Cycling has been one of the world’s most popular sports and exercise techniques for close to a century. Cycling is used in many competitive sports, from racing to triathlons and many competitions are high intensity or true and proper endurance events where the body’s musculoskeletal structure has to endure repeated movements for potentially hours on end.
Most cycling injuries are associated to overuse and they can range from foot pain to abdominal pain, leg pain and back pain, though lower back pain is probably the most common complaint. Pain in the upper body is frequent too and generally any of these conditions can stem from overuse of a particular part of the body or from improper bike setups or both combined.
Chiropractor’s abilities to diagnose cycling injuries stems from their expertise in the musculoskeletal system and their understanding of the biomechanics of cycling means they can assess the area of the body which is responsible for the strain and decide whether the pain is direct or referred. Pain experienced directly to the area of injury is easier to diagnose but pain experienced in another part of the body can be referred from its origin, which may be somewhere else, making correct diagnosis challenging. In cycling, because large structures of the body are used, referred pain is often experienced in a different body part to the one which is injured. Because of chiropractor’s advanced knowledge of connective tissues and their wiring to the nervous system, they can determine how pain is transmitted along nerves and where the origin of this is. Chiropractors can more often more efficiently diagnose complex recurring injuries than other medical professionals.
Cycling makes use of large musculoskeletal structures and that’s why it’s such great exercise. When we cycle, our core stability and the associated muscles have to work hard to keep us upright and straight on the saddle. Poor core stability will lead to injury over time as the back will fail to adequately support the body and become stiff and inflamed. Many biomechanical structures are moving constantly whilst we pedal and the way you sit on the bike can dramatically affect your core strength and flexibility. Chiropractors can teach you better techniques for cycling and also assess your bike and the way you sit on it to decide whether your technique could be exacerbating or leading to strain. Many professional cyclists like their techniques to be studied and their bikes to be custom modified according to their findings but this is of course expensive. Many chiropractors can check out your posture though and make suggestions that have potentially large ramifications on your cycling practices and in turn on your injury risk and risk of chronic problems.
Cycling is easy on many structures compared to running for example but because of the large distances involved, there are more movements per calorie burned and this means avoidance of chronic injury is still a priority. Fortunately, chiropractors in Chicago provide an affordable route to preparing yourself for more cycling, whether that’s for health, travel or competition.