Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cycling: Pain & Injury with Dr. Racheotes

Just like any other sport cycling comes with its share of injuries. I recently talked with Dr. Alexis Racheotes about what she has seen in her chiropractic practice and what her personal experiences have been on the bike.

About Ali

Ali is a super talented cyclist. A regular on the WHF Saturday ride and even shows up for some Tuesday Night World Championships abuse. She can hold her own with the boys and pretty much owns every STRAVA Queen of the Mountain (QOM) segment around Fayetteville. I brought this up on a ride recently and she quickly replied, "I don’t care about that, I want to beat you guys (us dudes) up the hills" bazinga...and she does, quite often. Ali was the perfect fit for this first installment of Cycling: Pain & Injury

The Interview

WHF: What inspires you to ride?
Dr. R: I started cycling as mountain biker in my early 20's. So, I guess, I have been riding 20 odd years - I love that cycling puts you in motion and lets you explore the world - it’s the challenge, the camaraderie, the way it makes me feel happy, free and alive that keeps me cycling.

WHF: Why did you choose chiropractic?
Dr. R: After completing a bachelor's of science, I attended and graduated from Texas Chiropractic College, where I had the opportunity to learn acupuncture and participate in hospital spinal orthopedic rotations at UTMB-Galveston.  I chose chiropractic because I had always been fascinated with the human body and I believed that the general public should have an alternative to medication.  At the birth of my chiropractic education, I had no idea what chiropractic had to offer in athletic performance. That I learned from Dr. John Downes while working with the indoor arena Georgia Force football team.

WHF: What are some of the most common cycling related injuries you see?
Dr. R: Cycling doesn't have to be painful or uncomfortable. For the person new to the sport, injuries/complaints usually arise from all the areas that are in touch with the bicycle: hands (i.e., "handlebar palsy”), feet (i.e., Morton's neuroma) and bottom (saddle sores).  Proper bike fit, glove wear, shoe fit, saddle, shorts and chami cream usually help these issues resolve.  For the experienced cyclist, it’s a different story:  overuse injuries, over training "syndrome", muscle imbalances and compensation issues.  There are also the injuries resulting from a crash - concussion, abrasions (otherwise known as the dreaded "road rash"), broken bones, etc. Without preventative care, overtime any cyclist can experience neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, etc.

WHF: What ways are you treating these injuries?
Dr. R: In addition to recommending a professional bike fit and purchasing proper cycling equipment, I analyze a cyclists muscle resting length and muscle movement patterns, assess nutritional habits and inform the patient how to take preventative care of his/her body.  With acute muscular related injuries, I use dry needling technique and cold laser therapy.  I use chiropractic care and acupuncture to help cyclists get out of chronic pain and move better, so the ride is more enjoyable or in some cases possible.

WHF: Do you have any tips for folks getting into cycling?
Dr. R:  Bike fit is HUGE - and you cannot go wrong with improving core muscle strength and stretching - the biggest obstacle for most people is not forming a healthy stretching and strengthening routine. Including chiropractic care and sticking to it to prevent a chronic problem.  

WHF: Have you experienced any cycling related injuries?
Dr.R:  Road rash - ouch!!!!...stitches!!! Improper hydration leading to dehydration!!! Improper nutrition leading to BONKING!!! Missing chiropractic care, neck pain, back pain and soreness!!! Improper shoe wear and hot spots!!  The wrong chamois and wrong chami butter…well, we all know what that leads to… 

WHF: Are there any women specific injuries/issues?
Dr.R:  Mature females have a bigger Q angle than most males -- which means the angle from hips to the knee is larger which leads to different pressure on the hips, knees, ankles and all the muscles in between. Again a proper bike fit and chiropractic care. Seat comfort seems to be a chief complaint among females - I recommend a bike fit and a great pair of bike shorts.Spend the extra money on the shorts and the bike fit!! Fear is a big issue for females over the age of 12. Hopefully with the trail system development in our town that will go away. Exposing girls to riding bikes (dirt and road) at a young age is a great gift to give. And for those of us over 12, reassurance from experienced cyclists and participation in one or all of the great number of organized group rides in this community helps immensely. The cycling community here in Northwest Arkansas is really unique. Cyclists here are quick to help other riders.  
A big thanks to Ali for interviewing. Are you experiencing discomfort? Chronic injury? Did you figure out how to resolve it? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below. Perhaps someone else will benefit from your experience. Stay tuned...I'll focus on saddles in the next installment of Cycling: Pain & Injury.

