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Cyclists: relieve your back and joints

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You want to avoid or disappear pain that spoil your beautiful bike rides? The sports doctor for "Cyclo Health" gives you valuable advice!

True, cycling is not known to be dangerous for the back and joints. A bike, the weight of your body is not your legs not supported but it is placed on the seat. They say he is a "focused sport." Pedaling, you do not suffer the constraints receptions and pulses as they are encountered in running. However, during your workouts, you stay very long in the same position and you play thousands of times the same gesture. The slightest imperfection ends up having joint consequences. The sports doctor for "Cyclo Health" helps you recognize the pain and you explain the causes. So you understand more easily the advice to fix it. You are more motivated to implement them! To no longer feel pain, two treatment strategies combine. First, it is necessary to reduce the stress on your joints and back. To achieve this, the position changes or gesture changes are useful. Second, we must train your body to take the minimum remaining constraints. This time, some physical training exercises are indicated. sports tips and medical recommendations combine to make you reconnect with the pleasure of cycling trips!

Relieve your back

After a few kilometers you feel will produce a bar at the bottom of your back. Sometimes the top of the buttocks starts to burn and muscles along your spine harden. That means your spinal discs begin to suffer.

Prolonged compression of the discs hurts!

The discs are small shock absorbers between the vertebrae. To fulfill this mission, they have a nucleus pulposus. The latter is surrounded by fibrous rings a bit like the flesh of an onion. When you stay for a long time leaning forward, pressing the front of your vertebrae. The viscous substance of the disc passes gradually rearward and pushes on the fibrous bands. These are rich in nerve receptors and these conflicts are quick cause pain in the lower back. Over the years, these rings become more stiff and crack. They are less resistant to prolonged stress. . We talk in medical jargon "degenerative disc disease". The "senior" is very often a victim of this banal wear. He frequently backache at the end of training and especially benefit from the advice that will follow ...

Mount the gallows and get off the saddle to relieve your back!

The more you are leaning forward, the more you compress your drives. If you suffer from back please take some your stem. The ideal is to equip you with a reclining model that simultaneously allows to go back and bring the seat cockpit. Feel free to grope and change settings even being output.


Straighten up without complexes: the "pros" have very gallows located below the level of the saddle but they are young and flexible. They do not hesitate to suffer to improve their aerodynamics and grab a few seconds against the clock. If your goals are quite different, if you want to treat yourself to bike, do not stick to the tenets of the mathematically determined position. Consider your age, wear your drive, your muscle stiffness and individualize your settings!

The discs are also sheared when your butt sideways tilt every pedal stroke. This is what happens when your seat is slightly too high or when your bust is not well balanced. To stabilize your pelvis, often simply reduce the height of your seat a few millimeters. To limit the rotation of your trunk, take a wide grip on the handlebars. These two tricks together to effectively reduce the shear intervertebral disc and reduce pain in the lower back!

Try different positions to reduce back pain.

Gelatin disc slides back and pulls the fibrous rings when you stay too long leaning forward. So often change your attitude on your machine. Alternate hands on casseroles and hands on top of the hanger. Some dancer passages help to move the stresses on the discs and relieve you. Straighten up often. Enjoy an easy descent to release the handlebar and dig back. In this way, the viscous liquid will revert to the front of the drive and the fibers located on the rear will be less stretched.

Stretch and strengthen your back: the

Cracked and aged discs become stiffer. The muscles surrounding the also shrink. All these structures tolerate less to be tensioned. It is imperative to maintain the mobility of the lower back! If you remember to keep your flexibility you will soon have to pedal back straight! Although you are a follower of "health bike," I guess you do not want to swap your racing machine against a Dutch bicycle. Here are some flexibilities derived from the cycling position. They allow your muscles and your column to suit the specific constraints of cycling. For each of them keep the posture 30 seconds then increase the voltage setting for 10 seconds. Rest 10 seconds or made the motion with the other leg. Repeat the exercise 3 times.

The first two improve the flexibility of muscles on the back of the thigh. Thus, they promote the pelvic tilt forward and reduce vertebral stress.

