Activ Bike Fit For Cyclists
Physiotherapy Treatment & Exercises For Cycling Injuries
Sheffield has a large cycling population partly due to the close proximity of the Peak District National Park with an abundance of winding country lanes and trails, this beautiful area attracts all types of cyclists consisting of leisure/touring, mountain biking, road and triathlon?
The repetitive nature of cycling has the potential to cause problems. When observing the statistics, competitive cyclists average up to 5,000 pedalling revolutions an hour, between 10-150 miles each session and up to 20,000 miles a year. It is therefore easy to understand that even very subtle irregularities with the bike or cyclist can manifest in to discomfort and pain and possibly time off the bike.
At our clinics, we come into regular contact with cyclists presenting with related and unrelated injuries or problems. The commonest injury prone areas we observe in cyclists are the neck, back and knees.
A cyclists’ flexibility and joint/muscle movement is fundamental to gaining particular positions when riding a bike. This is relevant if you are competing in a time trial where an aerodynamic forward position is required as opposed to a touring cyclist whom will require a more comfortable position for longer periods in the saddle.
There can be many reasons for the onset of pain in cyclists. Commonly we observe that the bike set up or "Bike fitting" is incorrect. For instance if the bike is too big then this can result in overreaching and potentially cause irritations of both the neck and lower back. If the saddle is too high then a rider will tend to over extend the knee when the pedal is furthest away from them causing excessive pelvis movement from side to side. This again can cause lower back pain as well as pain behind the knee.
The list goes on from fitting cleats incorrectly in relation to the pedal spindle, as well asymmetries in hip, knee and foot alignments. Ultimately the bike should fit the rider and not vice versa.
A correct bike fit is paramount and through our specialist physiotherapist Matt Withycombe we are offering a new bike fitting service combined with a musculoskeletal screening assessment for cyclists of all abilities aimed at injury prevention.
What Does This Service Involve?
In brief an initial physical assessment will be undertaken by a physiotherapist to gain an understanding of a cyclist’s body shape and flexibility. This is followed by an observation of the cyclist pedalling on a static turbo trainer on his/her bicycle. A variety of measurements of the cyclist and the bicycle will be taken throughout the bike fit to enable appropriate adjustments in order to optimise an individual’s position relative to the type and level of riding. We are all different shapes and sizes with varying trunk and limb lengths and ultimately the bike should be manipulated to fit the individual cyclist. Minor adjustments can be significant when you think of the repetitive nature of the pedalling action.
Optimising your position on the bike will help improve performance and reduce the risk of injuries. Balancing how your body works to the demands of cycling is not straight forward and we too often see the effects of incorrect advice and set up. Contact us for more information.
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