Running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th 2016, the 103rd Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 2200 miles.

The race was first organised in 1903 by Henri Desgrange to increase sales of the failing magazine L’Auto.

The most spectated sporting event in the world is brutal. Henri Desgrange said that his perfect race was to be so hard that only one finisher would make it to Paris. In 1926 the race was 3570 miles, there were night stages, frequent fights between teams and intoxication was rife. While doping scandals seem to be ingrained in the modern tour, riders in the early years of the race survived on rations of caffeine, amphetamines and alcohol!

The last decade has seen a cycling phenomenon in the UK.  Consequently, at froc we are now treating a lot of middle age men and women in Lycra.

Whilst the two most common cycling injuries are fractures and skin loss from accidents, froc is at hand to help with the numerous musculoskeletal injuries you guys endure.

The list of cycling injuries is exhaustive but here’s a couple that are in the clinic every week:

1. LOW BACK PAIN

The spine is often very static in road cycling, held in a fixed aerodynamic position for hours on end. This position helps generate power from the legs through to the pedals.

Unfortunately for some this can lead to herniated lumbar discs and sciatica. The spine has evolved to chase animals across the savannah, not to sit on a carbon bike chasing your rival up the Galibier!

A poor bike fit is often the problem. Too large a frame results in over reaching, too small a frame results in a hunched posture.

At froc we often find that cyclists take advantage of the quiet roads and venture out early in the morning. This is a bad time for your discs as they are at their highest pressure. Overnight your discs absorb all the fluid lost during the previous day. The last thing they want is to be is squashed on a bike.

If you can, cycle later in the day, get mobile, walk the dog, post a letter or go for a run. Weight bearing exercise will help decrease disc pressure and potentially reduce back problems.

Cycling is a fantastic way to get fit but can be one dimensional for the body. If you’re a frequent biker try to cross train to mix it up. Yoga, Pilates, football, running or tennis, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as your using your body in a different way.

 

2. KNEE PAIN….patellar tendonitis

The patella tendon connects the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shin bone). It sits just underneath the knee cap and is often injured by riding a seat that is too low, hitting the big gears for too long or going out too hard too early…this could be me!

Because of this the gluteal muscles (buttocks) aren’t being utilised as they should be. The body naturally opts for plan B, which is a huge demand on the quadriceps. Consequently, your overworked and fatigued quadriceps then opt for plan C which is a huge increase in force through the patella tendon. Plan D is your visit to froc!

Advice:

  • Raise the height of your seat.
  • Increase your cadence, spin faster for longer.
  • To manage the above you’ll need to bite the bullet and slide down into a lower gear….they’ll never know!
  • Start out slower, use the first 5 – 10 km to warm up 
  • Come and see us at froc, some of you will be more prone to knee pain than others. It could be previous injury, body type or genetics. We will identify why you are suffering and offer solutions.

Ring us on 01342 823722 or email at admin@froc.co.uk