Cyclist and osteopathy

Cyclists, a lot of people use cycling as a means of exercise and not just a means of transport.

  • There are approximately 1.5 million cyclists over the age of 18 in Great Britain who cycle every day or nearly every day.
  • In 2014, 183,423 employees took part in the Government’s ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’. That was a new record.
  • According to the National Travel Survey, about 7% of the population aged 5+ cycled three or more times a week in 2016.
  • (Facts and figures from We Are Cycling UK)
  • This blog is going to discuss and address how osteopathy could help with cyclist injuries and performance. But first, let’s discuss how and why cyclists get injured:

 

Osteopathy Helping Cyclists

Osteopathy Helping Cyclists

How and why cyclists get injured?

Cyclists’ injuries can be due to overuse which develops gradually over a period of time. This can be because of repeated patterns of movement, or possibly due to falls, collisions, and crashes.

Cycling involves a high number of repetitive movements from the legs through the action of the muscles and joints. Of course, there is more to cycling than just the legs. The trunk, back and arms play an important role in movement production, balance, grip, and stability.
There are a multitude reasons why cyclists may develop an over-use type injury, including:

  • Inadequate warm-up/cool-down
  • Lack of self-care e.g. stretching, foam rolling
  • Poor nutrition/hydration
  • Ineffective training
  • Inappropriate set-up of bike
  • Lack of experience

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy has been defined as “a way to diagnosis and treat a wide range of medical conditions”.

The goal of osteopathy is to integrate the structure and function of the body. 

The smooth functioning of the skeleton, muscles and ligaments, as well as the connective tissues, relates to the person’s well-being” (GOsC, 2017).

One of the main concepts is that the body’s structure governs its function. This means that if your body has had an injury, repetitive strain, or overuse it will have an adverse effect on how your body performs. Therefore, an osteopath assesses the body, sees how it currently performs, and aims, through various hands-on techniques, to restore and improve overall and specific functions.

How can osteopathy help cyclists?

There are never two clients the same, working as an osteopath there are never two days the same; each client that comes through the door is an individual. The interaction with the osteopath will be dependent upon many different factors for example, the pain or injury, occupation, and training habits.

The osteopath will use hands-on techniques to examine and diagnose the injury. They will also discuss with you to help to understand what is going on, what can be done by the osteopath or whether a referral may be required, what the likely recovery period may be, and they will discuss the techniques that will be used to treat you and any potential side-effects.

During your course of treatment the osteopath can prescribe exercises and stretches, lifestyle adaptations, and use other methods (e.g. sports taping, ultrasound, or acupuncture).

References

We Are Cycling UK : http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics#How much cycling is there compared with other kinds of transport?

General Osteopathic Council, 2017 www.osteopathy.org.uk/visiting-an-osteopath/about-osteopathy/

 

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