Starting to get to the bottom of things
Women's cycling has really taken off in the past year from ladies who have never ridden before to women that ride almost daily. It is fantastic to see and be part of this growth. With my background in cycling it is great to be able to help many women who are new and old to cycling be as comfortable as they can whilst riding. There are many taboo subjects that are very rarely discussed amongst us cyclists but I feel it is so important to talk about these underlying issues as they can be detrimental later on for our bodies. We all know the typical advice we are given to improve flexibility and our core on the bike with specific stretches and exercises. Most of this information is out there on the world wide web and can be extremely useful when done properly. However, saddle discomfort is hardly ever discussed and the we need to start getting to the bottom of it (excuse the pun).
I am seeing more and more female cyclists coming into our clinic with problems sitting on the saddle. Changing their position on the bike greatly improves symptoms as well as getting a new, more supportive saddle. We could cover this all in another blog in its own entirety but I want to focus on what impact saddle soreness can have on your body. Our bodies have a tendency to favour and sit more to one side – we are creatures of habit and get used to being in a certain position. As women due to our anatomy it is more comfortable to sit more to one side which I can first hand agree with I greatly favour sitting more on my left side than my right. Think how long you ride for and how many times your pedals go round multiply this over a few weeks and then months and you can imagine how your body can get used to a set way of riding. We always believe our dominant side is our strongest. I am actually beginning to find that with a lot of cyclists I see in clinic its the exact opposite. Is this due to our position on the bike and because we favour one side more? These are questions I am starting to ask myself more and more and I want to start a study to gain some empirical evidence in this area. I am now treating my cycling patients by highlighting this imbalance and correcting it to try and reduce the dependence and ease to favour one side over the other regardless of habit or dominance.
The article below touches on the subject of cycling injuries and the simply, easy steps to take to help prevent them. In the next Blog I speak further with Total Women’s Cycling to delve deeper into the taboo subject of saddle area.