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Pelvic Pain in Cyclists

The crossover of pelvic floor therapy and athletics is probably my favorite type of patient to treat. I love all my patients and I fell in love with treating pelvic floor patients because I got to help them with issues nobody else was helping them through. Then athletes started coming to me with pelvic pain and I loved it even more.

I like athletes because they are disciplined, goal driven and motivated. Because of these inherent characteristics they make fantastic patients who are motivated to get better with whatever we are working on in PT so they can reach their athletic goals.

Athletes often need very strict guidelines with rehab because they have the mindset "If some is good, then more is better," and this is not the case with rehab exercises. Anatomical tissue has a healing timeline that we cannot change. So often my athletes will do extra repetitions of their exercises and this flares up their symptoms, but then we talk about it, reason it out and then they are on board.

Recently I've had an influx of male patients who have complaints of pelvic pain from cycling. This can turn into numbness in the pelvic region and eventually erectile dysfunction.

The good news is this is all temporary and can be alleviated with pelvic floor therapy. Make sure your pelvic floor therapist is doing a full body assessment, because often, in cyclists and other pelvic floor patients, the symptoms may be at the pelvic floor, but the cause of the symptoms is not just coming from the pelvic floor muscles.

For my cyclists and other patients often they have stiffness in their spine or weakness in their hips that is contributing to their symptoms. For cyclists we also need to look at the flexibility of the ankles as well because if some part of the spine or leg is stiff often that repetitive stiffness is transferred elsewhere, like the pelvic floor.

Don't suffer with pelvic pain from cycling, often labeled pudendal neuralgia. It is reversible so you can continue comfortably with your long bike rides. I've had patients go on to compete in century rides, triathlons and even an Ironman race!

Call or email to find out how we can help you ride more comfortably, and share this article with your fellow cyclists and triathletes.

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