Tackling the health issues facing cyclists

Author: dana (page 1 of 2)

Harvard Cycling Medicine Course

The inaugural Harvard cycling medicine course was a success, featuring 6 speakers and 11 lectures, as well as 3 small group practical sessions.  Topics covered include the rise of cycling, health and safety considerations, bicycle fit, sports psychology, pelvic pain, overuse injuries, and rehabilitation for the cyclist.  32 participants from all around the world attended.  We hope to be able to bring this course back in the future!

Huge thanks to Greg Robidoux, Marilou Shaughnessy, Antje Barreveld, Christine Eng, and Cheri Blauwet for lecturing, as well as Chris Gilbert for his assistance in making this happen!

Cycling Medicine course at Harvard


Cycling Medicine 2017

We are proud to present a full-day cycling medicine course as part of the Harvard Sports Medicine 2017 course. Directed by Dr. Dana Kotler in collaboration with Greg Robidoux PT and additional speakers, this course provides education on evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of cycling-related injury.

Harvard Cycling Medicine Course
Saturday • April 22, 8am – 5pm

Boston, MA


The course will also provide skills-development workshops on the mechanisms of injury and early correction of strength and flexibility imbalances, technique errors, and bicycle fit, which help to prevent injury.the workshop will cover many aspects of cycling medicine. Workshop topics include “Don’t-Miss” diagnoses for cyclists, innovative approaches to care, biomechanical analysis, psychology, overuse injury, disability, and many more.

The course is open to anyone with an interest in cycling medicine and cycling-related injury, not only healthcare providers! In addition to physicians and physical therapists, athletes, coaches, bodywork providers, scientists, and recreational cyclists are welcome. Continue reading

Pan-Mass Challenge 2017

12717574_10100157874764544_9215454645001199403_nHello BikeHealth community!

I would like to ask for your support of my ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) this summer.  The PMC raises money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and is the largest athletic fundraising event in the country.  My goal is to raise $5000 for cancer research, and with your help, this is well within reach!

Please visit my PMC profile page
where you can easily donate online.

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Summer of Cycling Medicine

Updates!  We have kept quite busy throughout the summer, publishing, presenting at 2 major conferences, as well as increasing our cycling clinic volume and frequency!

csmr-screenshotFirst off, our article “Prevention, Evaluation, and Rehabilitation of Cycling-Related Injury,” by Dana H. Kotler, Ashwin N. Babu and Greg Robidoux was published in the May/June issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports!  It is our first PubMed indexed publication on cycling medicine and we are super proud of it.

In July, Dana presented a poster entitled “Implementation of a Cycling-Specific Medical Clinic” to an international audience at Science and Cycling 2016 in Caen, France.

Science and Cycling 2016 poster presentation

Science and Cycling 2016 poster presentation

The conference itself included a fair amount of exercise science, as well as talks on biomechanics and bike fit.  Some of the highlights were Romain Meeusen from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and his talk on “The Brain and Performance – its all neurochemistry,” Wendy Holliday from South Africa, with research on static and dynamic kinematics in cyclists, Mark Greve from Brown University Emergency Medicine and Team Novo Nordisk speaking about cycling emergencies, and Lotte Kraus from Germany, with gebioMized and “Female Specific Movement Pattern in Cycling Analysis.”  I also participated in the workshop on cycling injury prevention with Paul Visentini from Australia.

Of course, a major benefit of attending this conference is its proximity to the prologue of the Tour de France.  A fellow conference-goer and I rented a car and drove up to the stunning Mont Saint-Michel to see the start of Stage 1, which was of course, awesome.

Next up, in August, Dana and Greg attended the annual Medicine of Cycling conference at USA Cycling in Colorado Springs.  Greg taught in the bike fit course, while Dana attended the Medical Emergencies in Cycling course.  Together, they presented a lecture entitled “Collaborative evaluation of the cyclist, a novel approach.  Role of bike fit accommodations in management,” which was well-received.  In addition, researcher, cyclist, and future physical therapist Sarah Rice, PhD presented a poster in conjunction with Dana and Saurabha entitled “Female cyclists are more likely than male cyclists to report concussion symptoms after a crash.”

