Cyclist’s syndrome is the common name for Pudendal Nuralgia or Pudendal Nerve Entrapment (PNE). This malady causes pain in the lower pelvic areas like the penis, vulva and anal region. Pudendal nerve entrapment, as the name suggests, is caused when the pudendal nerve is compressed or entrapped. The main symptoms of PNE are pain while sitting, urninary incontinence, impotence and sexual dysfunction.
The reasons for PNE could be trauma, pressure or prolonged sitting on uncomfortable and hard surfaces, which may rub the pudendal nerve. PNE can also be caused by scarring due to accidents or surgery and also by pregnancy. Heavy bicycling, especially while using a wrongly shaped or positioned seat, may also result in PNE.
There are several treatment options for PNE. These include:
Stretches and exercises can reduce pain levels. Bending over and touching the toes can be helpful. Another useful stretch is bringing the knee on the side that is compressed to the chest, while lying on the back. Regular bicyclists can sit in the lotus position and move their head to the ground while supporting themselves with their hands. These stretches should be held for about eight seconds and be spread throughout the day. Chiropractic adjustments to the affected region are also helpful.
If physical therapy fails, Alcock canal infiltration can be tried with corticosteroids for pain relief.
Other Treatment Methods
- Resting the pelvis by avoiding sitting for long periods
- Taking antidepressants or anticonvulsants to reduce pain
- Nerve blocks
- Severe cases can be treated by decompression surgery