There are a number of high profile campaigns that urge us to ‘get on our bikes’ with the dual aims of reducing pollution and making us healthier and more active.
While cycling is a great way to exercise and an exciting sport to participate in, unfortunately it is often a cause of injury with Casualty departments and GPs seeing additional cases of cycling injuries around the time of the Tour de France as ‘armchair cyclists’ attempt to emulate their heroes!
In this article however, we look at preventing cycling problems not caused by a traffic accident.
How to prevent cycling problems and the most common causes of pain
Neck and back pain (particularly low back pain), are both common problems. For cyclists, these often have a biomechanical cause that can be helped by a Chiropractor – firstly, with gentle chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, and secondly, by helping cyclists to ensure a correct riding position with a properly adjusted bike frame. For example, neck pain can often be helped by adjusting the bike to improve the rider’s posture.
Foot and ankle pain and foot numbness are common problems that can, (in some cases), be prevented or resolved by adjusting the cleats attaching the rider’s cycling shoes to the pedals to avoid too much pressure on the underside of the feet. Ankle pain such as Achilles tendonitis may also be due to a saddle that is too high for the rider’s leg length, forcing pedalling with a ‘toe down’ position – preventing this problem may be as simple as adjusting saddle height.
The knees are probably the most commonly sore joints for cyclists. This can be due to trauma, but very often, is a result of hundreds, or thousands, of tiny, micro-strains that accumulate over time and eventually result in a major problem. Getting your bike correctly adjusted with cleats in the right position for your feet and using cycling insoles to protect the feet can help to prevent these micro-strains from escalating.
Finally, the painful topic of saddle sores! Saddle sores are a painful problem. Preventing this depends on choosing the best shorts you can afford, an appropriate topical cream to minimise friction, and ensuring correct saddle height.
An appropriate, well-fitting cycling helmet is the number one way of preventing a cycling injury caused by head trauma if an accident results in a fall from your bike or if you are involved in a traffic collision.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractors can help with neck, spine and joint pain with a biomechanical cause – all of these are common for sports people, including cyclists. The conservative care from your Winchester Chiropractor can help if pain is preventing you from enjoying cycling to the full and impeding performance.
Your Winchester chiropractor can also help with the prescription of exercises to improve both core strength and cycling performance. He can also help you devise a short routine of stretches you can do pre- and post cycling, that will be helpful in preventing cycling problems, particularly those affecting hamstrings and calf muscles.
There are many other ways that Max can help you to get more out of your cycling and to improve your performance. For example, breathing techniques can help with improved lung function and stamina, correct nutrition and, if appropriate, supplementation can help you feel, and perform, at your best.
Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing cycle ride, pain-free — or whether you are a would-be yellow jersey wearer, to find out more about the treatment options and alternatives that we can offer, please call Bradford House Chiropractic and arrange an appointment on 01962 861188 today.