When time in the saddle is a sore topic

Posted on 10 January 2019

With the expertise gained from 15 years at the Absa Cape Epic, the Mediclinic Corporate Events team understand that conditions aren’t always favourable for those who spend long hours in the saddle. But our team at the infamous ‘Bum Clinic’ know how to get you back in the saddle!

“We had comments from riders last year saying that they had never had issues until they rode this race – the conditions are very different with the dust typical to the region. And in one particular case the rider did not know about our clinic until a few days after his saddle sore symptoms appeared – meaning we could definitely have made his ride easier – a lot earlier,” says Dr Darren Green, Mediclinic Race Doctor.

It is fair to say that 8 days in the saddle in an extreme race such as this may have some possible consequences – between the dust, sweat and long hours – chafing and the resulting saddle sores are always a possibility. The trick is to catch it early and then either treat the mild symptoms or apply a ‘second skin’ for the day to help reduce the chafing on the skin.

To avoid the chafing simple things definitely do make a difference. We advise against using new kit that you are not accustomed to – the right fit for bibs ais essential. “Making sure you really wash the kit properly before the race and during the event is also key, along with good chamois cream and the knowledge that we are there to step in as soon as you feel there might be an issue,” advises Dr Green. Another simple thing to keep in mind is to adjust your position at regular intervals or stand up where possible during a long race day.

“Our experience has produced some highly skilled nurses that attend to the matter quickly and professionally – and by the end of the race it becomes a laughing matter for all. Many riders regard the Bum Clinic as a staple for those last few days, and we are happy to provide a service that really does meet the needs of our riders. Our aim has always been to keep bums in saddles, and this is just one more way we keep the riders going – happy and healthy,” says Dr Green.

And when it comes to prevention being better than cure – please keep in mind that the team offers strapping each morning if you start feeling you may need support – and wound care if you may have taken a tumble. Dr Green knows that there is always pressure before the starting gun, “We know how to get riders in and out so they make their start times and our team tracks patients through the event to make sure they are safe, happy and ready for the next day.”

“Pop in after your day out if you have any questions. Please don’t opt for self-medication when we have professional advice available on site. You could be doing more harm than good,” he concludes.


Published in Cape Epic

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.