Do you have pain during or after biking and think it is normal? I am here to tell you that it’s not normal, and could be placing you at increased risk for injury while slowing you down on the bike! Numbness in the hands, hip pain, low back pain, knee pain, or saddle numbness can greatly affect your performance on the bike and can be effectively resolved with a proper bike fit, which we offer here at OrthoCore PT.
Now, I know you are probably thinking, “Why would I go to a physical therapist for a bike fit?” Physical therapists are actually one of the best resources for a proper bike fit, as they are experts in anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology. During a bike PT fit, you will be evaluated on and off the bike. Off the bicycle, a bicycle-specific musculoskeletal exam will be performed looking at posture, strength, balance and flexibility. Next, your bike will be placed in a trainer and a biomechanical evaluation similar to a gait evaluation and will be performed with you on your bike. Special attention will be focused on pedal position, seat position, and handlebar position. Recommendations and adjustments will be made to alleviate pain and increase performance. You will also be provided with bicycle-specific rehabilitation exercises to address strength, flexibility, and postural deficits, if any are identified.
One of the first things I look at as a bike PT is your saddle. Just like a pair or running shoes, your saddle gets worn down and needs to be replaced. I am always amazed by how many cyclists are riding on a worn saddle - or even more common - the wrong sized saddle, which leads to many issues. My clients are often amazed at how much better they feel when riding on a saddle that fits properly.
In most cases the adjustments I make are slight… in fact, most are just millimeters but they go a long way! Often, making adjustments to one’s cleats makes all the difference by changing the knee angle. This not only helps to decrease strain to the knee, hip, and back but significantly improve one’s pedal stroke!
So weather you are a triathlete, century rider, mountain biker, commuter, or simply enjoy riding with friends, OrthoCore Physical Therapy can help you reach your cycling goals and ride pain-free!
-Kristi at Orthocore