Austin Manual Therapy Associates

How A Physical Therapist Can Help Cyclists Avoid Injuries

How A Physical Therapist Can Help Cyclists Avoid Injuries

Are you tired of pain and injuries interfering with your enjoyment of riding your bike? Have you ever wondered what you can do to prevent problems from arising? At Austin Manual Therapy Associates, our highly trained physical therapists are experts at treating all types of injuries common to cyclists. We will identify the steps you need to take to resolve your injuries and prevent them in the future!

Perhaps the most common injury people endure from bike riding is an overall feeling of soreness caused by overusing the muscles. This typically occurs from riding too hard (too long or too fast for your level of conditioning) or completing a long ride when your body is not used to it.

For most people, the soreness usually goes away on its own, but for others, the soreness is the first warning sign of an injury brewing. The severity of the damage determines how long the body will need to recover.

At Austin Manual Therapy Associates, our licensed physical therapists can guide you through the right exercises for your individual needs to help you recover from and prevent future injuries.

Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts!

Injury prevention strategies for cyclists

Most injuries (or pain) are due to improper fit on the bike or overexerting your body. Fortunately, our team of physical therapists at Austin Manual Therapy Associates is trained at assessing and fitting you properly on your bike. We are also skilled at identifying and treating musculoskeletal injuries related to cycling.

There are some research-backed injury prevention strategies you can perform on your own, including:

  • Proper bike fitting: Before you go on your first ride, it is essential to make sure you have a proper bike fitting. Our physical therapists will identify the biomechanical factors contributing to pain and/or injury and eliminate them. We understand how important cadence, power output, crank length, saddle position, saddle height, and foot positions are to prevent pain and overuse injuries.
  • Adequate rest: Sleep is the most effective strategy with the most significant effect on injury prevention and sports enhancement…8-10 hours per night.
  • Strength training: One of the most effective injury prevention strategies to help stay injury-free is keeping the muscles strong. Our physical therapists will identify areas of weakness and compensatory strategies and help you address them to avoid pain/injuries.
  • Stay within your abilities: It is vital to train and practice any physical activity by starting small and building up from there.
  • Dynamic Warm-ups: Foam rolling or a light ride at the start of your training are an effective way to warm up tissue without negatively affecting performance and may lead to fewer injuries.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Nutrition is the foundation for good health and injury prevention. Specifically, a scientifically-backed approach that does not include any fad diets. Recovery meals are as crucial as pre-game meals.
  • Getting enough water: Hydration is essential for recovery and injury prevention.

At Austin Manual Therapy Associates, our therapists play a leading role in preventing, reversing, and managing old and new injuries. Our programs address your individual needs so you can enjoy your time on your bike!

What to expect at your appointments

Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to determine the severity of your pain and/or injury. Through a comprehensive assessment, your therapist can pinpoint precisely what is causing your pain and give you the tools to recover and prevent future episodes.

Our team will perform a customized bike fitting to minimize the risk of pain/injury and combine it with a hands-on assessment to identify any weakness or restrictions that could contribute to potential (or existing) pain and injury. We will use this information to develop a comprehensive program that includes targeted manual techniques, mobility work, strengthening, and any appropriate pain relief technique for the individual cyclist.

Your physical therapist will then incorporate cycling-specific treatments to ensure proper positioning of the rider, including alignment of your joints and your pedaling mechanics to assist you in a safe return to training. We will provide constant feedback and allow refinement of your program to ensure it provides optimal results.

Request an appointment today!

Most injuries to cyclists are associated with overuse or improper fit of the bicycle. The prolonged postures combined with the repetitive movement from spending hours cycling is the main reason for pain/injuries.

Request an appointment at Austin Manual Therapy Associates for a customized bike fitting and comprehensive assessment for your individual needs!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973630/

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/fulltext/2019/12000/cycling_biomechanics_optimization_the__r_.13.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5717478/

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0515/p2007.html

https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/6/1/e000840.abstract

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01058.x

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/24/1557.abstract

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29352373/

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Abstract/2021/06000/Sleep_and_Injury_Risk.3.aspx?context=FeaturedArticles&collectionId=1

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