Preventing Soreness While Cycling: Tips for Butt and Vulvar Pain


Have you ever found yourself reaching for a bag of chips or a candy bar without even realizing it? Or maybe you’ve eaten a whole meal while distracted by your phone or TV? Here’s how to deal with the pain you get “there” when you’re cycling. For example, in yoga, when you go weeks or months without hitting a particular class or type of training, your first time back to some surprise you may forget about the pain in the chest or shoulder that hits after too many poses in Chaturanga. Or a rock climber may need to re-remember the pain in the forearm, which can be trimmed after a day on the wall.

Bikers on and off, even often experience different types of pain- and perhaps less likely to occur in a post-workout brunch: pain in the buttocks and vulva. While it’s usually tempting to burn off just a sense of awkward pain, or a little used muscle that gets used to intense workouts, you can’t help but think about how you can do it.

“Pain is never normal. It’s telling your body to stop doing something,” said Dr. Lauren Streicher, an ob-gyn and clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. So, what can you do to prevent that pain from being trimmed — if any? Try the simple tips below.

The worst Mistakes You Can Make in an Indoor Cycling Exercise Class Tips to stop the pain in your bike’s buttocks and vulva Fortunately, there are relatively easy and quick fixes for casual bikers who often take cycling classes or do short rides outdoors. Just fine-tuning your bike’s setup may help ease that pain, especially if you’re stuck on a ride or class for less than 2 hours, Dr. Streicher says. “If you’re taking a spin class, go to your instructor and ask them to adjust your bike,” she suggests.

10 Ways to have a better indoor cycling class the key? Make sure that the handlebar is at the same height or slightly higher than the saddle of the bike. According to a study in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine, a lower handlebar than a saddle can increase pressure on the genital area and cause numbness. Why? Since you’re leaning to put your hand on those bars, that means all of your weight is concentrated in that already sensitive area. If you sit more upright, the weight will move to the bone on which you are sitting.

If the pain or pain doesn’t stop with simple adjustments, try getting padded bike shorts or extra padded or wide bike seats, but making sure your bike is properly tuned should do more for your comfort than the gear you’re using. You can also use the following methods: (These bike seat cushions work with almost every bike you have.)

Durable bikers may be more likely to experience numbness, tingling, or pain because time spent in the seat can increase the risk of nerve compression, Dr. Streicher said. Adjusting your seat and handlebar should help it, too. But if the pain and tingling persist, and if investing in padded shorts and seats for your riding style is useless, you may need to reduce the length and frequency of cycling excursions, she says. Consider trading your century competition for a triathlon instead.

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