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Cycling

Chiropractic Care for all age groups

People from all age groups can benefit from Chiropractic care. From Small children, the elderly, pregnant woman to amateur or Olympic athletes.   It is safe for the whole family. Anyone who suffers from specific musculoskeletal problems can benefit from Chiropractic care.  A chiropractor’s goal is to focus on the health of the spine.  They perform adjustments (hands on spinal manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems, alleviating pain, improving function and mobility, increasing vitality and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself without surgery or medication.

Normally, we tend to think of adults only with bad backs or those who have been injured on the job that need to seek chiropractic care. This is not the case,  all age groups stands to benefit from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care is suited to each individual’s age, condition and spinal problem. Generally children have more mobile joints than adults so they require less force in order to attain the desired effect of the adjustment. Where as Senior citizens receive gentle chiropractic adjustments to accommodate their sensitive bones.

There are many reasons why we should seek chiropractic care for all age groups. They are:

Strong Immune System

A healthy central nervous system and a strong immune system go hand in hand. Our nervous system runs through the spine and it works with the immune system in order for the body to adapt to various conditions and heal appropriately when required. Spinal misalignments can cause neural dysfunctions and these are stressful to the body which lead to a weak immune response.

So when the CNS sends and receives messages efficiently, other systems and functions in the body are able to work properly and competently. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to boost the immune system. Therefore by allowing a chiropractor to adjust your spine, especially on a continual basis,  your body systems (nervous, endocrine and immune) naturally get a boost. The immune system is responsible for fighting off illness,  so you’ll be feeling healthier overall.

An Increase in Energy

Many people do not realise how much and how often tension can build up in the body. Simple spinal adjustments can help your body release tension in your muscles and alleviate any pain you may have. As the tension is released, the body is able to relax thus allowing you to sleep better.  Less pain and more sleep allows your energy levels to rise naturally.

Energy flows through your nerves and your nerves distribute the energy throughout your body. When your spine is aligned properly, your nervous system keeps the flow of energy balanced. But when your spine is misaligned, it causes kinks in your nerves interfering with energy flow. The result is that persistent feeling of fatigue that makes it difficult to get through the day. You can sleep all day and all night, but until your spine is returned to proper alignment, that feeling of fatigue will continue to drain you.

Improved Digestion

The digestive system links to the nervous system. The nervous system controls various aspects of your digestive function. For example, the nerves in the thoracic and lumbar regions of your spine control the pace at which your body digests food. If any of the numerous nerves in your spine are not functioning properly, problems with digestion can easily arise.

When the spine is not aligned, stress and strain is placed on the nerves. Thus leaving the nerves incapable of sending out the necessary signals to your digestive system to trigger them to work properly. A chiropractor can safely and gently correct your spine through spinal manipulation. For this reason your body starts to become healthier, especially along the spine and the central nervous system. Digestion is now able to move more freely. The body is then able to process foods and eliminate toxins faster, leaving you feeling better than ever.

Care Plan

Chiropractors will tailor a specific care plan for you that takes into account a number of factors. These can include: results of nerve function scans or x-rays, and any physical examination findings. The type of tissue involved? (eg. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc, organ). How long you have had the condition? The intensity of the pain and the amount of inflammation you are experiencing. The presence of any unavoidable aggravating factors to your condition (eg. your occupation or degeneration). The chiropractor evaluates a patient’s particular spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Therefore each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patients with each visit building on the one before.

Remember that everyone from all age groups can benefit from chiropractic care. Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or suffering from chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Sports Injuries and Chiropractic Care

Whether you play sports at an amateur or professional level. As an athlete the demands of running, jumping, throwing or tackling can result in painful tears, sprains, and strains. People of all ages suffer from some form of sports injury in their lives and getting back to playing again is the most important thing. Chiropractors are trained to deal with a wide range of sports injuries from Achilleshamstring, calf, groin, thigh strains to tennis elbowneck back or a shoulder sprain. By getting your injury assessed and treated this will not only get you back on your feet faster, but also screen out any bad habits that can lead to further injury.

Sports Injuries

“Sports injuries” are injuries that happen when playing sports, exercising or involved in any active play. During many sports, body contact, fast stops and starts, and positioning place an unusual amount of strain on the spine and structural system.  The Muscles, Joints and ligaments can be affected from overuse, trauma or repetitive motions. Some are from accidents. Others can result from poor training practices or improper gear. Not warming up or stretching enough before you play or exercise can also lead to injuries. The most common sports injuries are:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Swollen muscles
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations

Types of Sports Injuries

There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness
  • A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.

Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time. Signs of a chronic injury include:

  • Pain when you play
  • Pain when you exercise
  • A dull ache when you rest
  • Swelling

Importance of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors can help athletes with sports injuries by relieving their pain and helping them heal faster after an injury. Regular visits will promote quicker recovery after games and training as well as better balance and overall performance. Chiropractors are skilled in the manual adjustment of the spine. They ensure that bones are lined up and balanced, which helps relieve tension in the body. This allows the body to function better and become less susceptible to injury.

The goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or enhance joint function while resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. This hands-on therapy is often used to treat neck or back injuries but also relieves pain throughout the joints and muscles in the body. In addition to treating injuries, chiropractors can also help you prevent injuries from occurring.  It is recommended that you get evaluated by a chiropractor before you start your sport or exercise regimen. They can check your muscles and spine to detect imbalance and alleviate tension so that the body can work naturally rather than be prone to injury.

