Cyling’s Private Parts
49“This isn’t the usual bicycle seat/numbness discussion — it involves pain when NOT cycling, pretty much constantly, and often in more than one [private] area, moving around.” Posted by tilyou1, a Bicyclist in misery
This is where ignoring or overcoming pain becomes not the trait of an invincible champion but gross neglect of a real condition. As riders we train to increase our pain tolerance; but this is a very different kind of pain. Nerve issues should never be tolerated, ignored, or discounted.
Pudendal Nerve Entrapment (PNE) is similar to carpel tunnel except its location is around the sit bones. Hard to treat, 50it’s so common in bicyclists that’s it’s been labeled, Cyclist’s Syndrome. Difficult to diagnose because the pattern and place of pain may move, it occurs both suddenly or develops over time. It is treatable through various means, including surgery and physical therapy, but the earlier the treatment the better. Quality of life can be greatly affected not just by the lack of enjoyable riding, but persistent pain or problems off the bike.
51A concern for female cyclists is urine leakage when pelvic floor muscles are weakened perhaps through childbirth or from endurance activity. One can have a six-pack of ab muscles and still encounter problems with pelvic floor musculature. There are urogynelogical approaches to this private problem.
An important consideration with any condition is to find a medical team that is both knowledgeable and sympathetic to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of an endurance athlete. Being off our bikes isn’t like hanging up any hobby. It is an attachment, a mindset, and a lifestyle that’s not easily replaced by inactivity during recovery time. Riders uncertain about their conditions and treatments experience real and valid feelings of loss.
Prayer re: Cyclist’s Syndrome
“…some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn’t that insensitive.” 521 Corinthians 8:7
We are glad that knowledge about certain private conditions is becoming more public. We pray for the right treatment and healing for sufferers in these sensitive areas.
Ponder Am I smug about the suffering of others? Affirm I sympathize with loss even without understanding causes or conditions. Watch for opportunities to encourage and support cycling colleagues experiencing grief from sensitive areas, physical and otherwise.
49“‘Cyclists’ Syndrome’ (medical) aka Pudendal Nerve Entrapment,” posted by tilyou1 on 4/15/04 www.cyclingforums.com
50“Introductory Frequently Asked Questions,” www.pudendal.info
52The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson