- 15 February2014-
Road Cycling Injuries and Bike Fitting
Physical Edge attends Road Cycling Course with Dr Michael Callaghan. The most common injury in cycling is low back pain (45%) and knee pain (23%). However, it can take a cyclist with knee pain, three times longer to recover, when compared to low back pain, 13 days and 4 days respectively.
Knee and Low Back pain is often caused by poor bike fitting, hence, it is important to have your bike set up correctly for your body. In bike fitting, a bike can be altered in many ways, however, if the frame size is incorrect at the time the bike is purchased, there can be trouble getting the best bike fit. When buying a new bike use your body dimensions to select the correct frame size. There are websites which help you choose the correct frame size, see www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-tools/frame-sizer/road-bike or www.wiggle.co.uk/h/option/bikesizeguide#Sizing.
For the perfect bike fit, you can buy a bespoke made bike, but the price will reflect it.
Other injuries in cycling include; Ulnar/ Median Neuropathies, Iliopsoas tendonitis, Trochanteric bursitis, Achilles Tendinopathy, and Plantarfasciitis.
Did you know:
Research has shown that the lumabr spine will rest in the flexed position when cycling, especially when in the dropped or TT positions. However, at the L5/S1 level there is no flexion. This is a surprising finding, and will offer some protection to the Lumbar disc as this level.
The reason we get low back pain could be the sustained flexed position, with the tissues under constant load. Sometimes the back pain will ease the more a cyclist rides, as the tissues eventually adapt to the flexed position.
30 degrees of flexion when the pedal is at its lowest point, and the foot relatively neutral, is normal. If extension is greater than 30 degrees, this goes into the impingement zone, where ITB Friction Syndrome is more likely.
The forces in cycling is similar to walking but cycling doesn't use full body weight, has less Ground Reaction Forces and uses different Knee Range of Motion.
The other injury to the knee is Patellofemoral Joint Disorder. This is due to poor knee joint alignment, where forces are increased with increasing degrees of knee flexion. Being able to alter the pedal, seat and handle bar position is a skill a physiotherapist can help you with.
Physical Edge can do Bike Fitting for you in the clinic. If you want your bike set up correctly call or email us and we look forward to meeting you soon.