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Le Tour De France: Breaking the Back of it! Part 1

Part 1 of this post discusses the potential mechanisms of lower back pain (LBP) in cyclists and part 2 will focus on ways of reducing the risk of the occurrence of lower back pain and how cyclists can help manage any back pain they experience.

Lower Back Pain in Cyclists

With the tour under way I thought it appropriate to discuss a common complaint reported by cyclists. There have been reports that up to 60% of regular cyclists experience LBP at some point either during a race or within their lifetime. There is limited research into the prevalence and cause of LBP in the cycling population, however there are several potential factors that could contribute to its development.

If we were to analyse the position of the rider during to cycling we would probably find that the hips is always in a state of flexion (bent), the pelvis alters between forward and backward tilted positions, and the spine is in a forward flexed (bent) position. This has been described as an anti-natural position (De Vey Mestdagh, 1998). This position could have several implications on the state of the body such as changes to the muscles and the vertebrae of the spine, and ultimately resting posture. Read more..

How Effective is Sports Massage?

I have seen an increase in individuals seeking a sports massage, they present complaining of tightness, reduced range of movement (ROM) and commonly pain. I have received a great deal of positive feedback coming from many of my clients. But Just how effective is sports massage? What does the evidence say?

Several of my clients have presented with a chronic pain in the lower back, initially I assessed the muscle tone of their back and dealt with increased muscle tone and “tightness” I found. This provided initial relief from the pain and stiffness felt by the individuals. Improvements in lower back pain (LBP) have been reported with the use of massage within the literature (Preyde, 2000; Field et al., 2007). As well as improvements in pain, improvements in function, LBP related anxiety and sleep disturbance have also been reported. This would suggest that massage could be hugely beneficial to address the major issues related with LBP, if people can relieve their pain, improve their function and reduce their worry about their back then they can carry on with their daily activities.

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The Insidious Hamstring

Managing Hamstring Injuries: Acute and Recurrent

 Injury Mechanism in Brief…

Strains or injury to the hamstring are very common in sports involving rapid knee extension or maximal eccentric loading of the hamstring. This involves sports that consist of jumping, kicking and bursts of acceleration and deceleration.

Injury occurs when an athlete exceeds the mechanical limits that the muscle can withstand. The hamstring muscle crosses both the hip and the knee joint and contributes to hip extension and knee flexion. This causes potential problems during the sprint cycles as the hip and knee are driven into extension. Therefore one portion of the muscle is shortening to extend the hip and the other lengthening with knee extension. It is in situations where the muscle is placed under high, rapid tension or overstretched where mechanical limits are exceeded and injuries such as strains occur.

Read more..