Do You Have Peloton Pain?

Since the beginning of quarantine, we have seen a huge increase of clients who have started making their own home gyms to continue to be active during this time, which is awesome! Many people have invested in a Peloton bike as a way to get their cardiovascular workout in, rain or shine. However, a lot of new clients have walked through our doors as a result of new aches and pain after riding the Peloton.

Does this sound like you? Have you jumped on the Peloton only to find that you now have new aches and pains? You aren’t alone, and there are several easy things that you can do to help resolve your new aches and pains.

The first thing that you can do is make sure that the bike fits you!

It’s important to make sure that your bike fits correctly to prevent compensations, which will lead to too much stress on certain parts of your body over time. Having a good fit can also help prevent future injuries, and keep you riding for years to come. The right fit will also help you optimize your riding form to help you reach your goals. Peloton has a great series of videos on making sure that your bike fits you, but note that this is generic, and you might need something more specific. Try the tutorials first, and if that alleviates your pain, great! If you are still having pain or discomfort, you probably need a custom bike fit, which we can do for you here at LeBauer Physical Therapy. You should continue to check your bike to ensure that it fits correctly every 6-12 months.

The second thing that you can do if a bike fit doesn’t alleviate your aches and pains is to make sure that your body is moving well, and is prepared to take on the challenge of a hard cycling workout!

We recently had a client who was experiencing upper back, shoulder, and neck stiffness and tightness throughout his day. He kept stretching and stretching and found no relief. When we took a look at his movement, we found that his mid back was stiff because he spent all day with his shoulders and neck forward. He rode his Peloton in a forward position, and also sat all day at a desk for work in the same position. We helped his mid spine gain some mobility in the opposite direction, and gave him a couple exercises to emphasize that movement, and his tightness went away! I think it’s important to mention that it wasn’t that his position was bad, but, he wasn’t moving in any other direction to balance it out. So, if you are feeling chronically tight, and are not finding relief with stretching, that’s a sign that you need a Total Body Diagnostic to see how your body moves (or doesn’t move). Once we have identified the problem from the total body diagnostic, we can develop a plan to help you address it, and get you back on the bike!

What if you don’t have tightness, but pain during or after your ride?

Does this mean you need to stop riding until the pain goes away? Absolutely not. Pain is a normal part of life, and is the check engine or warning light of your body. It doesn’t mean that you injured or damaged anything, but your body telling you that you need to make a change. It can be hard to know what change your body needs to make without some guidance though. I’m a Physical Therapist, and even I need a second opinion to help me know what to change, and I also treat other Physical Therapists who need a second set of eyes and another opinion. We hear all of the time that people tried to use Dr. Google or YouTube as their second opinion, and tried what was suggested without seeing results. This is because every single body is unique, is built differently, and moves differently.

A lot of them regret wasting time on random stretches and exercises, and wish they came to see a movement specialist sooner.

We recently had another patient who started riding the Peloton and it did not hurt while she was riding, but would lead to severe low back pain afterwards, to the point where it was interfering with her ability to perform at her job. She also came in for a Total Body Diagnostic, and we found out that her problem was that her core and her hip didn’t work together as well as they should while she was cycling, leading to muscle compensation and tightness, which lead to pain.

Our motto is that proximal stability gives us distal mobility.

What does this mean? This means that in order for movement to be optimal, you must have a strong core that also works together with your muscles to prevent certain ones from overworking to try to give your body the stability that your core is not giving it. So, how did we fix the problem? We gave her some tools to help her alleviate her pain, and then worked on some exercises that helped teach her core to stabilize well, and work as a team with her hip, which prevented her hip flexors and back from overworking and becoming tight and painful. She is now back to riding the Peloton, reaching her weight loss and health goals, and enjoying her job again!

If this sounds like you, you need a Total Body Diagnostic to tell you where the problem is, and how to address it so that you can move better and feel better!

Good news: we are currently offering FREE Total Body Diagnostics. If tightness, stiffness, or pain is holding you back from riding as often or as intense as you would like, go apply for one on our website, or give us a call at 336-271-6677 to learn more!

About The Author

Dr. Kaitlin Herzog

Dr. Herzog attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit University. Kaitlin has been an athlete for most of her life and was introduced to physical therapy when she had several sports-related injuries. She decided to become a physical therapist to help others maintain an active lifestyle while staying pain free. Kaitlin uses a hands-on approach to help people of all backgrounds optimize their movement and performance. Dr. Herzog is a record-holding competitive powerlifter, and you can find her training or competing in her spare time. She also enjoys Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, yoga, sports, hiking, baking, crafts, traveling, and exploring Greensboro with friends.​

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