SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- With gas prices continuing to climb in California, people are bicycling to work as a viable transportation alternative. Avid cyclist and physical therapist, Jerry Durham, MPT, of the San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy Center, has noticed an increase of bicycles on BART, San Francisco's light-rail system. "For the same amount of money motorists are paying for a month's worth of gas, they could purchase a good quality bicycle to ride to and from work or to the light-rail station," said Mr. Durham. Patricia Rae Evans, PT, PhD, and chief executive officer of the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) is thrilled to hear about the increase in bicycling. According to Evans, "During this past year, our public outreach campaign, Move California has focused on educating Californians about the need for an active lifestyle. Physical therapists can play a fundamental role in assisting individuals in attaining and maintaining such a lifestyle." Durham knows this to be true. He has been asked by a number of his clients for advice about purchasing a bicycle. For the most enjoyment and benefit, Durham recommends a two-step process. First, purchase a bicycle from a reputable bike shop. Experienced staff at a shop specializing in bicycles can properly fit a customer with a bike that will suit the rider's body proportions. A good bicycle shop will carry a variety of seats that can accommodate people of all sizes and weights. Once the bike is purchased, the second step is for the rider to see a physical therapist for a "bike fit." Durham states, "The physical therapist can adjust the seat, pedals, and handle bars to ensure movement will not excessively stress the rider's knees, shoulders, and neck." Sarah, a patient of the San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy Center, has first-hand experience about the benefits of physical therapy. Sarah sent this message to Durham, "I'm in the middle of my ride, but felt strongly enough about this that I had to say: You rock! Bike feels great, and I am getting a lot more power -- especially from my hamstrings." Another patient, Kristin, says, "Thanks to my physical therapist, I've stayed healthy and have absolutely no neck problems. I'm so pleased that I can ride pain free." Physical therapists are experts in body movement and performance. Both Evans and Durham believe an individual experiencing pain or injury from exercise should consult a physical therapist as a critical member of the health care team. As an avid cyclist and physical therapist, Durham offers this advice to individuals, "A physical therapist can quickly assess and recommend changes in your bike and riding posture as well as teach you daily strengthening and stretching exercises." The California Physical Therapy Association exists to educate the people of California as to the attributes, benefits and value of physical therapy; meet the physical therapy needs of the people of California through the development and improvement of physical therapy education, practice and research; meet the needs of the Chapter members through identification, coordinated action, communication and fellowship.
SOURCE California Physical Therapy Association