With Metropolitan Melbourne now in Lockdown 2.0 exercise has become one of the essential reasons for leaving home. There has been a huge uptake in riders on the roads and we are loving it! Cycling is a fantastic sport and is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. It is beneficial for those after a hip or knee replace due to the low impact on the joints and with such a wide variety of bike set ups achievable it can be adapted to work around most injuries.
Due to the repetitive nature of cycling where most individuals will pedal somewhere between 60-120 rpm for one to four hours it is inevitable you will develop a niggle here and there. We will run through common areas for cycling injuries to develop and what to look for to minimise your risk of developing them.
- Commonly anterior knee pain (patellofemoral pain, patellar tendinopathy)
- Arises due to increase or abnormal contact pressures at the knee joint. This can be due to a suboptimal bike fit, rapidly increasing training volume, grinding away in heavier gears with a lower cadence.
- Important to get a bike fit from a qualified professional and undertake regular strengthening exercises for your glutes and quadriceps outside your cycling sessions.
- Normally arises due to prolonged time spent in a flexed position. Can occur when riding in a more aggressive/aero position than an individual can tolerate.
- This can be affected again by a suboptimal bike fit and mismanaged training volume.
- Ensuring regular strengthening exercise is complete for your core, glutes, and lower back will help mitigate this problem.
- Those individuals with foraminal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) or facet arthropathy will likely tolerate cycling well as these structures are offloaded.
- Increased time spent in “aero” positions which causes the cervical spine to be forced into extension and protraction.
- This position tests the endurance of our extensor muscles in our neck. Handlebar position and seat height play a large role this and need to strike a balance between an aerodynamic racing position and rider’s comfort/capacity.
- Important to remember that for both our neck and lumbar spine if there is any radiating pain into upper and lower limbs, sensation changes or numbness this should be evaluated by a physiotherapist or general practitioner.
If you are experiencing cycling related discomfort but don’t want to stop, book an appointment today with Matt either onsite in Footscray or via telehealth from anywhere in Australia (or the world).