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How to prevent injury


23/09/2011



We’re super lucky this Friday as we hear back from Cheyne Voss, our bike hero and expert physio from Ten Physio, about how to prevent cycling injuries. Thanks for the advice Cheyne!

 

I am a big fan of the bike both as a Physiotherapist and a keen cyclist. There are extensive benefits of cycling including non-weight bearing exercise for your lower limb, strengthening, fitness, cardiovascular training not to mention an excellent form of transport out in the fresh air. Unfortunately all exercise programmes run the risk of potential injuries.

 

 

In respect to cycling, the most common injuries that I tend to see (with the exception of fractures from traumatic crashes!) are anterior knee pain and lower back or neck pain.

 

When put your body in a certain position and perform repetitive movements in that position, forces are placed on specific structures of the body. If the angles are not perfect and you perform the activity for 5-10 minutes you will more than likely be ok, however continue for a couple of hours and these forces are compounded and injuries can be caused.

 

For instance while cycling, the seat height dictates the angle at which your knee bends at the top of the pedal stroke. The lower your seat position, the greater the angle, thus creating more pressure under your knee cap which will eventually cause pain. This is also compounded if your pedal stroke is not straight (i.e. your knees pointing in together).

 

The position of your back while sitting on the bike, particularly as you begin to fatigue is essentially a ‘C’ shape or slouched position, this can put pressure from the discs of your spine against the nerves, creating pain.

 

In addition to the stretches I have mentioned in previous blogs, a foam roller is also a great way to release pressure on joints and muscles. Below I have listed to foam rolling exercises to deal with the problems listed above.

 

1) Rolling the outside of your thigh. (this will loosen the thigh muscles, taking pressure off your knee joint)

Place the foam roller between your hip and knee, place your opposite foot on the ground to take some pressure from the roller. Push through your foot to roll up and down your thigh. Repeat the movement for 2-3 minutes rotating slightly forwards and back to ensure you loosen the entire outside of your thigh.

 

Cheyne demonstrating rolling the thigh


 

2) For your back. (counteracting the ‘C’ shaped position of your back on the bike)

Lie on the foam roller with your arms crossed behind your head. Roll slowly up and down the foam roller from the middle of your back up to the base of your neck. Continue for 2-3 minutes then lower your hips towards the floor and gently stretch your back over the roller.
 

Cheyne demonstrating rolling the back


 

Foam rollers can be purchased from all the best sports retailers or better still (for me, anyway) from TenPhysio.

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