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FEATURE ❘ HEALTH AND FITNESS


cycling injuries of over training


discipline specific training they undertake. On the other hand poor equipment choice will have an impact, as for example we commonly see very small female cyclists using frame sizes designed for much larger people, with some extremely detrimental results. Education and interventions from experts such as physiotherapists have produced a shift in injury ratios from 60% of cyclists having back pain and 33% of cyclists having knee related injury in the late 1990’s, to 45% having back pain and 23% having knee issues by 2011.


Pedalling technique can be a significant factor in the development of the most common cycling injuries. The motion of the pedal stroke needs to look and sound smooth and continuous. When the cyclist tries to create an upstroke this can become injurious. The use of cleats on the pedals will aid proprioception stopping the foot falling off the pedal. The upstroke phase of pedalling will bring the psoas and hamstring muscles into play while in a less then optimal length – tension ratio, creating the effect of destabilising the pelvis, reducing the rider’s ability to efficiently produce power.


LOWER BACK PAIN – NON-SPECIFIC PERSISTENT LOW BACK PAIN: Cyclists are prone to Mechanical Low Back Pain due to the nature of a sustained flexed posture while cycling, placing pressure on the front of the spinal discs, and keeping posterior sacral ligaments in a lengthened position. This can be avoided by adjusting the inclination of the seat, with an anterior tilt of between 10°-15° having been shown to reduce low back pain in cyclists. This Mechanical form of back pain can be identified early by a YourPhysioPlan.com physiotherapist, and along with changes to your bike set up, it is possible to design pre-hab and re-hab plans to prevent this becoming an acute or chronic issue. Many cyclists may implement a ‘hamstring drag’ during their pedal stroke, but it has been shown that being more Gluteal dominant during the drive phase is more effective for performance and injury prevention. YourPhysioPlan.com Physiotherapists will be able to work on ensuring your performance is enhanced by focusing on these muscle groups.


March 2015 l Cycling World 75


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