Whether you are a competitive mountain biker, cyclist, or one who simply enjoys a ride with the family, biking can be beneficial to your overall health and well-being. No matter the reason you’re riding (for fun, health or sport), the physical stresses from biking can take a toll on muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves over time. Not to mention the unfortunate trauma to other parts of your body when you fall.
However, most bicycling injuries are in the form of overused muscles and joints, or improper posture or balance.
When the spine or pelvis misaligns, it creates an asymmetry that can have a serious impact on the biker. Sports, in general, require symmetry, and cycling/riding are no different. The repetitive stress on the musculoskeletal system, along with the unbalancing of the spine and pelvis, can have an adverse effect on the nervous system. It is the nervous system that controls and coordinates everything that your body does, from your reflexes and hand-eye coordination, to regulating your heart. Chiropractic doctors are the only healthcare professionals who are trained to detect and correct misalignments of the spine that alter nerve flow, commonly known as Vertebral Subluxation.
Some of the Symptoms that Cyclists Experience:
- Neck/Lower Back tightness, as well as piriformis syndrome, which is when the piriformis muscle cramps, pressing on the sciatic nerve and causing buttock pain or sciatica.
- Shoulder tightness making cycling uncomfortable, even painful.
- Hand/Wrist/Forearm: This includes numbness and pain in these areas.
- Foot: This includes numbness and tingling, as well as plantar fasciitis in the heel and arch pain.
- Muscles: This includes soreness that lasts more than 24 hours
What can you do to minimize repetitive stress injuries?
- Always stretch before a ride.
- Make sure your bike is fitted correctly to you. Everyone has a different arm length, leg size, and posture; try out several bikes of different sizes to determine which frame size and other features are a good fit.
- Adjust your seat height, so it’s not too low or too high.
- Knees should be aligned with your feet when riding.
- Use the entire pedal stroke completely to avoid pointed toes and fatigued and cramped calves.
- Avoid hunching your shoulders.
- Adjust your handle grip frequently and avoid grasping too tightly.
- Don’t constantly tilt your head to one side.
- Stay hydrated.
Let us help you enjoy your ride and your life!
At Auger Family Chiropractic, we want our patients to experience a better life on and off the bike. Our focus is on spinal and pelvic alignment and how that alignment affects the function of the nervous system.
Dr. Auger will perform a thorough spine and nervous system analysis to see if any misalignments exist that are compromising nerve function (i.e., Vertebral Subluxations). If Vertebral Subluxations are detected, then we can help you enjoy your ride more, get more benefits out of your ride, and ultimately live a better life! Schedule an appointment today!