Some Conditions Affecting Riders
The conditions listed here are just some of the more common problems experienced by riders, but of course there are many more. Some people are in constant pain in multiple areas while others might only ever have one problem.
Whatever you are feeling, please note that the advice given in this chapter is only a guide and can never replace medical assessment and treatment if that is what is required. So if you are unsure, or require individual advice, please do see your doctor or bodyworker. Remember that we each have our own medical history, which builds up to give the pattern of our symptoms over time. You could take ten people with identical symptoms and the cause and treatment would be different for each person. Because of this, the advice given here is very general, and it is essential to follow your own body and to trust what you feel.
Treating yourself: Research has shown that applying gentle, sustained pressure to an area for at least five minutes stimulates the body’s anti-inflammatory response and so can speed healing.1 Some of the advice given here is on how you can treat yourself using this method. Remember to go slowly and gently and to stop before you feel pain or if you experience any adverse effects.
According to the National Health Service in England (NHS England), back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK,2 while a study of lower back pain in America found that seventy to ninety percent of the population are affected at some stage in their lifetime.3
Back pain can be a result of several different pathologies, and some people will have more than one problem contributing to their pattern of pain. These can include damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, vertebral discs, and vertebrae.