A passion for cycling, hobby cyclist on the weekends, or serious mountain biker taking on the rugged New Zealand back country? However you choose to enjoy your time on the bike, there are times when injury and pain can mean it’s not as enjoyable as you would like it to be.
While there are many avenues for riders seeking help and advice with their cycling and mountain biking, in this post we will cover the basics about how Osteopathy can help cycling injuries and improve overall performance and technique and some top Osteopathic tips for cyclists.
Improve Performance And Rehabilitation With Osteopathy
Osteopathy is based on a whole-body approach to healing and helping you achieve your sports and fitness goals. As an injured cyclist, or bike enthusiast plagued by re-occurring injury, an osteopath will take into account the function and health of the entire body, not just the injured area.
Often this whole-body approach will include things like lifestyle factors, training schedules, and nutrition as well as the mobility and function of the muscles and joints. Taking in the bigger picture results in working towards discovering the root of the problem, rather than just treating the obvious symptoms, which promotes optimum performance, whilst preventing further injury.
While knees, ankles, thighs and calves are common areas of complaint, as a cyclist a significant amount of strain is placed on the lower back, particularly over long distances and rough terrain, an Osteopath is able to treat all of these areas and seek to understand where the pain is originating and why it has become an issue – hopefully preventing further injury in the future but also facilitating faster recovery.
7 Common Cycling Related Complaints
Osteopathic treatments are able to assist with a variety of bike riding injuries and complaints, seven of the most commonly seen are;
Lower back pain
Wrist and hand pain
Common Osteopathic Techniques For Cyclists
The general methods used in Osteopathic treatment revolve around several common techniques, some of the techniques an Osteopath might use during your consultation for cycling injuries and pain are;
Soft-Tissue Massage. Focusing on increasing blood flow and releasing and relaxing muscles through deep pressure massaging and trigger point therapy.
Rehabilitation Exercises. Recommending specific stretches, mobility and strengthening exercises designed to assist both in injury recovery and day to day training methods.
Joint Mobilisation. Using gentle manipulation and articulation to gauge, assess and improve joint mobility and range.
Postural Analysis. Your posture plays a huge part in the strain placed on the junctions and discs of the spine, the hips, knees and even feet, a postural analysis aids in highlighting areas of improvement.
4 Top Tips For Cyclists
Any sportsperson knows the frustration of injury and being unable to take part, here are 4 top tips recommended by Osteopaths to aid in recovery and performance.
Check Your Bike Ergonomics And Set-Up. An optimum bike set-up will differ for each individual. It is highly recommended to consult with a reputable cyclist shop and get a personal consultation on your bike set-up.
Drink Lot Of Water. Sipping plenty of water throughout the day is the single best thing anyone can do for general wellbeing, preparation for and recovering from a big day out on the bike.
Listen To Your Body. No matter how insignificant they main seem, ignoring niggles, odd sensations or pain could lead to injury or could suggest underlying health problems that need addressing.
Avoid Sitting For Long Periods. Sitting for longer than 20 minutes at a time can cause some muscles that support your spine to become weakened and to not engage properly – these include your core muscles, buttock muscles and some deep spinal muscles such as the multifidus muscle. Taking regular breaks from your desk and moving regularly can help prevent this from occurring.
If you are struggling with a cycling injury or have just been training a bit too hard lately and are experiencing unusual aches and pains – let Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy show you just what Osteopathy can do for you today. Call 027 7555700 or book online.
Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health, and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible.