At the start of the year, I was given the opportunity to go for a physiotherapy session at Physio and Sole Clinic. And of course, I would jump on it and give it a try!
Upon entering the clinic, I was greeted by Jeremy Mok, the senior sports physiotherapist who would be attending to me that day. You would be glad to know that Jeremy is also a fellow cyclist (from Team Midpoint)!
Sports/Musculoskeletal physiotherapy session?
If you are fairly new to sports, you might not have heard about it. Physiotherapy covers many things, from sports injury treatment, rehabilitation, illness or even disability. It’s also common with patients who are recovering from a major stroke.
A physiotherapy session typically helps you better your performance through manual therapy, movement exercises, education, and advice. How and why is this important? I’ll explain later. Let’s go through the whole session.
The session starts with the patient (me), sharing my past injuries, current problems now and also my general health. Coming from a background of playing soccer and running, I shared my issues with my ITB (Iliotibial band) and also my right ankle which I sprained badly many years back.
When I was younger, I was very active in juggling more than one sport which probably led to the over-use of my muscles. In my case, my ITB would usually break down before anything else, and I would be ‘notified’ by the nagging pain on the outside of my knees. You can easily be misguided thinking that it’s a knee problem.
Then there’s my right ankle. Back then, while playing an 11-aside game, I was brought down by someone and when I went down, I sprained my ankle badly. I later found out I had injured my Plantar Fasciitis badly. Unfortunately for me, I was sidelined for half a year, and that was the last time I played soccer competitively.
Tip: Be thorough with your history, so the physiotherapist can understand you a lot better!
After listening to my sob story, Jeremy then started the assessment with some simple exercises. Just to name a few, I was asked to stand straight, stand on one leg and even do squats. It might be simple exercises but they do tell a story.
Moving on, I was asked to push against the forces he was applying to my lower limbs. This was to test my left and right leg individual strengths and its’ muscle groups. The results from the exercises continued to tell more about my own body.
Oh, just putting it out there. I get ticklish very easily.
As expected, from the assessment on my right ankle, it shows that it isn’t as strong and flexible as my left. Using a special tool, Jeremy also could see that the left leg was unable to bend as much as the right.
My right leg was stronger than my left, as I am right legged anyway.
My hamstrings and calves were tight, which is definitely my fault. I DIDN’T stretch enough before a ride the day before.
And last but not least, my hip external rotators are weak. This is the major reason why my ITB always acts up.
Just a sidenote – at this point, I found out that there are 2 other physiotherapists in the clinic; they happen to be cute too. I then tried to ‘fake’ a back issue, thinking it could be under the other doctors’ purview, but nevertheless, Jeremy was keen to check it out for himself.
After the assessment, Jeremy summed up the 30 minutes session. I was generally okay but there is still room for improvements. Specific individual exercises were recommended to me to strengthen my various weaknesses.
Tip: The light blue elastic band is very useful for home use. From stretching to strengthening exercises. Recommended by Jeremy to get one!
So how can this help?
We can spend as much on products, tools and bike fits to squeeze the best performance out of ourselves. But what physiotherapy can do is expand your hidden potential; which is all you.
By working on expanding the limits of your body, you open up your chances and potential to be much stronger. You also can prevent more injuries creeping up.
If you are an engine, imagine having bigger pistons to pump more power. What you thought about already hitting an FTP ceiling of 250 watts could be pushed even higher by just working on addressing the issues within your body.
To sum it up, if you do have some nagging discomfort, pain or tightness, it’s best to get it checked by a professional. You might never know it could have been your Achilles heel all this time. And did I mention – Dr. Jeremy cycles too? So there should be no problem in getting him to assess your body from a cyclist’s perspective!
For more information on physiotherapy and sports massages, check out Physio and Sole Clinic’s outlets:
#05-19 Tanglin Shopping Centre,
170 Upper Bukit Timah Road #09-02,
Tel: 6281 1209
#03-07 Jurong, Singapore 608546
Tel: 6924 8506
Author: Irsyad Marican
Sports has always been close to his heart but racing bicycles is the extra special one. It’s been 3 years since his first race and there’s more in his tank. He enjoys time-trialling and loves bicycles that speaks to him.