Physiotherapy – Bringing Science to Therapy (Part 2)

Following our blog, Physiotherapy – Bringing Science to Therapy (Part 1), where we discussed how to spot and treat a variety of shoulder discrepancies, we’re now hearing from our other resident physio, Jonathan Watkins about the different type of cycling injuries and how to prevent and treat them.

Cycling is a rapidly growing sport  in the UK and has a broad spectrum of benefits. From being an effective form of transport and good for the environment to improving psychological well being and preventing a long list of chronic health diseases (cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, cancer).

But with a rise in participation come a rise in overuse injuries. These can range from knee problems (20-65% of cyclists) to lower back pain (10-60%) and hand and foot issues.

Knee pain

Knee pain is one of the most common ‘injuries’ that requires physiotherapy and therefore has the biggest scope for improvement. It can be caused by one or several intrinsic and extrinsic factors of riding.

  • Muscle imbalance or weakness
  • Inflexibility and/or instability
  • Incorrect riding position or riding technique
  • Training errors

All of these issues will make riding uncomfortable and less enjoyable.

Bike riding position

Fig 1. Correct riding position

Bike muscle activity

Fig 2. Muscle activity at each cycle phase

How can physiotherapy help?

  • Assessing muscle weaknesses or imbalances to give you a program for improvement.
  • Stretches that are tailored to your problem.
  • Stability, strengthening and conditioning.
  • Manual therapy including massage and trigger point therapy for muscle and soft tissue release.
  • Acupuncture for muscle tension.
  • Taping to assist with patella tracking and support.

Knee taping

Fig 3. Knee taping

So there’s the basics on cycling induced knee injuries. For a comprehensive assessment or more information on a specific injury or pain you are suffering from, book a physio consultation at the Centre for Sport.

Head to the physio pages of the website, call us on 01173286 200 or pop in to the Centre on the Frenchay campus today!


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