Cycling has become an increasingly more popular activity as more people choose to cycle to work or wish to take it up in a more competitive manner. At PhysioExtra, our Therapists can assess an individual’s area of pain or discomfort both subjectively and objectively to better understand how their dysfunction can be minimised for a higher level of performance. Anyone who follows Team Sky in the Tour de France and other major cycling events will know about the importance of the Physiotherapist on the team!
Five common cycling injuries we treat:
• Knee Pain • Hand Numbness/Ulnar Neuropathy • Muscle Cramps • Iliotibial Band Syndrome • Piriformis Syndrome/Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction/ Low Back Pain
Knee Pain Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
This term usually refers to pain under and around the patella (knee cap), and can also be called “Runner’s Knee.” Chondromalacia Patella is a term used to refer to softening and deterioration of the underside of the patella. In young athletes this is typically an injury from trauma, overuse, poor alignment, or muscle imbalance. This can lead to friction and rubbing under the patella resulting in damage to the surface of the cartilage. The sensation is a dull, sometimes very general pain around the front of the knee that worsens when walking up or down stairs/hills and many other weight bearing activities.
Hand Numbness/Ulnar Neuropathy
This is experienced as pain, numbness and/or tingling of the small and ring finger and is associated with pressure on the handlebars for long periods of time.
A cramp is a sudden, tight and intense pain caused by a muscle locked into spasm. You can also recognise a muscle cramp as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
This often results in knee pain generally on the outside or lateral aspect of the knee. This problem is usually caused by a muscle imbalance and the ITB is allowed to cause friction on this part of the knee, therefore causing localised swelling and pain.
Piriformis Syndrome/ Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction/ Low Back Pain
The prolonged sitting posture on a bike lends the cyclist to develop tighter hip flexors and can put a lot of strain on the lower back region, causing muscle imbalances and invariably pain. If the piriformis muscle becomes too tight it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and can cause gluteal (buttock) pain or sciatic symptoms down the leg.
All of these problems and more are fully treatable at PhysioExtra and you can rest assured that we can find the appropriate treatment method for you to get you back to the activity you love.