When is it a bit more than Saddle Soreness? Cyclists Syndrome!
Everyone expects to be a little bit sore when they get back in the cycling saddle after some time off.
But what about when you have been cycling consistently and you start to get pain or if the soreness persists.
There might be more to it than simple saddle soreness.
Pudendal Neuralgia or Cyclists Syndrome
Cyclists syndrome is known medically as Pudendal Neuralgia. It presents as pain/ burning and or numbness in the crutch area usually 12-24 hours after a cycle.
It is thought to be a result of ongoing trauma to the Pudendal Nerve directly from saddle pressure or by compression from the muscles the nerve passes through in the pelvis. The Pudendal Nerve supplies the genitalia, the rectum and the pelvic floor. Because it involves the nerve the symptoms can also include erectile dysfunction and changes in urinary and/or faecal frequency or control.
The condition is slowly becoming more known about and discussed in cycling circles but because of the delicate nature of the symptoms often people delay getting help or discussing it.
What can be done about Cyclists Syndrome?
So what can be done? The first step if you are experiencing these symptoms is a trip to the urologist to make sure there isn’t any other cause – especially if you are experiencing changes in bladder or bowel habits. Once you have been cleared of any other causes come and see a physio at MGS Physiotherapy.
We can help you with advice in regard to seat selection to minimise pressure on the nerve, ergonomics and bike set up and optimal frequency and amount of time on the bike to manage the condition.
If the underlying cause is a pinch of the Pudendal nerve by the pelvic muscles we can help by giving you exercises to correct any muscle imbalances and help release tight pelvic muscles such as the gluts. If conservative treatment fails or your symptoms are severe then surgery to release the nerve may be needed.
So don’t ignore troublesome symptoms from cycling – they are actually quite common and it is important to get on top of them as soon as possible.