Sciatic Pain? Toes pointing out? This is for you...
Have you got an uncomfortable, sensation travelling down the back of your glute(s) and/or leg(s). Do you struggle keeping your toes pointing forward? Fear not... You are not alone.
It is actually a fairly common problem in Riders, particularly when riding the lateral movements like Half Pass, and may result from dysfunction in the adductors (muscles on the inside of the thigh). Tight adductors will result in the abductors (muscles on the outside of the leg) being restricted in their function, and as a result the external rotators of the hips become tight (making the toes face outward). This can lead to a variety of maladaptive responses including "sciatic" type pain or discomfort.
What we suggest?
We usually incorporate stretching of both Adductors and External rotators into our programmes to ensure that riders are regularly engaged in self care of the muscles that are likely to suffer tightness from riding. Added to that, strength training and prehab to ensure the body is working with maximal efficiency is also a key aspect of prevention, particularly with regard to strengthening the abductors.
We say it over and over again... doing too much of anything is bad for your body, even riding if you're not doing some form of supplementary exercises to combat repetitive stress created by doing one activity for extended periods of time.
If you struggle with "sciatic" type pain, have difficulty keeping your feet facing forward, have lower back pain, or tightness down the inside of your legs, it may be time to do something about it. Discomfort may be normal for you, but it's not normal for us.
We'll be covering this at our Rider Performance Workshop on May 13th, and giving you some take home stretches and mobility!
Photo Credit: Sophie Lefevre Photography