Pain After Cycling

by Darren Wood

4 years ago I returned from a 10 day sea kayaking trip and went straight on a cycle tour in mountainous terrain.

I bent over to pick up a friend's punctured bike tube (with a straight leg) and felt a sudden shock through the groin/hip area. After, I wasn't able to sit on the bike or ride it.

Since then the left hip area has been weak and painful. Specifically when I kick while swimming or run, it feels like I have pulled a muscle again.

Cycling has been okay, but I get pain in the front of the hip/upper quad when in an aerodynamic position with my hands on the drop bars.

Scans have revealed nil.

Any thoughts?


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Feb 05, 2012
Possible Iliopsoas Dysfunction
by: Stephen of Lower Back Pain Answers

Hi Darren,

I think there's a good chance you're suffering from Iliopsoas Dysfunction, though without evaluating you it's hard to know for sure.

If there's a torque in your pelvis (one side torquing forward, one side torquing backward, for example) causing a functional leg-length discrepancy, then one iliopsoas will be locked long, and one locked short.

The locked long side cannot relax because it is chronically being pulled apart like a rubber band that's on a constant stretch. That leads to pain and eventually that muscle, like a weakening/fraying rubber band, will fail.

If this is the case, if the painful side is, indeed the painful side, then stretching that muscle will not work because it is already overstretched. In fact, stretching can aggravate the muscle. No, the two ends of the muscle need to be brought closer together...

This type of problem will require a 2-part treatment:

1) Correction of the torque to bring your pelvis into balance so that there's no leg-length discrepancy.

2) Direct gentle but detailed treatment of the affected iliopsoas. Recall that this is actually 2 muscles, the psoas and iliacus. Often it's the iliacus portion which becomes dysfunctional but both must be checked.

This 2-part treatment, which should occur in the same treatment session (unless the practitioner is not skilled in both) will likely need to be repeated at least once per week for 6-8 weeks, though I often see improvements sooner than that.

I have included at Lower Back Pain Answers a protocol for manual therapy here...

Treatment Protocol for Iliopsoas Dysfunction

Also, you might try stretching the OPPOSITE (non-painful) iliopsoas using the stretch in the first video on this page for hip flexors...

Hip Flexor Stretch

Stretching the OPPOSITE (non-painful) iliopsoas can encourage the pelvis into proper balance.

I hope that's helpful!


Stephen at LBPA

Feb 05, 2012
My Response to My Findings
by: ex intl hockey player

Have a look deep into the pelvis to the piriformis muscle. It is embedded from your sacrum under your gluteals and attached to the hip bone.

Get a chiropractor or a sports physiotherapist to use an elbow for deep friction massage in the gluteal area just under the top of the iliac region.

Also to go in through the front of the pelvis to the hip flexor. Painful but it has given me my life back.

Treatment 3 days/week for 6 weeks and plenty of stretches of the hip flexor region and deep gluteal stretches. Also deep massage on your abductor.

There are areas that you feel were not effected but all areas needed to be covered to get relief. I know because I am going through it.

Feb 06, 2012
Cycling injury
by: Darren

Thanks for your time and thought, certainly stretching seems to aggravate the painful side - I will take a look at the links and report back.

Thanks again,


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Stephen O'Dwyer, cnmt

Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher

Stephen O'Dwyer, CNMT


Lower Back Pain Answers

Relieving That Pain Online Courses


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