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Saddle Area Discomfort

Of all the cycling related discomfort and injuries seen here at Podium Physio, saddle area issues can be the most stubborn and difficult to manage. Most people are uncomfortable and fidgety even sitting on a padded office chair for a few hours, let alone sitting for hours on a slim profile, lightly padded saddle with limited opportunities to move around.

It is not just about pain though. Cyclists also report numbness, tingling, chafing, urinary problems and sexual dysfunction. The medical term for this area of the body is the “perineum”, and the local Perineal Nerves and blood vessels have little protection from saddle related compression, as the overlying tissue here is relatively thin.

To illustrate the complexity of the problem even further, there is now a whole new discipline of “Pelvic Physiotherapy”, dedicated to dealing with pain and other problems of the perineum and pelvis. Sometimes improved saddle positioning or a different saddle will help greatly, however sometimes a more comprehensive approach may be needed, including specific pelvic exercises, relaxation techniques and graded exposure back to cycling.

Saddle Choice

Saddles come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes. The main variables to consider in your choice of saddle are:

  • Saddle length
  • Saddle width
  • Central cut out or no cut out
  • Amount of padding
  • Flat or curved from side to side
  • Flat or curved from front to back

Our experience is that cyclists are usually more comfortable with a flatter saddle and a moderate central channel (cut out).

Saddle Side View
Saddle Rear View
Saddle Central Cut Out

Of course, the only way to know what will work best is to try it for yourself. Look for a retailer that can provide you with a trial saddle, that you can borrow for at least one long outdoor ride, or alternatively provides a comfort guarantee that allows for returns if the saddle is not suitable.

We are experts in dealing with cycling related saddle area problems, so don’t put up with these issues any longer. Book an appointment now for a full assessment and get back to cycling happy!

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Adelaide Based Physiotherapy Clinic
975 North East Road, Modbury SA 5092

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