Where the Rubber Meets the Road: How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Cyclists

In the middle of summer it’s hard to miss all the cyclists hitting the road for fitness and training for upcoming events. Even if you’re an experienced cyclist, there are steps you can take to help ensure that when you head out to hit the road, the road doesn’t hit back. We offer our take on a few things that can make your miles smoother and what cyclist doesn’t want that?

If The Bike Fits…Ride It

Although more seasoned riders may know that a bike fitting is a good idea, those new to the sport or less-serious hobby cyclists may pick up a used bike, install a new seat, etc and end up causing problems down the (literal) road when they don’t have a proper fit with the equipment. You wouldn’t expect a distance runner to buy a pair of shoes without making sure the fit is appropriate; however, some do and end up with injuries because a professional fitting would have achieved the best shoe for their body/stride/goals. A cyclist isn’t much different, and a bicycle is slightly more complicated equipment than a pair of shoes. The concept is the same: you want the right fit between your body and your bike. This article on Bicycling.com details what they feel the three most important aspects of your bike fit are. More experienced riders may feel comfortable determining fit for themselves, while some would definitely benefit from a visit with a pro. By figuring the proper seat height, your reach to the handle bars, and more you’ll ensure a much more comfortable and healthy ride.

Try Physical Therapy to See Gains

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently published an article in their PT in Motion newsletter that described how some world-class cyclists saw major gains and a rise to the top of their field after seeing a physical therapist. The cyclists had treated individual injuries individually, not realizing that they were all part of a larger whole. After seeing a physical therapist, the cyclists were evaluated and the work to establish proper, healthy riding mechanics began. The cyclists worked with the physical therapists as well as at home on a home-based plan; the cyclists profiled saw tremendous benefits in their riding and reduced their risk of future injury. The physical therapy addressed riding mechanics that increased injury risk and corrected them to healthy movement patterns that would support the cyclists as they continued in their sport. If you’re noticing pain, stiffness, or discomfort after your rides, or you just aren’t making the progress you should be, try a PT who can help keep your wheels spinning.

If you’re a cyclist looking to improve your rides and help ward off injury, or to recover from existing movement problems, we can help. Body One Physical Therapy is locally-owned and has four locations serving central Indiana: North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and ZionsvilleNot only do our providers know a thing or two about cycling, but you might even share the road with one of them! Call today and let us help you ride faster on the road to personal health!