Lying on your back, bring your hands with your knee bent on the chest. Alternate right side and left side.

Same exercise, grabbing the calf and knee almost tense.

The following two exercises increase spinal mobility at the hinge between the spine and pelvis. In this way, it reduces the feeling of tension in the lower back.

Lying on your back, bring your hands with your knees bent towards your chest.

Same exercise, grabbing the 2 calves and knees almost tense.

The muscles along the column support your bust all throughout your workout. When tired, they become painful and can no longer maintain the vertebrae. The discs are sheared and suffer in turn. Must be strengthened with the following two years. For each of them make 20-40 slow repetitions. During each series have about 2 to 4 times the upper position for 6 seconds.

Lying on your back, knees slightly bent, turn up the basin.

Crouching, leaning slightly forward, resting on hands, up the shoulders and lift your hands.

To avoid the pain of the lower back, do the "Gym back rider", 2 times a week.

Ease your neck

Often faster or pedaling against the wind, you feel pain at the base of the neck between the shoulder blades down quickly. It is evident, by bike, the more you are leaning forward more you have to lift his head to watch ... or you go! The solicitation of the lower back is likely to also cause overuse of the cervical spine!

The neck pain are spinal and muscular origins.

If the lumbar discs suffer from too flexed position too long, those neck are victims of attitude too upright for too long. Similarly these extreme positions causes a sliding of the nucleus pulposus of the disc which takes on very sensitive fibrous rings. In addition, the cervical, neck extension imposes a continuous and intense muscular work. We must maintain height helmet wearing head or approximately 5 kilograms. The back muscles are also involved. Throughout the training, it is necessary to support the bust resting on the handlebars. All these muscles are not slow to tire and express their pain.

Relieve lower back also relieves up!

As to ease back pain, be less bent forward, raise a little your stem, you'll have less to look up! Change your position frequently, stand up from time to time. Thus, you reduce the work of the neck muscles and you lower the stress on the cervical discs. You have less pain in upper back!

Keep your neck warm

In the neck area there are many nerve receptors that inform the body of the surrounding temperature. Therefore, cervical muscles are very sensitive to cold. At the slightest gust of wind, they can be painful contractures victim. Take care to wear clothing that covers your neck. Fortunately, even cyclists summer suits have a closed neck unlike Jersey Running! In winter, be even more vigilant. The jumper near the body must have a collar-type "hat". Before departure, please coat the neck and upper back with a heating ointment

Stretch and strengthen your neck: the gym cyclist neck

To help the neck muscles to recover, it is good to stretch gently.
Gently bend the neck and upper back forward. Tilt your head to the left and turn gently to the right. Keep the position 20 to 30 seconds. Straighten up slowly and change side.

This movement can be performed after release, in the shower. Under these conditions combine the benefits of stretching, heat and water massage thanks to the pressure of the jet. This exercise can also be performed during your outing, during a break. It helps the muscle to loosen especially when he begins to contracturer.

So that the muscles of the neck and upper back are able to work throughout your workout, must be strengthened!

fingers crossed behind his head. Straighten the neck and stand with your hands. Keep position 6 seconds. Collect 6 seconds. Do the exercise 10 to 20 times.
Right hand resting on his right temple. Push with head on palm resistant. Keep the position 6 seconds. Collect 6 seconds. Do the exercise 10 to 20 times on each side.
Standing knee slightly bent, leaning slightly torso forward while keeping the back straight. Without load or with light dumbbells, up the arm above the head 20 to 40 times.
In the same position, spread your arms to the side 20 to 40 times.
Make 10-30 pumps laying hands on a table. All five movements keep an intermediate position 6 seconds. So you play the muscular constraints of support on the handlebars.

Perform the "gym of the cyclist's neck," 1 to 2 times per week, on the days you are not going to roll.

Relieve your knees

At the beginning of training or the kilometers, in the ribs or sending large gears, the front of your knee becomes painful. Sometimes you experience crackles or projections.

