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Preventing Overuse Injuries

Preventing Overuse Injuries
This is the most important part. Ideally you have read this article, understand the problems and possibilities of this pain occurring and want to get on with something to prevent it’s onset before it occurs halfway up a mountain somewhere. I would suggest a two pronged attack from the beginning of you training regime:

1. Consult a good cycling specific sports physiotherapist

The pre-participation physical exam from a cycling specialist sports physiotherapist is an excellent opportunity to ask about, and address previous overuse injuries. The cyclist should be counselled about increasing activity using the “10% rule”—increasing distance and intensity by 10% each week during early- season and build-up periods. Athletes who have a history of overuse injuries should be examined for weakness and flexibility deficits and may benefit from early-season stretching and strengthening programs such as those detailed below. A pre- and post workout stretching routine is important for continuous pain-free riding.

Weakness of the quadriceps, hamstrings, or hip flexors may be assessed by manually testing resisted extension of the knee, flexion of the knee, and flexion of the hip, respectively. More accurate, quantifiable results can be obtained by performing mechanical isokinetic testing with a commercial machine such as the Biodex System 3 (Biodex Medical Systems, Inc, Shirley, New York). Flexibility of the quadriceps, ITB, gluteals and hamstrings and lower back musculature should be assessed simply and manually.

Progressive strengthening exercises are warranted for patients who have muscle weakness. Initial activities include isometric quadriceps and hamstring exercises, such as quad sets and hamstring sets. Isotonic exercises such as straight-leg extension and flexion are the next phase in strengthening. Finally, patients perform eccentrically resisted knee flexion and extension with weights. A prescribed flexibility program such as the one shown below focusing on the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteals, low back and ITB is important and should be a regular part of a cyclist’s training regimen.

2. Routinely undertake a stretching regime specifically developed to prevent patellofemoral pain in cyclists

If you click here you will be taken to the Biomechanical Stretching and Correction Program, which has been developed for cyclists.

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