By Sean Swopes, PT, DPT, CSCS
We’ve all felt those aches and pains after a ride—the tightness in the hips, shooting pain up the knee. Sometimes it’s just an annoyance at work the next day. Other times, it’s so bad you find yourself sitting out a race or underperforming, neither of which is ideal for a 12-race mtb series.
As a physical therapist, the most common issue I treat in athletes is that chronic pain or tightness caused by overuse injuries. When we play a sport, we typically rely on a specific set of muscle(s) to perform; for ballplayers it’s the shoulder, swimmers it’s the scapular (shoulder girdle,) and for us mountain bikers it’s the hips and legs. When you ride, your hips and legs are the first muscles called upon when you want to increase speed or force, and those pistons of yours are often revolving at 80 to 100 reps per minute… pretty easy to see how you could blow a gasket, right?
Gearing Up for Over the Hump
Athletes run into problems when they don’t prepare or take care of the muscles they demand so much from. Here are five ways to avoid overuse injuries so you can compete at your best throughout the Over the Hump series:
For tools and exercises designed by me specifically for my mtb patients, stop by the Rausch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance expo booth before or after your first race. We’ll be there throughout the season, and you won’t be able to miss our “Rehabulance.”
I’ll see you at the starting line!
About Sean Swopes, PT, DPT, CSCS
Sean Swopes, DPT is the “Mountain Biking-PT” at Rausch Physical
Therapy & Sports Performance. Sean graduated from CSU Fullerton with a
bachelor of science in kinesiology. He went on to receive his doctorate in physical therapy in 2015 fromUniversity of St. Augustine, and began his career here at Rausch Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. He is also a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. As a physical therapist, Sean’s goal is to help his patients understand their musculoskeletal impairments and work together to improve them.