Cycling Stretches and Flexibility Exercises: Page 2 of 4

Training & Health

09/23/2008| 0 comments
by Brad Walker

Cycling Stretches and Flexibility Exercises

Improve your performance and reduce the risk of future injuries.

the top of the knee cap. The pain will subside with rest and the inflammation usually responds to ice and NSAIDs during rest. Flexibility training during rehabilitation helps to reduce the chance of bursitis recurring.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) : The iliotibial band is actually a thick tendon-like portion of another muscle called the tensor fasciae latae. This band passes down the outside of the thigh and inserts just below the knee. The main problem occurs when the tensor fasciae latae muscle and iliotibial band become tight. This causes the tendon to pull the knee joint out of alignment and rub against the outside of the knee, which results in inflammation and pain. Flexibility of the hips and quadriceps are important in preventing ITB syndrome.

Patellar Tendonitis : Patellar tendonitis may be an acute injury, caused by trauma to the tendon. More commonly it is due to overuse, or incorrect pedaling form. The tendon rubs over the bone and causes inflammation that aggravates the condition, leading to a cycle of inflammation and pain. A lot of mileage during training can lead to this condition. Treatment for tendonitis includes discontinuation of the activity that caused the problem, NSAIDs, and ice.

Lower Back Pain : The riding position on the bike, especially during road racing, can cause pain in the lower back due to poor posture or fatigue. The muscles in the lower back can become fatigued during a long session of cycling and extended time in the same position may lead to the muscles becoming tight. This pain usually subsides with rest and stretching. Pressure on the intervertebral discs may require medical help to relieve.

Muscle Strains : Muscle strains are sometimes caused by overstretching or working against an extreme load. They may also be caused by overtraining a muscle and not allowing for rest and recovery. The muscle fibers tear causing inflammation and bruising within the muscle. The resulting pain may lead to a guarding of the muscle and stiffness will set in due to scarring. Muscle strains range from severe, large numbers of fibers and a large area of the muscle, to minor, involving a small number of fibers. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication are used to treat muscle strains. (For more treatment details, see our R.I.C.E.R. article )

Fractures: A fracture occurs when a bone breaks. It can be a partial or complete break and may be inline or compound. When an extreme force is applied to a bone, either across the bone, or via rotational or compressive force, then the bone may break. The larger the bone, the greater the force required to fracture it. The higher speeds of cyclists today has also led to more severe fractures, and fractures to the larger humerus and femur. Fractures require immediate medical attention and must be immobilized to prevent further injury. Fractures usually require at least four to six weeks for recovery, with compound and large bone fractures requiring even more time.

Traumatic Brain Injury : Bike accidents can easily lead to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Acute damage to

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