Stretching for Bike Injuries

Motion Blur Frozen

IT Band Syndrome

IT band injuries typically affect cyclists and runners.  The band runs up the entire outside of each leg.  Injuries tend to occur in the thinnest spot of the band by the knee joint, making the joint feel loose or ‘empty.’  Sometimes the routine itself can cause the injury, such as running on only one side of a road on your regular route (when the road is sloped, one leg will extend further than the other, causing imbalance and straining the given leg).

The best way to start off treatment is R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate).  But there are specific IT band stretches.  Using a bench or couch, drop your leg back behind the rest of your body and even let the leg fall over the side and hang there.  Rest in that position upwards of ten to fifteen minutes.  You can add a light ankle weight to build up the relevant muscles and add some pressure to the band.

Hamstring Strain

hamstring sea stretch

The immediate treatment for a strained hamstring is the common prescription R.I.C.E.  One of the main stretches for the hammy is the seated hamstring stretch.  Sitting on the floor and bending forward, the arms reach out for the tips of the feet.  This can be done with the feet extended straight forward or to the sides if your arms are too short or back not as flexible (like below).

Seated Hamstring Stretch

 

Sciatica

My screwy back, MRI, London, UK

This is a condition defined by lower back pain that radiates into the sciatic nerve of the leg. Pain can be focused in the glutes or present more as a firey, tingling feeling in the back of the leg. While it might be caused by strain from biking, it’s also common for pregnant women. But more critically, these aforementioned symptoms could be evidence of a more severe spinal injury like a herniated disk.

Rest and heat therapy are common prescriptions.  But different causes prescribe different specific treatments.  Some might call for the same hamstring-nursing exercises mentioned above.  Pilates exercises might also help strengthen the legs and the glutes.

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