American Family Children's Hospital

This Month in Sports Rehabilitation: Cycling Injuries and Performance (July 2010)

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UW Sports Rehabilitation expert provides input in a Cycling Clinic sessionMadison, Wisconsin, is consistently rated one of the top places in the United States to bike. With breathtaking scenery and leg-crushing hills, Dane County is a cyclist's dream.
Unfortunately, cycling does come with its drawbacks. Research shows that approximately 85 percent of recreational cyclists will suffer an injury, with the knee accounting for 60 percent of cycling overuse injuries.

Cycling is a repetitive sport, with riders averaging up to 5,400 revolutions per minute during one hour of cycling. This repetitive load can cause soft tissue in your legs to break down, resulting in pain and inability to ride.


Causes of overuse injuries and tissue breakdown are numerous and can include:

  • Muscular imbalances, such as
    • Weakness
    • Inflexibility
    • Leg mal-alignment
    • Leg length discrepancy
  • Improper bike fit
  • Training error
  • Inappropriate pedaling mechanics.

Whether you're an avid cyclist, recreational rider, tri-athlete or commuter, UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Cycling Clinic is committed to keeping you on the roads and trails.


Our team of physical therapists will perform a thorough assessment, including bike measurements and a biomechanical fit assessment. This is followed by bike adjustments and/or physical therapy treatment to return you safely to pain-free riding with a reduced risk of re-injury.


Request a Cycling Clinic Evaluation


Cycling Clinic: Injury Evaluations


Biomechanical assessments are used in combination with a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation to address your injury. During the initial evaluation, patients receive:

  • Cycling history review
  • Physical examination (flexibility, strength, skeletal alignment, foot structure)
  • Bike measurements and Biomechanical Fit assessment
  • Treatment plan, bike fit adjustments as appropriate
  • Injury treatment and prevention education
  • Follow-up visits scheduled as needed
  • Insurance-based, physican referral might not be needed

Cycling Clinic: Improving Efficiency/Pedaling Technique


The UW Sports Rehabilitation Cycling Clinic is staffed by Jenny Kempf, MPT and Dan Enz PT, LAT. Recently Jenny Kempf gave a presentation to local sports medicine physicians and rehabilitation providers on cycling injuries and knee pain. View her slideshow here (pdf)

  • Cycling history review   
  • Video biomechanical analysis of cycling technique (including CD)
  • Bike measurements and biomechanical fit assessment with adjustments
  • One-hour session, $250

Cycling Clinic: Performance Program

  • Cycling history review   
  • Video biomechanical analysis of cycling technique (including CD)
  • Strength and flexibility assessment as it relates to cycling technique   
  • Individualized written performance program
  • One-hour session, $250