This is probably a pain your kneecaps. A deep to this small disk-shaped bone, there is a smooth coating and precious: the cartilage. It is vital to the slip joint parts. When he wears the body can not repair it! So be careful!

It is crushing the ball that hurts

When pedaling motion, the ball slides in a corridor dug into the femur, the thigh bone. On his journey, the ball can be compressed or bumping in several ways. Pushing large developments, the strong contraction of the thigh and is planing crushes your patella on the femur. Conversely, if your leg is too weak and poorly coordinated, the ball oscillates on its course and crashes into the shores of bony groove in which it slides. If your foot is fixed in a clipless pedal whose rotations are limited or blocked, your leg can not follow the natural pivot of the knee. The ball hung on your shin risk rub excessively on one side of the bone corridor.

Moulinez on small gear to relieve your knees.

By quickly turning the legs over small developments, the ball is much less crushed. More preferably, the alternation of small pressure variation on cartilage maintenance and texture contributes to suck its nutrients from the blood.

Shoot the pedals.

By actively bending the knee on one side to lift the pedal, you relieve all the extension of the other. You reduce the contraction of the quadriceps, the muscle on the front of the thigh, and you decrease the crushing of the ball.

Mount the saddle to decompress the joint.

When the saddle is too low, the knee is flexed in high position. The quadriceps is too tight and crushes the patella on the femur. Take care of your saddle height control and check that the shaft has not insidiously down!

Free spins on your clipless pedals.

Thus, during knee extension movement, the foot rotates freely and naturally on the pedal. Ankle, tibia, patella and the femur is aligned spontaneously. The ball is stuck on one side and does not rub on the banks of its bony corridor.

Strengthen your legs and Soften the gym with the rider's thighs

To avoid your ball is too compressed to the femur, to support its entry into the bone corridor must stretch the thigh.
Lying on his stomach. Bring the heel toward the buttock. Contract your abs to not cheat by digging back.

Keep the position for 30 seconds then increase the voltage for 10 seconds. Do 3 times the exercise, alternating right side and left side.

To better stabilize your kneecap when browsing in the femoral groove, to avoid unwanted friction on the banks, we must strengthen your thigh.
The half-squat rider: Main resting on a table as if holding a handlebar bend your knees to a comparable amplitude pedaling about 110 ┬░. Step back in good rhythm. Stop exercising if he reproduces your pedaling pains.

Do 2 to 3 sets of 20-40 repetitions. Collect 30 seconds between each.

Relieve your wrists

While you ride for a good hour, you feel tingling in your hands. This numbness affects mainly the index and middle fingers. That is very different from the diffuse perception of "dead fingers" long winter outings characteristics. This time he is suffering from a nerve in the wrist.

This is entrapment of a nerve that causes numbness of the hand.

The "median nerve", as the name suggests, runs through the middle of the palm of the hand. It can be compressed between the bones of the wrist and the handlebars too long when you keep the same support on the handlebar. If, in addition, you allow your wrist hang hyperextended, the nerve is stretched!

Often change the position of your hands!

The joints are made to articulate! The movement is beneficial to our musculoskeletal system you learned during spinal pain, it is also true at the wrist. By changing how you hold the handlebars, you vary the support points and the median nerve is not permanently crushed and less suffering.

Keep a tonic posture wrists.

Do not break your wrists. Your hand and forearm should remain aligned. In this attitude, the median nerve maintains a straight path, it is not twisted and you will have trouble.

Wear gloves, use a cushioned handlebar tape.

The vibrations of the road directly affect the hanger and wrist. To reduce vibration on the nerve fleece gloves and a thick bar tape are beneficial.

A medical consultation can be helpful.

If these tips are not enough to eliminate your pain, your doctor sport is required. It must specify the diagnosis: is this really the disc, the ball or the nerve that hurts? And even if recommendations of "Cyclo Health" remain rigorous, medications and some physical therapy can be helpful to complete the treatment.

Doctor St├ęphane CASCUA. - 31 juillet 2009.

Conflicts of interest: the author or authors have no conflicts of interest concerning the data published in this article.


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