Physiotherapy for Triathletes

Triathlon is a great sport, combining three disciplines over a variety of distances, it challenges the individual to improve their physical and mental strength, while having great fun with other people at the same time. The combination of training for three disciplines can be a challenge for the body, with injuries common in triathletes. At Glebe Physio, we are experts in the assessment and treatment of triathlon injuries and have the equipment and expertise to properly assess and treat injuries in any of the three disciplines. Our physiotherapist Justin has been training and competing in the sport of triathlon for almost 20 years and he has a wealth of experience working with triathletes of all ages and abilities.

What are the most common Triathlete injuries?

Injuries while training or racing include acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle while running or a fall from the bike, or overuse injuries that develop slowly such as tendon irritations or joint pain. Some common overuse injuries include:
Running injuries, such as runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome), achilles tendinopathy (achilles tendonitis), iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures.
Cycling injuries, such as knee pain, back pain, wrist/hand/arm pain while cycling, neck pain and foot pain.
Swimming injuries, such as swimmer’s shoulder (subacromial pain syndrome), neck pain, biceps tendinopathy, back pain and breastroker’s knee (medial collateral ligament injury).

If you would like to learn more about specific injuries, visit our physiotherapy page and click on the relevant body part.

How does Glebe Physio assess and treat triathlon injuries?

Each person and injury is unique. There are many factors that can contribute to an injury during triathlon training or racing. After gaining an understanding from the triathlete about when they get their pain and what their training schedule has been over the past few months, the physiotherapist will then assess the injury. This will include all the relevant tests to reach a diagnosis and may also require triathlon-specific assessments. These can include:

Assessment of running biomechanics: If the physiotherapist believes your injury may be arising from your running training, an important part of the assessment will be a running analysis. This will expose any contributing factors to the pain and also highlight any potential strength or endurance deficits in the muscular system. Find out more by visiting our running assessments page.

Assessment of muscle strength, endurance and control: Weakness in important muscle groups is often associated with injuries during swimming, cycling and running. The physiotherapist will assess the capacity of key muscle groups and prescribe treatment programs to address these deficits. Addressing these strength deficits is vital to both the prevention and treatment of any injury and will usually make you faster too.

Assessment of bike fit: Incorrect bike fit is often associated with injuries while cycling, and can even contribute to injuries off the bike, particularly if you perform “brick” sessions where you cycle and run within the same session. At Glebe Physio, we have a specialised bike fitting service to ensure you are correctly positioned to reduce injury risk, maintain comfort and maximise power output. Find out more by visiting our bike fitting page.

Assessment of range of motion and flexibility: Inadequate range of motion and flexibility is a common contributor to overuse injury. Examples of this include poor shoulder and spinal flexibility causing swimmer’s shoulder or inadequate lumbar/gluteal/hamstring flexibility causing back and neck pain on the bike. We can assess swimming, cycling and running specific mobility at Glebe Physio and prescribe effective exercise programs to address any deficits.

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Please note that the information we provide on web pages like this one are for general information and educational purposes. We recommend speaking to a qualified physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to assess your individual situation.