Association of Cycling Kinematics With Anterior Knee Pain in Mountain Bike Cyclists

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Guilherme R. Branco Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation and Functional Performance, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, Brazil

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Renan A. Resende Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation and Functional Performance, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, Brazil
Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

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Felipe P. Carpes Applied Neuromechanics Research Group, Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Federal University of Pampa, Uruguaiana, RS, Brazil

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Luciana D. Mendonça Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation and Functional Performance, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, Brazil
Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

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Context: Comfort and pain in cyclists are often discussed as a result of the posture on the bike, and bike fit, including motion analysis, is advocated as a strategy to minimize these conditions. The relationship between cycling kinematics, comfort, and pain is still debatable. Objectives: To investigate the association of ankle, knee, and trunk kinematics with the occurrence of anterior knee pain (AKP) in mountain bike cyclists. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Fifty cross-country mountain bike cyclists (26 with AKP and 24 without AKP) had their pedaling kinematics assessed. Linear and angular data from trunk, hip, knee, ankle, and foot from cyclists with and without AKP were recorded using Retül motion analysis system. Results: The binary logistic regression model showed that kinematic variables such as peak ankle plantar flexion, peak knee flexion, and forward trunk lean were significant predictors of AKP. Both larger peak plantar flexion and knee flexion decreased the probability of reporting AKP. On the other hand, larger forward trunk lean increased the probability of reporting AKP. Conclusions: Ankle, knee, and trunk sagittal kinematics may predict AKP in cross-country mountain bike cyclists, whereas hip, knee, and ankle alignment in the frontal plane showed no association with occurrence of AKP. In other words, cyclists with larger ankle plantar flexion and knee flexion are less likely to have AKP, whereas those with increased trunk forward lean are more likely to have AKP.

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