Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Elbow discomfort? Lateral Epicodylitis?

Epicondylitis is a painful and sometimes disabling inflammation of the muscle and surrounding tissues of the elbow, caused by repeated strain on the forearm near the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, such as from violent extension or supination of the wrist against a resiting force.

The strain may result from activities such as tennis or golf, twisting a screwdriver, carrying a heavy load with the arm extended, or even cycling with a bad bike fit.

If you play any sport enough, you learn of the irritations that can come from, what many in cycling view as, non-sports?

Most cycling folks don't view their game of striking the pedal each time. They don't view the hands & wrists as receiving the road vibrations as causing irritation on their tendons.

Read most of the ways of a better bike fit and they never bring up reasons for irritations. They just proclaim the pedal stroke only or view the fit by recording the watts.

In tennis, one such issue it is know as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is due to irritation of the tendons of the forearm muscles. It can come from a bad wrist position or grip, along with the impact of striking the ball over and over. It can also be caused by too much tape on the grip in relation to your hand size and shape! In other words, the muscles are on all the time, can't release and that tension is sending more energy to the tendons, leading to too much strain from the road surface. In some cases, surgery is needed to release part of the muscle from the epicondyle.

It is very important to know a total body fit for cycling. What is your wrist angle? With many of the newer bars, people are having their bar tape placed over the larger flat area. This alone with the wrong bar angle can cause the irritation of the tendons of the forearm muscles. Your hoods could even be in the wrong place. Any time you have a muscle on, you are using energy!

Of course everyone has the same hand size, the same size upper body, so lets just hang a line and call it good.

When we do a fit, we measure from your toes to your fingers! Then we teach you how to address the bike, which is just as important.

To just jump on a trainer, view the watts, watch some morphed figure on a big screen is not the way to get your bike dialed.

There is a lot more going on in a correct fit than you know!

Get fit by a pro that knows the whole story!

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