Cycling has always been a cheap and environment-friendly mode of transportation. It is also an enjoyable physical activity for all age groups as it contributes to both physical and mental health. Cycling helps in improving the muscle tone of legs and is also considered good for cardiovascular fitness.
Due to the health benefits of cycling, there has been an upward trend in the number of people who are opting for cycling as part of their daily fitness regime. However, like everything else in this world, cycling comes with its associated risks and injuries. These injuries could be a result of just cycling or sometimes accidents.
Cycling injuries – At a glance
According to a research done on cycling injuries, most of the injuries happen due to falling off from the bike or hitting a stationary object rather than a collision with another vehicle. Cycling can cause knee injuries, neck pain, and injuries to groin, buttocks, hands, and back. The most common injury faced by a cyclist is a superficial tissue injury or musculoskeletal trauma. Few injuries like ones related to back or neck can happen due to bad posture.
To safeguard yourself from injuries, it is imperative that you wear a helmet and protective gear. Apart from this, obeying traffic rules is also very important for your own and others safety as well. Let’s look at some common cycling injuries and ways to prevent them.
- Neck pain – This usually happens due to tightness in the muscle that begins at the base of the skull and runs along the sides of the neck to the shoulders. These muscles carry the complete weight of the head all the time while riding and hence gets stressed. To prevent neck pain, one should ensure that the bike fits well with your body. A rider should fix his posture, shorten the stem to be in an upright position and loosen the grip on handlebars which will help in relaxing the shoulders.
- Numbness in foot – This is one of the most common problems with cyclists. A rider should ensure that the cleats are not too far forward else it will increase the pressure on the ball of the foot. Another cause of numbness could be uphill riding as it leads to a lot of pressure on the foot. Lastly, and most importantly wear appropriate and comfortable shoes. They should not be too narrow and squeeze your feet tightly.
- Muscle Tightness – Your calves and hamstrings may become tight which you might not feel while riding, but if you try and do some other physical activity then you can feel the difference. This happens since the body has adapted to a particular motion. Tightness can sometimes cause a tear in muscles so make sure you always warm up before you start cycling and relax for a while when you are done. Stretching also helps in relaxing the muscles.
- Lower back pain – If you spend a long time in the same position without a break, it is natural that it will hurt any muscle. Similarly while cycling, a lot of pressure goes down the spine. For longer pedal strokes the body has to be in a flexed position which results in back pain. Therefore, make sure that you maintain your back straight and in the correct position while cycling.
- Knee pain – Again a common injury amongst cyclists due to prolonged period of cycling and high stress. It is advisable to fix a comfortable cleat position; getting cycling insoles also helps in avoiding knee pain.
These were some suggestions, but to get help with your cycling and any injuries you might be carrying, call one of our practices now. Our professional team of health practitioners would be happy to guide you.