Spaulding Cycling Medicine Program is going strong, now with 2 clinics per month.  We are proud of the progress we’ve made so far and look forward to even more developments in the coming months!  Keep following us on Twitter, @bikehealthorg for additional updates.  Ride strong.

BikeHealth at Steve the Bike Guy

Dr. Dana Kotler and Greg Robidoux will be giving a lecture at Steve the Bike Guy next week!

Bicycle Biomechanics and Injury Prevention in Cycling


From our lecture at Wheelworks in February. Photo credit Stephanie Mayberg.

Thursday, May 26th – 6:30pm – 8:00pm

This event is free – but space is limited. Please register!

Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio
25 N. Main Street
Sherborn, MA 01770


More details over on Steve the Bike Guy’s event page.  Hope to see you there!

AAPM&R Photo Album

Here are some photos from our AAPM&R workshop, Cycling Biomechanics and Bike Fit.  Thanks again to our awesome volunteers, Tonia Hafner (road), Erich Leas (MTB), Stephanie Mayberg (TT), Audrey Raboin (cyclocross), and Julie Tracy (road).

AAPM&R Workshop

The team put on quite a workshop this weekend at the 2015 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly.  Last year, the idea for a bicycling biomechanics workshop was born through some brainstorming, and we quickly wrote it up and submitted it.  One after another, colleagues volunteered to be a part of it, and we wound up with a fantastic team, enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of cycling mechanics, fit, and injury with a crowd of over 25 participants.


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Think about this

Saurabha and I are back from a whirlwind weekend at the Medicine of Cycling conference in Colorado Springs, CO.  So many great talks, including the bike fit symposium, talks on heat illness, nutrition, urology, and grand tour medical coverage.

This is an awesome infographic that Saurabha created to accompany our presentation on crash-related fear, anxiety, and return to sport.  Fear and anxiety after a crash are extremely prevalent, and rarely addressed.  How can we help cyclists get back on the bike, in the smoothest and safest way possible?  Let us know your thoughts.

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The bicycle helmet debate, now with SCIENCE!

Originally published at on 3/14/13.

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone who insists there is no benefit to wearing a helmet? Besides the obvious “I get too sweaty,” or “I don’t feel like carrying it around,” I’ve heard people claim, “I know how to stop in time,” or “I never crash,” or my favorite, “helmets don’t really protect you from a serious crash.”  Interesting thoughts.  I don’t particularly enjoy arguing, especially without all the facts, so I decided to look up some of the research.  My initial intent was to write an article about how to win the annoying helmet debate with hard scientific data.  When I got into it, I realized that there are a lot of articles, but also some obvious controversy.

helmet7Part of the problem is that this is a difficult topic to study prospectively.  When you want to study the effect of a drug, you take 2 groups, give one the real drug, one the fake drug (placebo), and follow them over time, looking at your chosen outcomes (blood pressure, stroke, mood, whatever).  With helmets, it’s not feasible to give one group of people a helmet, another group a cute hat, and then wait around for them to crash.  For this reason, many of the studies take the people who have already crashed, and look backwards to see whether they were wearing a helmet, and then compare them to others who weren’t.  One of the problems with this is in the selection of the subjects.  For example, if you’re working in a hospital trying to recruit subjects from the emergency department, you’re not going to see the people who did great and walked off the scene of the accident, you’re only going to see the ones who needed to come to the hospital.  So, what if the people who wore helmets mostly did OK and just went home, but the ones that turned up in the hospital (and consented to be in your study) were only the ones in the most serious accidents?  That’s just an example of what these scientists are arguing about in these articles. Continue reading

The Great Equalizer

galena-juniors2Cycling is for everyone.  From a little one on a push-bike, to recreational cyclists, commuters, BMX tricksters, racers, randonneurs and touring cyclists, triathletes, recumbent-riders, those who ride on roads, dirt, and gravel, to Robert Marchand, 102 year-old French track cyclist who beat his own hour record in 2014.  An enormous range of personal preferences, injuries, and disabilities can be accommodated with relatively simple modifications in equipment and position. Continue reading

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