Category Archives: Cycling

Cycling and bone health

This post is presented by West 4th Physio associate and cyclist/triathlete Jen Macpherson Cycling has really taken hold in Vancouver over the past decade. The health benefits are clearly established by research and include:  improved general fitness decreased risk of cardiovascular disease decreased risk of colon cancer decreased obesity The low impact nature of cycling also makes it an appropriate component of rehabilitation; such as, following surgery for a knee ligament repair or joint replacement. Sounds perfect so could there be a downside? Unfortunately, because cycling is low impact or primarily … Read the rest of this post »

Posted in Cycling, Cycling injuries and prevention, Osteoporosis, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Squats exercises

Squats exercises

  Runner’s, triathletes and cyclists will often develop an asymmetry in their hip stability resulting in symptoms around the knee, hip or low back. Their chosen activity involves thousands of repetitions of the same motion so small differences in form can become cumulative and over time develop into an injury. Squats exercises and their variations are favourites and a valid part of most balanced training routines. They are frequently recommended as baseline strengthening for the lower limbs and with just a little attention to form  are also a great core strength … Read the rest of this post »

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Hip flexor issues in cyclists

Hip flexor issues in cyclists

Hips are the domino joint for cyclists. Get them balanced and you’ll be mostly happy. Ignore them and the constancy of the cycling motion can lead to a cascade of back, hip and knee discomfort. The repetitive motion of cycling is predominantly done within a flexed inner hip range and is all in a straight line. The hip never reaches a position of neutral such as found in regular standing, let alone into actual extension where the long thigh extends out behind the body. It only goes sideways when you … Read the rest of this post »

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Patellofemoral arthritis

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate Gretchen Mclennan… Now that we know it is in fact healthy for our knees to keep running (provided we are doing that correctly!), http://www.west4thphysio.com/archives/2784  here is some info about an often “forgotten joint” that will hopefully keep us all running and cycling painfree for a long time! Osteoarthritis in the knee is something most of us are either familiar with, or at least we’ve heard about it in some respect. But most of us think of OA happening at the main knee joint. This is … Read the rest of this post »

Posted in Avoiding Injury, Cycling, Cycling injuries and prevention, Knee, Running injuries and Prevention, Sports | 1 Comment

Cycling knee injuries

Cycling knee injuries

Pop quiz. Which two areas of the body will a cyclist most frequently injure? If you went straight to low back and knees then full marks. Low back pain is more frequent but tends to recover more quickly. Knee pain last longer so if it was a competition I suppose knees take it. The majority of cyclists with knee pain will have a version of patellofemoral pain. The leading causes for irritating this incredibly efficient joint are • Improper bikefit • Early season overuse • Hip/pelvis muscle imbalance Any combination … Read the rest of this post »

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Cycling insoles

Cycling insoles

Overlooked and under appreciated. That’s the lot of the cycling insole. Far from being an “out of sight, out of mind” item though, the insole is another important component of fine tuning a bikefit. The standard insole that comes with most cycle shoes (with some notable exceptions) looks like a bit of an after thought. Generally quite flimsy and offering inferior performance after just a month or two. Allowing the foot to wash around inside the shoe reduces the sense of connection to the pedal and diminishes power delivery. By … Read the rest of this post »

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Iliotibial band syndrome…the other “biker’s knee”

Iliotibial band syndrome...the other "biker's knee"

We tend to see iliotibial band problems with early season riders who don’t yet have their conditioning right and when hill climbing training is in full force. Cypress, Seymour and Baker here we come! It presents as pain on the outside of the knee and is the result of too much friction at the point the band crosses over at the outside bottom of the thigh bone(femur) with each of our 5400 pedal strokes per hour (at a cadence of 90). I never see this problem without their being associated … Read the rest of this post »

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Leg length difference on the bike

Leg length difference on the bike

Often our bike fitting work in the clinic gets a curve ball in the form of uneven leg length. This means the reach to the pedals appears different for each leg, throwing the pelvis into asymmetry. Given that my  first goal in fitting is a steady, controlled pelvis to provide a solid foundation for the legs, the issue needs to addressed in the appropriate way. There are two distinct types of leg length difference (LLD). Functional, where the difference is not truly in the bones but within muscle or joint … Read the rest of this post »

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Patellofemoral pain syndrome… the biker’s knee.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome... the biker's knee.

Properly known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this condition produces pain in and around the front of the knee. It’s a result of the repeated knee range of motion used in cycling combined with the frictional pressure behind the kneecap. Too much of either creates initial pain followed eventually by swelling and inflammation. Remember , if your knees are getting sore the first rule is to gear down and spin, spin, spin. Minimizing the per revolution pressure behind the knee is the goal so absolutely avoid grinding your way uphill. … Read the rest of this post »

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Functional Sports Screen – a muscle balancing act

Functional Sports Screen - a muscle balancing act

At the beginning of the season it is worthwhile doing a Functional Sports Screen before starting to ramp up your training. It involves testing critical sports motion patterns, required joint flexibility and necessary muscle strengths and lengths. Any deficiencies found put you at risk of injury as you increase your training. Using the results of your assessment, which is done by a physiotherapist, you can learn the specific areas you need to target to have the best chance of avoiding injury. Athletes who are engaged in high repetition sports tend … Read the rest of this post »

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Cross training for the bike

Cross training for the bike

Want to be a better cyclist? The road to better cycling goes through the gym (true) but there are other ways for those who don’t like the gym.  One of my favourite cross trainers is trail running, a terrific way to improve your all round fitness in ways that will translate to performance improvements on your bike. Consider these three categories: Power transfer – When you are trail running you can’t afford to be lazy about your posture or balance. It is a constant core workout which we need as … Read the rest of this post »

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