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According to an industry survey, more than 100 million Americans ride a bike each year. Some ride recreationally or for exercise, some bike to work or school, and others race competitively. No matter the kind of riding they do, all riders face some of the same challenges, such as risk for falling, overuse injuries, and improper alignment due to a poor bike fit. That's where physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) come in.

A feature in this month’s PT in Motion magazine explores the PT's role in helping cyclists avoid injury, not just recover from it. Author Keith Loria interviewed several competitive cyclists, as well as PTs who have helped cyclists of all types.

Alex Fraser-Maraun, an emerging elite Canadian road cyclist, said it was after he saw a PT that he learned his injuries “all stemmed from poor training and recovery practices, and from poor bike fits." Fraser-Maraun credits his therapist, Erik Moen, PT, with helping him return to racing. Moen notes, "Physical therapy can help bicyclists achieve their goals by identifying musculoskeletal limiters in their ability to pedal well and maintain positions consistent with bicycling."

Clinicians also share advice for recreational riders, who often experience overuse injuries, or back, neck, or knee pain. Robert Wellmon, PT, DPT, PhD, who also is a competitive cyclist, told PT in Motion, "One of the best ways to avoid these problems is having a bike that fits well: the seat is the right height and width, and aligned properly."

Pedaling Past Injury" is featured in the July issue of PT in Motion magazine and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them one of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

Working with patients who are cyclists? Have them check out MoveForwarPT.com's "Tips for Health Cycling" page.


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