If you spend more than 30 minutes in the saddle you likely have a keen awareness of where your bike seat meets your sitting bones. Has it ever occurred to you that an unequal sensation in your haunches may be an indicator that your pelvis is misaligned?

Over the last week I have taken some long rides and spent enough time in the saddle to notice that my left ischium (sitting bone) was feeling more sore than my right. At about mile 15 I couldn’t deny the presence of more pressure in my left derrière than my right. The physical sensations of discomfort had me considering the how’s and why’s.  Why left but not right? I had no lower back pain or sacroiliac pain but I am experiencing asymmetric discomfort in my tushy. 

Here is my short list of chiropractic influenced conclusions.

1. My pelvis is misalignment. Rather than equal pressure as I sit in my saddle, I have one side of my pelvis tilted forward or the other side tilted back, or both. The ischium are not contacting my seat the same from side to side. Get adjusted.

2. My pedal stroke is asymmetrical. I used to rodeo competitively and I spent a lot of time in the saddle, different saddle. When I was 15 I had left knee surgery. Since that surgery I have ridden heavier in my left stirrup. My quad was weaker and no matter how much I tried to sit squarely, I put more pressure into my left foot. The same could be true for any weakness, or old injury in the lower extremity, whether ankle, knee or hip. If pressure into the pedal is uneven or your pedal stroke is uneven it could potentially influence your pelvic alignment. Get adjusted. 

3. Leg lengths are unequal. Most people with leg length inequality have pelvic misalignment. It is the natural result of a gait that torques the pelvis. Get adjusted. 

4. It gets more complicated from here. More inclusive history and an exam could determine things like how you sit on your bike and position your lumbar spine and related muscles, disc issues, arthritis, ischial bursitis and more. Get adjusted, do rehab as indicated.

I share this story as I am often reminded that “. Discomfort that we notice or work through is different than pain. It is worth addressing before it becomes challenging and we lower our mileage or stop riding altogether. 

If we wait for a pain to be bad enough to “do something” it often takes much longer to correct and recover. 

Our bike tires need a quick preventative check before rides and we could use an occasional check too.  I would prefer to recognize a subtle change in my body, like low tire pressure, and stop in for an adjustment than go unchecked and “get a flat”. 

No doubt I am headed in for a chiropractic check-up this week. Let me know if you need one too.

Dr. Erika Putnam

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