The more you enjoy something the more you will do it. Like Ali says it doesn't have to be painful or uncomfortable. Cycling has a ton of return on investment. To contact Ali about services that she provides see her contact information below. Thanks for following!

Ali Racheotes, DC
3538 Hwy 112
Fayetteville, AR 72704

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Check... this thing on?
dam it feels good to be a gangsta
nah, not really
slow roll to TBR
bumped into FBI...good dude
love bumping into folks on the bike
am i a butter knife?
air is thick
can't complain...winter sucked
i hear the train a coming
Yellow Socks says you gonna hear it again soon
good laugh for the bunch
good to see Evans Events here
MLK-170-PG Battle-Viney Grove-Bethel-
New Road-Goose Creek
small talkn' with Lola

Farmington sign looms
how'd i get so far back?
The Captain goes long
The Cuban fires a missile
Mexico is in the mix
international crisis?
what? who? ahh i give up
can't see nothing from the cheap seats
170 = rage
Yellow Socks bridges
Mexico goes across
looks legit
the bunch rotates
catch made
Prairie Grove sign looms
again with the cheap seats
time to eat wind
HealthySoutherner OTF
bunch reacts late
Yellow Socks goes
HealthySoutherner sticks it
dang it's hot
i can ride in the wheel buuuut...
not outside the wheel...
is what it is
usual suspects raging
Yellow Socks is just going in the road
church of the big ring is having a revival tonight
lots of spandex in line to get...

baptized by water
alright alright alllllriiggght
New Bianchi sets tempo
by all means
The Captain goes
MG bridges
all hell breaking...
just gotta hold the wheeeeeee
OVER the hump
hope nobodies behind...
popularity check
thanks The Captain & Evans Events
spare tube, much appreciated
dang it's hot
could use a ice bucket bout now
thanks to the rest who waited
slow roll...
gonna miss this ride

Tuesday Shorts 8/19

Vuelta a Espana
Berts been drinking a ton of milk since the TdF. He rode his bike and decided he's good to go! Froome bumps Sir Brad from the roster. Best buds for sure. Kingtana is about to launch into cycling history switching out pink for red. He will need to flick The Bullet though.

USA Pro Challenge
Tommy D? TJV? U-S-A? Another great week of top-shelf racing on U.S. roads. For live coverage click here.

Get outside folks! It's soul food.

So much more traffic on the roadways since school is back in session. Be careful out there! Stay hydrated. It's HOT!

Group Rides. 


Good Bikes ride. (Please note time change) Leaving @ 6:15 from Good Bikes. It is intended to be a recovery pace, no-drop, skills-building/technique ride. Everyone is welcome. Hosted by University of Arkansas Cycling & Good Bikes. See Good Bikes or Arkansas Cycling on Facebook for more info.


Tuesday Night World Championships leaving @ 5:30 from The Bike Route or @ 6 from parking lot adjacent to MopedU. Pace brutal. This is a 'try and drop you' kinda ride. Route TBD.

Bellview Road Ride. Leaves from Bellview Elementary.
-Leaving @ 5:45 B group (average speed 17-19). Intermediate pace, plenty of of regroups.
-Leaving @ 6:00 A group (average speed 19-21). Fast pace, with a couple regroups.


Summer Crit Series. Evans Events is putting on a summer crit series every Wednesday starting June 18th-Aug. 27th in Rogers. Local crits are a great way to get your feet wet if you are a first time racer. For the experienced it's about building/sharpening race fitness. Click here for more information.


Athlete Forward/The Bike Route beginner ride. Leaving @ 6:00 from Owl Creek Middle School. Pace easy-moderate. No rider left behind.

Highroller Cyclery ride. Leaves @ 6:15 from Baum Stadium. Route TBD. About 30 miles or so. No drop. Check their Facebook page each week for details.

Bellview Road Ride. Leaves from Bellview Elementary.
-Leaving @ 5:45 B group (average speed 17-19). Intermediate pace, plenty of regroups.
-Leaving @ 6:00 A group (average speed 19-21). Fast pace, with a couple regroups.

Highroller Cyclery intermediate mountain bike ride. Leaving at 6:15 from the dog park near Slaughter Pen.

Bike Bentonville All Girls Ride. Leaves @ 6:05 from Bentonville Square. Click here for details. 

Ride fast & be safe,