The joy of cycling comes from a love of fresh air, good exercise and enjoyment of the sights along the road. Unfortunately, after a cycling injury the pleasure of getting on a bike and enjoying the freedom of the ride can be overtaken by pain and discomfort. The good news is that physical therapists are up to date with the latest sports injury healing techniques and we are able to quickly identify the type of injury and apply the appropriate treatment.
Many cyclists experience leg cramps after spending long hours on a bicycle. The muscles repeatedly contract, causing stiffness and an aching feeling. If the condition is chronic and hinders the ability to enjoy a ride, physical therapy can bring relief through the use of deep tissue massage, passive stretching and giving advice on cramp prevention.
Some cycling injuries occur as the result of climbing steep elevations. In some cases, this can be prevented by ensuring that appropriate gears are selected and that the bike is suited for elevated terrain. You should check if the seat height and handlebar levels are suitable. A physical therapist can measure the seat height and reach for handle bars to ensure they are the right fit for you. We can also give you advice on pedal positioning and technique.
But even with the proper equipment and positioning, warm up and stretching routines, injuries may still occur. The knee area receives stress from increased pressure with excessive loading uphill and could sustain significant overuse type injuries. Physical therapy diagnosis and treatment of knee pain will help establish the cause of the pain, identify where changes need to be made with cycling technique, treat symptoms and prevent re-injury.
Some of the most serious cycling injuries involve trauma to the back. Particularly on a long ride, a cyclist may be hunched over the handlebars for long periods of time. Add this to a sudden bump in the road and the entire back region experiences a jolt. Good posture may help prevent some of the strain but physical therapy is the best cure for back injuries. In many cycling injuries, back problems are some of the most painful and chronic conditions. Physical therapy will focus on reducing cycling induced back pain with treatments including soft tissue massage and passive muscle stretching and joint mobilization, as well as a variety of other treatment modalities. We will also advise you on correct posture in conjunction with prescribing a stretching and core strengthening exercise program to prevent re-injury.
Warming up before a ride and taking precautions to not overstress the body are important practices to prevent injuries. But if an injury occurs, the professional staff at Axis Physical Therapy in Salinas have the expertise, knowledge and equipment to treat cycling injuries. We start by identifying the specific injury and advise you about the optimal treatment, discussing all options and the length of time required for successful rehabilitation. The aim is to quickly get you back on your bike and return to the road.
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