Are you a cyclist suffering?

Are you a Cyclist suffering?

With the Prudential RideLondon 100 event happening on 4th August, our Physiotherapy team have put together some useful information for cyclists.

Are you a CYCLIST suffering from?

  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Joint stiffness

The Physiotherapy department at Ashtead Hospital have a physiotherapist that specialises in cycling injuries. We will determine the cause of your discomfort or injury and customise a rehabilitation programme to you and your needs, helping to improve comfort, prevent injury and enhance performance.

Why is warming up and cooling down essential?

Some keen cyclists jump straight into their training session with no thought of warming up. However, a proper warm up offers many benefits, including:

Increased muscle temperature
Both contraction and relaxation is enhanced in a warmed up muscle, which means you can experience a boost in speed and power.

Increased core temperature
Raising the core temperature increases the speed of nerve impulses, which improves your reaction time.

Capillary dilation
When starting exercise, your body releases adrenaline, which increases heart rate and causes dilation of the capillaries. This increases elasticity in the muscles and reduces injury risk.

Prepare yourself mentally
A warm up gives you time to prepare yourself for the training session or race ahead. You can use the same warm up routine before each session to build focus.

Why cool down?

There are a number of benefits to cooling down after a high-intensity session. It prevents blood from pooling in the extremities, which can lead to dizziness and fainting, reduces heart rate and aids recovery.

Four tips to bounce back after injury:

From annoying niggles to full blown falls, no cyclist wants to be injured. It can put a complete stop to your training and potentially ruin your plans for the coming months.

1. Understand your injury
The first step to take when you’re injured is to find out exactly what the problem is. Sometimes it may be an annoying niggle thats turned into something bigger and other times it may be an incident, but it’s important to get proper medical advice.

2. Figure out what went wrong
Take time to reflect on why you were injured in the first place. One of the best things about injury is the opportunity to learn. For example, if your incorrect bike set-up has caused pain, consider a professional bike fit. This is a service we offer at Ashtead Physiotherapy.

3. Get advice on how to proceed
Once you understand your prognosis, work with a physiotherapist to put together a rehab plan. It’s important that you don’t just jump back into your training plan as this will not give your body the time it needs to repair and rebuild itself.

4. Re-evaluate your goals!
A key aspect of bouncing back after an injury is all about attitude. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to re-evaluate your goals for the year.

Most common cycling aches and pains

Neck pain
Whether you are on a road bike, mountain bike or a hybrid, your neck has to be unnaturally extended for long period of time in order to see the road ahead. This commonly causes neck pain and sometimes neck related headaches.

Hand pain
Too much pressure on your hands (usually because of incorrect bike set up) can cause hand pain. Also pressure on the nerve can lead to finger tingling and weakness (a temporary nerve palsy).

Forearm pain
This can be from over gripping the handlebars or incorrect set up causing too much load on the forearms.

Lower back pain
Flexing the back in an unnatural position for hours at a time can cause lower back pain. Correct bike set up can help to alleviate this.

Hip pain
Cycling involves an awful lot of repetition in a very static posture. Tightness across the front of the hips can pose a risk to developing hip pain.

Knee pain
Incorrect alignment of the knee when cycling (allowing it to drift inwards or outwards) can provoke knee pain.

For more information and to book an assessment please contact our physiotherapy department on 01372 221402.


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