Cyclist and osteopathy
Cycling, in its many forms, is becoming an increasingly popular method of exercise and transport.
- Approximately 1.5 million people aged 18+ in Great Britain cycle every day or nearly every day.
- In 2014, a record 183,423 employees participated in the Government’s ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’.
- 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
How and why cyclists get injured?
Cycling injuries can be due to overuse which develops gradually over a period of time 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 by definition is: “a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together” (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).
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/