Cycling has become more popular in the last few years, helped by the success of Team GB and the Tour de France expanding onto these shores. Also, many cyclists find it an economic use of time to cycle to work which enables both exercise and the avoidance of public transport. I think this is a great thing because more cycling equals fewer cars, so, good for us physically and environmentally.
One morning when I set to work in the car, I saw that the A40 was backed up. Desperate to get to my first appointment on time, I returned home and grabbed the only functioning bike available, which was … my son’s BMX. I got few amused looks that morning.
With the many different types of bikes available and the different body positions they require, there are a great many related complaints that our patients present with. Anything from altered sensation in the hands, shoulder strain, ligament sprain in the lower back, hip pain and pelvic floor imbalance which can also alter sensation in the saddle region. Yes, men can also suffer pelvic floor disorders, especially if they have a disagreement with their bike seat.
Whatever the type of bike and whatever the use (commuting, stunts, racing, endurance) it makes sense to get the bike professionally matched to your body. You may struggle if you have legs too long for your body or body too long for your legs, however subtle alteration to seat and handle bar angles may help.
Make sure the condition of your muscles and other tissues suit the purpose too. I did not suffer too badly with my sprint into work on the BMX, but I would not be able to do that every day.
They may be out of fashion with the racing fraternity, but I like those big old Dutch bikes on which you can sit upright without straining your back or your neck. Two great things about “old school” sit-up bikes are the nice fat sprung saddles that don’t cut off the blood supply to the pudendal nerve, (in your saddle region), and the tall position of the handle bars so that you don’t have to lean half of your body weight through your shoulders and wrists. These bikes are great for a daily commute.