Cycling is a fun and affordable form of exercise. It also offers numerous health benefits. The problem is, cycling can cause injury if done incorrectly.
In addition to its benefits, it also carries some risks. These include falling off your bike, being hit by cars or other vehicles, and even being involved in accidents with animals.
Cyclists often suffer from repetitive strain injuries due to overuse. These injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, and muscle strains.
Here are six ways to prevent common cycling injuries.
1. Neck Pain
Neck pain is not something you should take lightly! The pain can come from muscle soreness, postural issues (such as bad posture), or even abnormalities in the shoulders and spine.
Neck pain can also come from the muscles running along your neck’s sides. These muscles, the scalenes, are particularly prone to tightness because they need to be flexible enough to allow your head to turn from side to side.
Bike riders frequently suffer from neck pain. Unfortunately, many people often dismiss the complaints as something minor and ride on.
This can cause more problems and worsen, causing you to take longer to recover. To help avoid neck pain, making sure you have a bike that fits your body properly, using good posture, and loosening your grip on your handlebars can help prevent neck pain while riding.
2. Knee Pain
It is common for cyclists to experience knee pain. It’s when inflammation and pain occur in the connection between your quadriceps muscle, patella tendon, and tibial tuberosity.
Cyclists who ride the same roads often, with slight variations in their workout routine and equipment, are susceptible to knee pain. This is a risk if you do not get your cleats positioned correctly. If your cleats aren’t positioned correctly, you will notice a sharp knee pain that won’t go away easily.
Knee injuries are prevalent among cyclists. They can occur due to overuse or from a sudden impact. If you want to reduce the risk of a knee injury, then you should focus on these three things.
- Warm Up Before Riding
- Wear Proper Cycling Gear
- Avoid Overtraining
3. Ankle Pain
Ankle pain is another complication cyclist faces when riding a bike. Ankle pain often occurs when forced to pedal. Legs and feet are connected at the ankle joint.
It is common for cyclists to suffer ankle injuries while participating in sports. It is because high-impact forces are applied to the ankle and foot joints. The main cause of these injuries is improper footwear.
Ankle sprains are very painful and can last for weeks or months. As well as osteoarthritis and tendonitis, stress fractures contribute to these conditions. Pain caused by these conditions can become chronic if they are not treated.
Cyclists need to wear shoes that fit well and are comfortable to prevent ankle injuries. Proper shoe design helps reduce the risk of an ankle sprain.
Specialized.com has a range of cycling shoe collections. Those are designed especially for a cyclist and provide support when going for a long ride.
4. Hip Pain
Hip pain occurs when cyclists spend a lot of time sitting down. This means that their hips are constantly being flexed, which puts them at risk of injury.
To reduce the chances of suffering from these injuries, you should minimize the amount of time spent sitting down. Rather than sit for long periods, stand up and stretch every hour or two.
Generally, cyclists ride slowly at first and gradually increase their speed. This gradual increase in intensity can put stress on your body.
You should always warm up before starting a ride, especially if you haven’t ridden for a long period. Cycling at high speeds can cause joint pain because it places pressure on your joints.
5. Back Pain
When you cycle for long periods, back pain can become a common occurrence. When sitting in the same position too long, the stress placed on your spine can be excruciating and even debilitating.
Riding a bike for a long period without taking breaks can seriously damage your back. However, there are ways to avoid discomfort and even pain with a few simple changes to your riding posture.
Back injuries are prevalent among cyclists. They usually occur after long rides or heavy training sessions. It can take a long time to heal.
Preventing back injuries while riding can be accomplished by taking the following steps:
- You should always wear proper gear.
- You should stretch regularly.
- You should warm up properly before starting.
- You should stop riding if you start feeling discomfort.
A back injury occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the lower back are strained or torn. Lower back pain and stiffness are common symptoms of this type of injury.
6. Muscle Fatigue
When cycling, your quadriceps are important. This is the muscle in which you pull up. So when you’re pedaling, your quads are used to keep the bike going.
However, if you overstrain them, they can hurt painfully. It’s best to take a break and stretch out your leg muscles. You should also alternate pedaling in and out of the saddle to let some of your muscles relax while working on others.
Riding a bike comes with risks. Injuries from bicycle accidents can be severe or even fatal. If you’ve ever been involved in a bicycle accident, you probably want to know more about the types of personal injuries cyclists face.
Staying fit and healthy can be achieved through cycling. Unfortunately, cycling injuries are common, especially among beginners. If you want to prevent these injuries, then you should be careful while riding.