Happy National Bike Month!
With sunny skies and warm temperatures, spring is the start of bike season. Before you head out to the forest preserve path with your family, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has a few tips to help you find the right fit for your bike and minimize the risk of injury.
- Change hand position on the handlebars frequently for upper-body comfort.
- Keep a controlled but relaxed grip of the handlebars.
- When pedaling, your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Avoid rocking your hips while pedaling.
Common Bicycling Pains
- Anterior (Front) Knee Pain. Possible causes are having a saddle that is too low, pedaling at a low cadence (speed), using your quadriceps muscles too much in pedaling, misaligned bicycle cleat for those who use clipless pedals, and muscle imbalance in your legs (strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings).
- Neck Pain. Possible causes include poor handlebar or saddle position. A poorly placed handlebar might be too low, at too great a reach, or at too short a reach. A saddle with excessive downward tilt can be a source of neck pain.
- Lower Back Pain. Possible causes include inflexible hamstrings, low cadence, using your quadriceps muscles too much in pedaling, poor back strength, and too-long or too-low handlebars.
- Hamstring Tendinitis. Possible causes are inflexible hamstrings, high saddle, misaligned bicycle cleat for those who use clipless pedals, and poor hamstring strength.
- Hand Numbness or Pain. Possible causes are short-reach handlebars, poorly placed brake levers, and a downward tilt of the saddle.
- Foot Numbness or Pain. Possible causes are using quadriceps muscles too much in pedaling, low cadence, faulty foot mechanics, and misaligned bicycle cleat for those who use clipless pedals.
- Iliotibial Band Tendinitis. Possible causes are a too-high saddle, leg length difference, and misaligned bicycle cleat for those who use clipless pedals.
How a Physical Therapist Can Help
As an expert in the way the body moves, a physical therapist helps restore and improve mobility and motion. Meet the physical therapists at Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness.
To learn more about conditions physical therapists treat, contact Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness at 630/549-0511
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 77,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide.
Acknowledgment: Erik Moen, Physical Therapist
All contents © 2011, 2009 American Physical Therapy Association.
All rights reserved.
Posted on: May 06, 2014 | Fitness