So I’m really starting to see a lot of you cyclists out there! Spring has sprung and so have the cogs on our bikes!
With that said, those of you who are hard core or weekend warriors alike are going to start feeling some twinges here and there in your bodies (if you haven’t already felt it!). Just like our bikes, we need maintenance and getting regular massages from a Registered Massage Therapist is crucial to having a fun, safe, long and successful season of cycling. If you’re starting to feel a little pain in perhaps your knees, shoulders or low back DO NOT ignore it thinking that it was just because of a hard ride. Here is a list of common injuries that cyclists experience. Many of these will sound very familiar!
Low Back Pain: If you can believe it, the root of low back pain for cyclists is not found in your low back; it’s in your hip flexors! Think about how you are positioned on your bike – you are in constant hip flexion for your entire ride. This muscle group attaches to the front side of your lumbar vertebrae and your hip, and when they’re tight they pull on your low back causing a deep aching pain. Getting this area treated regularly will not only make your rides more enjoyable, but your life out of the saddle as well!
Knee Pain: Cycling is supposed to be the knee-friendly sport, right? Well, if your seat isn’t positioned properly, you will most definitely run into knee problems. Make sure you’ve been professionally fitted for your bike. Also, riding in too high a gear for too long can cause knee pain. If you are doing all of the right things, it could be due to tight hamstrings, or quadriceps. A Registered Massage Therapists can strip out those taught bands in your thighs and promote blood flow to the area so you recover more efficiently after those long rides.
Tingling in your Hands and Fingers: There can be many reasons for this. First of all, think about how you are positioned on your bike – hunched over for at least a couple of hours. This can cause nerve impingement in the shoulder area and will therefore cause the tingling. Also, if you’re not changing the position of your hands on the bars, this will cause tingling as well. Getting regular massages will lessen the tingling sensations, making your ride more comfortable.
Neck and Shoulder Pain: The cause for this is plain and simple. Your shoulders are rounded as you look up to see what is ahead of you. All of the muscles attached to your neck and shoulders become extremely tight over time because it’s virtually impossible to stretch these muscles while you’re on the bike. So first things first, the moment you get off your bike stretch your neck in all directions carefully. Secondly, go see your Massage Therapist. You need to keep these muscles limber and loose so you don’t end up suffering from chronic headaches.
These are just a few common injuries – there are many more. However for now, stay away from anti-inflammatories and pain killers – they are just bandaide solutions. Go and see your Massage Therapist!