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or if you suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury and to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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burn-in-saddle

How to feel a better burn in the saddle

Sport specific training is a must, whether you are a weekend warrior who goes cycling on the weekend to grab a coffee with a couple of mates or looking to take your pedal to the next level. Not only will it reduce the risk to injury, it will also increase performance. In the previous blog “5 ways to get the best from your pedal” we introduced the concepts of the power phase (12 o’clock to 6 o’clock) and the recovery phase (6 o’clock) and discussed the prime movers of each phase of cycling. It may be worth a re read to fill in any blanks and to go back over the benefits of adequate rest and recovery.

Sport specific training is important to ensure the proper muscle rations and motor firing patterns are in place for efficient and effective performance. Before beginning any exercise it is important to get a good warm up in, and currently dynamic warms ups are considered the gold standard (click here for a quick and easy dynamic warm up perfect for any aerobic exercise). Here are my top 4 exercise to build a solid foundation next time you are on the bike:

Plank on swiss ball:

“You can’t fire cannons out of a row boat”. Power starts from good lumbo-pelvic stabilisation. If you are new to the plank we can begin on the floor and progress to a swiss ball as we get stronger and more confident.

  • To begin, laying on the floor on our belly, position the forearms flat of the floor elbows underneath shoulders
  • We want to switch on the core and make a straight line from our heads down to our hips
  • If this is your first plank or experience back pain we can rest on our knees, or straighten the legs.
  • Hold for as long as possible and try and increase the time by 10% every time you repeat.
  • When we feel we are getting bored on the floor it is time to introduce the swiss ball. Same position but this time we are activating the core more by being on an unstable surface
  • When you are feeling really confident we can begin to write letters or word with the swiss ball under our forearms.

Squats:

  • Stand with the feet hip width apart, knees in line with the big toe, spine chest and pelvis in a neutral position.
  • Lower the pelvis posteriorly as if going to sit in a chair, ensuring the knees do not track in front of the toes, or collapse in our out from the starting position.
  • Continue lowering the hips until they are in line with the knees
  • Rise back up slowly to the starting position.
  • When these become easy, we can progress to a single leg squat.

Start with 2 sets of 6 and progress up until 3 sets of 12 then it is time to progress or increase weight.

Single leg deadlift

  • Begin standing in a neutral position feet hip width apart.
  • Place the weght of your body through the right heel and bending at the hip and keeping the left leg straight extend it behind the body.
  • The right leg should keep about a 20° bend at the knee to help switch on the glutes.
  • When you get the legs 90° from one another pause, and return to the starting position.
  • We can progress this exercise by lifting up a kettlebell or dumbbell, but care must be taken to ensure we are not rotating through the hips and our back and extended leg are in a straight line

*A little tip to ensure the hips do not rotate when we extend one leg off the ground is to ensure the lifted legs toes always point towards the ground. Start with 2 sets of 6 and progress up until 3 sets of 12 then it is time to progress or increase weight.

Heel raises

  • Step up on to a set of stair steps and hold onto the wall or stair railing. You can also use a sturdy chair.
  • Place the balls of your feet on the step and slowly let your heels sink down
  • Raise your heels as high as you can.
  • Go down as low as you can.
  • Repeat at least 5 times to begin with, moving up to 10, 15, 20 over time. Repeated use of this exercise will strengthen your calf muscles and loosen tight foot muscles over time.

Gradual progression is the key to any strength exercises, never exceed the previous session by 10% to reduce risk of overload injury, and as always if any pain presents consult a qualified health care practitioner.

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cycling

5 ways to get the best from your pedal

Cycling is predominately a lower limb sport. The main movers of the posterior chain are the hamstrings, gluteals and the calves and are active when out of the saddle. When in the saddle the anterior chain (hip flexors and quadriceps) drive the pedals down and around. To get more from your next cycle, give these 5 tips a try to increase performance and endurance. We begin in the saddle with the pedal at 12 o’clock and see the gluteals, quadriceps drive movement on the downward sweep of the pedal. On the way back up the hamstrings and hip flexor take up the load to return the pedal back from 6pm to 12.

Strength

When we focus on strength training for cycling we need to focus on the major groups and the ratios at which they perform optimally rather focusing on isolated muscle work. As well as building strength in the lower trunk, the core should never be neglected. A solid foundation to build on includes:
1. Dynamic warm-up
2. Squats
3. Single leg deadlift
4. Heel raises
5. Adequate rest and nutrition
This combination of exercises will ensure we get the most out of the prime movers and allow us to go stronger and for longer in the saddle.

Sport Specific

It’s all good and well to be super strong through the legs but it wont make a difference if we aren’t conducting sport specific training. Alternating between seated and standing effort on hill climbs is a simple way to incorporate strength and endurance training whilst on the pedals. When we put in the efforts on the hill climbs it is best to crank up the gears to put some added resistance into the legs, put the head down and suck in the deep breaths until we reach the top.

Rest and Recovery

Adequate rest and recovery is a key area in any sport, it includes alternating between heavy and light day/weeks stretching and eating a healthy balance diet. When our muscles fatigue the little fibres that come together to form the muscle tear and reform (this is the basic principle of increasing muscle mass). When these tears and adhesions occur, they often led to a shortening effect. Stretching helps to maintain length in the muscles by breaking these adhesions and keeping length in the muscles. You can check out my lower limber section for a full repertoire of lower limb stretches perfect for cyclist.

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