Cycling Injuries & Prevention

Bicycling Injuries - Prevention and Recovery

knee model patella labeled

Bicycles are more popular than ever. More and more Americans are leaving their cars behind and riding a bicycle - to work, to the supermarket, and even on dates. From 2001 to 2011, bicycle commuting rates increased by over 62 percent on average nationwide, and by more than 105 percent in bicycle friendly communities. Bike racing is an increasingly popular sport as well, whether as a single event or as part of a grueling triathlon.

There is one downside to spending so much time on a bicycle, however: injuries. A recent report indicated that the injury rate among cyclists rose 28 percent between 1998 and 2013. Bike enthusiasts are prone to knee and lower leg injuries due to the repetitive motion involved, particularly for athletes who push themselves on long rides. Soft tissue issues are quite common as well. Additionally, bikers are subject to a wide range of injuries all over their bodies due to accidents and falls. Fortunately, jumper's knee and a bad shoulder do not have to keep you from snapping your feet into the pedals for too long. There are new and innovative techniques to treat your cycling injuries and get back on the road as soon as possible.

The Graston Technique for Cycling Injuries

One of the newer treatments for typical cycling injuries is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization. GT involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

Video: Scar Tissue Treatment with Graston Technique for Muscle Pain

GT therapy

GT therapy is great news for new or experienced bike enthusiasts. People who commonly ride bicycles for long distances often experience strained muscles and tendons, or adhesions, which keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. Additionally, the inevitable spills and crashes cyclists face when putting miles on the road can leave them with a myriad of body pain and injures, all of which are extremely difficult to address with ice or rest alone. GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing in the knee and leg muscles. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist or chiropractor to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.

tissue progression sm

Active Release Treatment Therapy (ART) for Cyclists

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat injuries cyclists often face. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for cyclists.

ART can help address the type of repetitive motion injuries that are endemic to cycling. Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether.

Don't Stay Injured, Stay on the Seat and Keep Pedaling

Cycling is a great way to get in shape - or just get to the office. The compact range of motion in cycling, coupled with falls and accidents, can frequently lead to recurring pain or injury.

The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer cyclists innovative ways to keep muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting people back on their bikes in short order. So don't let the aches and pains sideline you, Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and keep yourself injury free and ready for the next ride.

wobble board squatting two feet

Soft Tissues treatments are enhanced when combined with therapeutic exercises to restore proper strength and endurance in the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, an exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable of the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for leg and knee pain.

Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of cycling muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common neck, shoulder, and back pain patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, and Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.