Common Cycling Injuries

Lower back pain while cycling

Cycling lower back pain is a common complaint among riders. In fact, it regularly competes with knee pain when cycling. Many of us are aware of the importance of sitting with good posture when working at a desk. However, fewer cyclists are conscious of the importance of sitting with good posture on the bike. The gluteal muscle group is the second biggest contributor to producing force in the pedal stroke. Therapists and cycling coaches often advise the rider to rotate the pelvis forward. Practically, this means pushing your glutes out. This posture puts the pelvis in a better position to initiate contraction of the gluteal muscles. Sitting with a straight back and lengthening the torso, as opposed to maintaining rounded spinal posture, can place the spine in a position that reduces stress on structures such as the intervertebral discs, spinal muscles and ligaments. Maintaining this ‘neutral’ spine position on the bike reduces the risk lower back pain when cycling. A postural adjustment from our Chiropractor will keep your spine neutral and keep you on the right track for a smooth ride.

Knee pain while cycling

Knee pain is the most common pain complained about by cyclists, and the majority of the time it can be easily avoided or managed. It can be related to over stretching the hamstring muscles. A rider is more at risk of pain in this area if the hamstrings are tight or if the saddle position is too high or too far back. Optimising saddle position for the individual, strengthening and stretching the hamstring muscles is advised. A foam roller or a tennis ball can be very beneficial in realising tension of the hamstring muscles. If a foam roller isn’t for you and a tennis ball doesn’t quite cut it, come and see our massage therapists to help loosen scar tissue and tight muscles, stimulate blood flow and therefore healing and aid in the stretching of the muscles.

Lower leg pain

Most commonly due to the calf muscles being over loaded in their role of keeping the foot and ankle stable during pedaling. Soft tissue injuries, such as a pulled or strained calf muscle, are common types of cycling injuries. The calf muscle group consists of three muscles — the gastrocnemius, soleus and plantaris. Calf muscle strains most commonly affect the gastrocnemius. They occur when the muscle stretches too much or tears. Treat a mild to moderate calf muscle strain with RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation. Ice your calf for 15 to 20 minutes about four times a day. Keep your leg elevated as often as possible. After three to five days, you can begin to apply heat to speed the healing process. Once you’re no longer experiencing acute pain, begin gentle stretches for about 10 seconds, four to six times a day. If you’re looking for assistance with stretching, come and pay one of our Physiotherapists a visit for help with stretching and mobility exercises.

If you have any further questions please feel free to call us on 02920 099 400 or email us at info@agiltherapy.com

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