Welcome to our Autumn newsletter. Now there’s a chill in the air we’re advising all our patients to warm up thoroughly before sports. Especially those playing outdoor sports in the evening. All too easy to rush from work and suddenly cool down – please remember to stretch!
In this issue we are focusing on cycling and the prevention of cycling injuries as more of our patients cycle to work and compete in events.
We are delighted to welcome Lene Cunis back to the clinic after maternity leave. She starts on Monday 30th September and continues to specialise in lumbo-pelvic (back) problems with a special interest in Womens Health (pre and post pregnancy) with plenty of first hand experience.
After 2 years Emma McCabe has left the clinic. We wish her all the best with her ongoing career. In the short term we are unable to offer clinical Pilates on the reformer but hope to offer this service again soon.
London has seen an increase in recreational cyclists since the Olympics. This increase has in turn led to a rise in cycling injuries. Cycling is essentially the repetitive movement of the lower limb with a stable trunk (in various positions depending on bike type). To maintain this position/action it is important to recruit the right stability and mobility muscle groups. Poor, ineffective recruitment may lead to inefficient cycling and eventually lead to injury.
Common cycling injuries include:
Low back pain from lack of support from stabilising muscles. Over time the disc, nerves and ligaments will become stressed and irritated.
Hip and groin pain from excessive side to side movement of the pelvis on the bike seat.
Stiffness and pain in the mid-back and neck region as the cyclist tries to stabilise the body via the arm muscles and handlebars.
Pins and needles in the hands and hand problems from stabilising and weight bearing through the upper limbs.
To reduce the chance of pain and injury it is important to consider the following factors:
Improving core stability. This includes focusing on deep stabilisers of the spine combining with gluteal strength exercises called lumbopelvic stability. The improvement of lumbopelvic stability will provide a strong stable base for the mobility muscles of the lower limb (glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps) to power the bike safely and effectively.
Stretch to maintain mobility. The fixed position of cycling creates tightness in specific muscle groups (including spinal, hip and lower limb muscles) as well as stiffness in the spine. Stretching of these muscle groups will allow for better positioning, greater stability and reduce the risk of injury.
For more information on how to prevent cycling injuries, call us to book an assessment with one of our experienced physiotherapists.