Learn How to Prevent or Work Through Common Cycling Injuries
Pain can be a frustrating thing that can sideline you from riding. While a good bike and proper set-up are important for avoiding injury, it does not guarantee that you will avoid pain or discomfort during or after cycling.
For some of the most common cycling injuries, here are some tips on preventing and working through each injury, along with some simple stretches and exercises.
Neck pain is a common injury among cyclists, typically caused from poor posture or positioning on the bike. It’s common for cyclists to feel a persistent pain at the base and/or sides of the neck. Rotating and bending your head can be difficult, making it feel ‘blocked’. Neck pain can also mean you experience pain as while holding up your head while riding.
Tips to Avoid Neck Pain
Proper bike posture can help avoid neck pain and reduce tension. In addition, relax your grip on the handlebars, and make sure they are prosperity adjusted, so you’re not leaning forward. Finally, make sure you have proper posture, relaxing the shoulders and maintaining a neutral position of your neck.
Stretches for Neck Pain
● Neck rotations
● Neck tilts
● Shoulder rolls
● Shoulder blade squeeze
Forearm pain is a common complaint among cyclists, often caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm. This type of pain can make ‘un-gripping’ your hands difficult during or after cycling.
Tips to Avoid Forearm Pain:
Like neck pain, start by relaxing your grip on the handlebars to reduce tension in your forearms. Make sure your hand position on the handlebars is comfortable, and you’re not gripping too tightly. Also, consider altering the rotation on your handlebars or brake lever angle so the wrist is in line with the arm when standing on the bike.
Stretches for Forearm Pain:
● Wrist flexor stretch
● Wrist extensor stretch
● Forearm pronation/supination
Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a common complaint among cyclists, often caused by poor posture and positioning on the bike.
Tips to Avoid Lower Back Pain:
To address lower back pain, start by checking that your saddle angle isn’t too low or tipped up. Make sure your bike is the right size and the seat and handlebars are properly adjusted to the correct height. A proper bike fit can also help reduce the risk of low back pain. Performing lower back and hip stretches before and after riding can relieve tension in the muscles.
Stretches for Low Back Pain:
● Knee-to-chest stretch
● Hamstring stretch
● Cat-Cow stretch
Knee pain is a common issue among cyclists and can be caused by various factors, including improper bike fit, overuse, and muscle imbalances. Knee pain in cyclists is typically characterized as a deep ache around or just under the kneecap. This can cause the knee to feel
stiff when first getting up from sitting.
Tips to Avoid Knee Pain:
Check the height of your saddle to make sure it is optimal for your height and not placing extra load on one group of muscles. Keep the supporting muscles supple to take the pressure off your knees, particularly your quads.
Stretches for Knee Pain:
● Simple standing quad stretch
● Reclining pigeon pose
In Closing: Overcoming Cycling Injuries And Get Back To Riding
Incorporating stretching exercises into your daily routine can help to alleviate pain and improve flexibility, reducing the risk of injuring or re-injuring yourself. In addition, you can work on further strengthening your core, legs, and upper body to prevent injuries while cycling.
Finally, when coming back from an injury, don’t do too much too quickly! Instead, work your way back into cycling by gradually increasing the duration and the intensity of your rides. If you’re a cyclist that has sustained an injury preventing you from riding, reach out to MOVE Athletics. https://www.moveathleticspt.com/
MOVE Athletics are licensed physical therapists in West Springfield that can help you return to cycling, working with you to create and follow a personalized plan to remain pain-free.