Neck pain is one of the most common complaints from cyclists – and it’s no wonder! We cyclists spend a lot of waking hours in the same position with our backs bent in a forward position, placing great demands on the neck. We sit bent over driving, we sit bent over at our desks, and we sit bent over our handlebars, spinning pedal strokes down the road. Over time, all those hours in that forward-leaning position, on and off the bike, can lead to increased load and stress on muscles, ligaments, and joints of the spine.

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints from cyclists – and it’s no wonder! We cyclists spend a lot of waking hours in the same position with our backs bent in a forward position, placing great demands on the neck. We sit bent over driving, we sit bent over at our desks, and we sit bent over our handlebars, spinning pedal strokes down the road. Over time, all those hours in that forward-leaning position, on and off the bike, can lead to increased load and stress on muscles, ligaments, and joints of the spine.

Bike fitting focuses on the cyclist’s contact points on the bike—foot and pedal interface, saddle, and stem and handlebars—and includes a thorough assessment of the cyclist’s body and cycling biomechanics, including videos from the front, side and back. Functional tests should include walking, jogging, single leg squat, balance, etc. A clinical fitter (i.e physical therapist, chiropractor, etc.) may include other tests appropriate for the clinical setting to assess current and prior injuries, neural involvement, joint integrity, range of motion, soft tissue restrictions and the cyclist’s boney architecture.

When the barefoot running and minimalist shoe trend was at its peak, curious runners were advised to transition gradually to more stripped-down footwear. Now it seems that same caution is warranted if you’re moving in the other direction, from traditional trainers to the mega-cushioned models known as maximalist shoes, according to new research.

While running on trails, the angle and location of one’s foot contact is more variable, increasing the demand on the musculature that stabilizes the foot, knee, hip, and trunk. Adding in exercises that challenge these stabilizer muscles, while strengthening the muscles that propel us forward is a great way to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.

While running on trails, the angle and location of one’s foot contact is more variable, increasing the demand on the musculature that stabilizes the foot, knee, hip, and trunk. Adding in exercises that challenge these stabilizer muscles, while strengthening the muscles that propel us forward is a great way to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.

David Standifer, physical therapist and clinic director of Therapeutic Associates Central Point, says, “My purpose is to give my patients activities that will get them back to their regular lives. It’s important to me that people don’t simply live with the pain, but understand that they can do all the activities they love without that nagging discomfort in the background.” It takes hard work on the part of both therapist and patient, but is well worth the effort.

Dr. Christine Pollard, an Oregon State University-Cascades biomechanist and physical therapist found the maximal shoes curious. While much research had been dedicated to minimalist running shoes, Pollard’s new study on maximal shoes is the first to be conducted. Independent from any shoe manufacturer’s influence, Pollard enlisted more than 20 Central Oregon runners to participate in the study.