UK Tour Begins
This month sees the start of the Tour of Britain, a multi-cycling race staged covering the length and breadth of England across eight stages. The race starts on Sunday with a 201km journey from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, before gradually moving south and finishing in the capital with the final 88km race. The best cyclists in the world, and our own Tour De France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, will take a grueling 1,147km in just eight days as they vie for glory.
The origins of the Tour of Britain come from the post of World War Two, where there have been several connotations of national races. The current racing form was introduced in 2004 and is now part of the UCI European Tour. The original tour had very controversial beginnings, with the National Cyclists Union (NCU) opposing the idea of cyclists being on the road and ultimately banning the riders and organizers of the Llangollen Prime race from going to Wolverhampton in 1942 as a result. This led to a breakout group and the formation of the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC) which organized a new race, taking place in Kent in 1944.
We’ve seen throughout the Tour De France the physical strain these athletes put on their bodies, with Sir Bradley Wiggins being forced out of competition through injury and illness. There are a number of common injuries suffered by motorists that cover joint and muscle injuries. Every injury is completely different, but there are a number of common forms of rehabilitation in the form of sports braces.
Common joint injuries suffered by cyclists are related to the ankles and knees, where overuse can cause strains and inflammation that require rest to fully recover. From a muscle injury perspective cyclists are prone to tension in the calf and thigh muscles due to the pressure placed on the lower limbs during riding, especially over long distances from varying inclines.
Sports braces are designed to manage specific conditions by offering additional protection and support to affected areas. They are designed to be used in conjunction with other rehabilitation methods in an effort to keep you active and perform longer. Ankle support for example can be worn post-injury to provide support to the joint and allow the patient to continue to stay active and play sports knowing they have an added level of protection.
Compression shorts, as the name suggests, are shorts designed to offer compression. The purpose of compression shorts is to manage muscle-based injuries in the thigh, hamstring and groin area.
Compression is used as a means of managing many sports injuries, with the pressure applied helping reduce inflammation and pain and allowing the patient to remain active. Compression shorts are generic because they cover a number of muscle injuries as well as work to minimize unnecessary muscle movement. By maintaining muscle alignment, compression shorts work to prevent further injury by offering support.
Where additional pressure on the area is required, some compression shorts are available with cinch straps for the thighs and groin. The cinch strap allows additional compression to be applied according to patient requirements and can be easily adjusted.
The ankle is perhaps one of the joints most prone to injury, with injuries sustained through slipping on the pavement or when playing football or even through overuse. There are a number of types of injuries related to the ankle joint, all of which have their own severity, although ankle supports can usually be worn with all of them. It should also be noted that the ankle support you buy should work with the specific injury you are trying to ensure maximum effectiveness.
There are no standard ankle supports on the market, as they are designed for specific conditions, from one designed for simple strains and sprains to something that can help manage a damaged ligament. The latter ankle supports can have an additional strap that acts as an external ligament for the patient while offering support without limiting movement.
In general, sports braces are designed to allow for increased mobility during rehabilitation although there are several ankle support options available that are designed to offer stability and are not worn when riding a bicycle or playing football. The ankle stirrup is usually stiff andprevents rolling of ankle post injuries and is designed to offer maximum protection. The material-based ankle support, whether in neoprene or Bioskin is designed to breathe and be worn alongside playing the sport of your choice.