smoothest rides on the market. Resistance knobs allow you to change the resistance with a single turn, allowing you to manage the bike more easily. Furthermore, the seats and handlebars may be adjusted to match your height, allowing you to sit or stand while riding, exactly like on a road bike.
When you can’t go outside, such as when the weather isn’t cooperating, indoor cycling is a better substitute. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, joint mobility, stress reduction, body fat reduction, and posture.
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If you’re looking for the ideal exercise bikes for knee problems, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got your back! Continue reading and we’ll assist you in making the best decision possible!
List of Best Exercise Bikes for Knee Problems 2022
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Summary: The step-through design of Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike, made of 14-gauge steel tubing, provides optimum mobility, making it easier on the knees and back. This bike has an ultra-functional LCD computer screen that works as an odometer and features a clear panel display with extra-large numerals for easy reading of time, speed, distance, and calories consumed. The seat is wide, the back rest is comfortable, and the arm rests assist stability when cycling and provide a comfortable position to rest arms. It’s really relaxing to sit and read or watch TV while exercising. As it doesn’t feel like you’re torturing yourself while working out. The magnetic resistance system on this stationary bike has eight levels. The tension knobs adjust the amount of effort to represent cycling on various terrains and adjust your training according to your fitness level. So if you have arthritic knees or other issues with your knees, the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 is a great way to strengthen your knees.
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor
Summary: Foldable recumbent exercise bike with excellent quality of construction, the incredible value for the price. large seat cushion and backrest, having LCD display, height adjustable desks, 8-level adjustable magnetic tension control and very smooth “V-belt double drive transmission system. It is very quiet during use, no vibration, shaking or strange noises. The hand grips’ pulse monitor provides pretty accurate feedback very fast. Seat and backrest are firm but padded and comfortable. The seat is easily adjustable. It does not require the use of a computer to operate; the resistance is manually set. On flat surfaces like hardwood, tile, berber, or other flat surfaces, this works wonderfully. The unit is pretty no-frills, no cup holders or laptop stand or fancy color screens with travel videos. Great display that shows distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate. The pedaling is very smooth & continuous. This recumbent bike is an excellent rehab tool for weak legs and poor balance, since it has a lower risk of falling than a treadmill or an upright type bike, and it has greater accessibility and comfort than a standard stationary cycle.
SCHWINN 270 Recumbent Bike
Summary: High speed, good ergonomic setup Schwinn 270 recumbent exercise bike has dual track LCD monitors, media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input connection, USB media charging, an adjustable fan, bluetooth connectivity and 29 programs. There are 25 levels to select from, which makes it an excellent alternative for a knee-pain stationary bike because it has numerous settings based on what you find the least uncomfortable. The excellent thing is that the bike is ideal for cardiac workout. It’s quiet, doesn’t use a lot of power, is well-made, and isn’t too difficult to assemble. You can select from a variety of pre-programmed exercises and set your own time goal. Very sturdy and heavy. Controls are easy to use, start on pedal movement and auto shut off when done. Comfortable seat with an effective heart monitor and bright display that is super easy to read and understand. Perfect for those with mobility issues, hip replacement surgery, degenerative arthritis or bad knees with no discomfort or pain.
Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike
Summary: Exerpeutic exerwork 1000 exercise bike with 8 level Magnetic Tension control system. Super sturdy, easy to move around and out of the way. It’s well-made, the seat and back are really comfy, and the pedalling movement is perfectly smooth. The desktop is likewise a nice size and provides enough placement choices to be helpful. The desk of the bike is quite durable, and it accommodates a nearly 17″ laptop, as well as two cup holders and a lip to prevent your computer from falling. For peddling flip flops also perform well just as sneakers. This will give you the ability to multitask like a pro! You’ll be able to workout while taking online courses as well. This bike will help to give you more energy to do all of the things you need to get done on a hectic schedule. Parts are well labelled, with instructions on which ones are used at which phase of the installation. Even suitable for those who have rheumatoid arthritis in knees and ankles, or want to lose weight can sit and ride for hours without getting tired.
900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike
Summary: The 900XL recumbent exercise bike includes seat cushion and backrest that are large and oversized to accommodate users of all sizes and the display is clear; it shows the current distance, time spent, current heart rate, mph, and the number of calories burnt throughout the activity. It also keeps track of your total distance travelled. It provides cardio exercise with reducing joint and back tension. In fact it is also good for knee problems without putting any pressure on the knee joint. It’s really quiet, and the tension can be adjusted simply. The bike has a strong body. The seat is wide and comfortable. It is movable and may be adjusted as needed. The tension controller is well-made and offers a large number of options. It produces no noise when riding as long as the adjustments are tightened properly. The bike parts are well-made, the directions are clear, and easy to assemble. It’s easier to put together than a desk or cabinet from a do-it-yourself store. Recumbent bikes are really addicting. Unlike upright bikes, your back and neck will not hurt even after an hour of riding.
NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle
Summary: The best thing about this bike is all of the workouts are pre-recorded. On the other hand, the workouts automatically adjust your resistance and incline. Well built a sturdy device, and the digital display with a variety of video choices is fantastic. Although the graphics aren’t the best, the assembly instructions are quite well-written. The tutorial is written in native English. Mostly, you’ll use screws and hex wrenches to put the pieces together. For persons with disabilities, there is a hand brake option. The 22-inch big touchscreen display is one of the elements that makes the price acceptable. It has a high-definition resolution, so everything is in vibrant colour to keep the mind active. It will also show on-demand routines, making your time on the exercise bike more interesting. The fact that the bike adjusts the incline/decline and resistance automatically is one of the best features.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Magnetic Resistance and Pulse Sensor NS-908R
Summary: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike design with a high quality steel having maximum durability and manual magnetic resistance mechanism with 8 levels that allows you to customize exercises to your own training demands. For home usage, this is a nice small bike. It includes a cushioned seat with a backrest to assist relieve back pain during heavy workout. This bike gives you confidence that you can get some exercise that isn’t harmful. This bike features a LCD screen that works as an odometer, allowing you to track distance travelled, elapsed time, current speed, and calories burnt as well as measuring your heart rate. The bike is durable, and the movement that your legs experience while peddling is ideal for properly working the muscles. It also assists in the stretching of the muscles around the knee. Another excellent feature is weighted, counterbalanced pedals that give optimal support for your feet. This bike is ideal for those with arthritis who need to maintain their flexibility.
Sole Fitness R92 Exercise Bike
Summary: The extremely well-built Sole Fitness R92 Exercise Bike features 20 resistance levels, 9-inch display; 6 preset programs, 2 user programs, 2 HR programs, foot pedals with a 2-degree inward design and padded, adjustable seat with supportive back. It measures your heart rate in two ways (grips and strap). There are two sets of handlebars. The ones near the seat are for holding while peddling, while the other pair assists in getting on and off the bike. In operation, it is pretty nearly quiet. Instructions are super easy to read and understand. All of the necessary hardware, wrenches, and screwdrivers are supplied. The hardware is separated into compartments for each step of assembly, allowing you to open just the nuts, bolts, and washers that you require. It’s excellent for those who suffer from back or knee problems though the seat and pedals can be adjusted for a correct posture. Even after knee replacement, this bike will help to gain more range of motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Exercise Bike Good for Knees?
Studies suggest that low-impact cardio activity can help strengthen your knee joints and help in your rehabilitation if you’ve had a knee injury, recovering from knee replacement, or have persistent knee problems. Now you don’t need to go to the gym; simply get your own bike with less load on your knee joints.
Is an exercise bike as good as walking?
Exercise bike is definitely better than walking. As indoor cycling with a high level of resistance, strengthens your upper and lower body more effectively than walking. The bike helps you to burn calories, lose weight, and gain muscle mass far faster.
Which is better for a knee treadmill or exercise bike?
When it comes to reducing impact and protecting your joints, the exercise bike beats the treadmill. Running can cause stress on the back, hips, knees, and ankles, but the bike is an excellent training machine for people who have bad knee problems. Additionally, the movement lubricates the joints, reducing pain and stiffness.
Is pedaling a stationary bike difficult on the knees?
Stationary cycles help to get a great aerobic workout without putting too much stress on your knees. According to Gaesser, recumbent bikes are even better, because in these bikes you aren’t sitting straight when exercising, which relieves more pressure on the knee joints.
It’s critical to select the greatest exercise bike according to your needs. Bike exercises can help you improve your aerobic fitness, tone your muscles, and burn fat. Recumbent exercise bike seems to be helpful during a low-impact workout. Unlike upright or training bikes, the wider padded seat helps to maintain posture and provide complete back, knee and ankle support. Upright exercise bikes are generally the most reasonable form of bike to buy for the home if you’re searching for a cheap exercise bike. If you’re searching for a small workout bike, an upright cycle is the ideal choice. They’re a wonderful low-impact choice for toning and strengthening your legs while also providing a great aerobic exercise. But a recumbent bike, rather than an upright bike, appears to help those who are rehabilitating from knee or back problems.