What is Cyclist's Syndrome?
The conditions related to cyclist syndrome are IT band syndrome, Piriformis Syndrome and Patellar Tendinitis. The muscles involved with cycling exercises are hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius and soleus in the calf. Quadriceps and hamstrings do most of the work when you ride the bike. When those involved muscles become too tight and painful after cycling we called it cyclist syndrome.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
If you are a cyclist who suffers lower back pain, knee pain and pain down the back of the thigh or reduced range of motion of the hip joint, sore calves, you might have Cyclist's Syndrome.
How do we treat this condition with remedial massage and myotherapy?
1. Deep tissue massage
Most cyclists have muscle tension on hamstrings and quadriceps,we use deep tissue massage technique to help stimulate blood flow and relieve muscle tension at the begin of the treatment plan, while at the same time lowering psychological stress.
2. Myofascial Release
When people have cyclist's syndrome, their hips and legs muscles become very tense and have a poor range of motion, so Myofascial Release is a great technique to help cyclists to return the body as closely as possible to balanced structural alignment as to allow greater flexibility and ease of movement. However, Myofascial Release aims to:
*lengthen contracted muscle tissue
*Increase range of motion
3. Dry needling
We use needles to insert into skin and muscle directly in order to stimulate a myofascial trigger point, why dry needling very helpful for this condition? Because some of the trigger points involved with muscles of cyclist's syndrome are very big and it's hard to reach the deep layer muscle if we use massage techniques. And dry needling is very helpful to release tight muscle bands (such as IT Band) that are associated with trigger point.
4. Muscle Energy Technique (Muscle stretching)
Muscle Energy Technique is the most effective and safe technique for muscle stretching in remedial massage. Cyclists often have very tight muscles around the hip because of the position that sitting on the bicycle and with really bad range of motion. Common muscles such as TFL, Gluteus Medius, Piriformis are the main muscles caused ITB syndrome. Muscle Energy Technique involves isometric contraction before stretching. Clients use minimal force during the isometric contraction and this followed by passive stretching. Muscle stretching for cyclists is very helpful for them to prevent the injury and may benefit for the cyclists to better prepare the body for cycling.
How to maintain?
Choose the suitable bicycle
Bike set -up is very important for every cyclist, if the bike sit is too high or too low, it's really easily to cause the injury. Cyclist should ask the professional suggestions to choose the right bike.
Stretching is very important for most of the activities. During the long period of the cycling, cyclists should take the rest and stretching in between. And after activity is the most important time to do stretching. It helps relax the tight muscles and avoid chronic injury.
Rolling IT band
After cycling, the most tight muscle is the IT Band, it cause a lot of pain for knee and hip, we suggest client can use the roller to roll the IT Band muscle after activity, or can use the silicon cup to do sliding cupping on IT Band to release the muscle tightness. Doing self-maintenance can help avoid getting ITB syndrome or Patellar Tendinitis.