We have recently seen an uptick of patients that are dedicated cyclers but are experiencing pelvic floor issues both in our male and female treatment population. While cycling is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors, it can put a lot of strain on your body, particularly your pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor muscles are what you are actually sitting on as you are cycling.The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that span from the front at the pubic bone to the back at the tailbone. The muscles surround our urethra, vagina and anus. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a type of therapy that aims to improve the function of the pelvic floor muscles.
Cycling can be particularly hard on the pelvic floor muscles. The repetitive motion of cycling can cause the muscles to become weak or tense.
Some of the most common conditions that we see with both genders:
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Pudendal nerve irritation
A Part of these issues can be attributed to the decreased blood flow that the pelvic floor muscles get from sitting on a bike seat. A recent study found oxygen levels dropped 20% within 20 minutes of riding a bike.
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help address these issues by:
- Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles
- Improving flexibility
- Improved posture and body mechanics while riding
This can help reduce pain and discomfort while cycling, and can also prevent future problems from developing. This can also help reduce the pressure on the perineum and prevent injury.
If you’re an avid cyclist, we want you to enjoy the many benefits of cycling without compromising your pelvic health. Schedule a discovery session with one of our pelvic floor physical therapists to learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy and how it can benefit you!