Cycling, an activity enjoyed for ages, has generated newfound interest among people today. Thanks to its health and environmental benefits, bicycle sales are expected to reach $82.3 billion by 2027. If you plan to take up cycling, you should be aware of common injuries and ways to prevent them. In addition, wearing proper attire like a cycling jersey and shorts can go a long way in providing comfort and improving your performance.
Common Cycling Injuries and Prevention Techniques
If you are a novice cyclist, it might take some time to get familiar with the sport. This would be the right time to know about injuries as you can learn proper techniques and adopt habits that do not put your health at risk.
Some of the common types of injuries you will come across in cycling are:
Neck pain is caused due to the continued extension of the neck when cycling. Improper posture can cause your back to arch, which in turn puts strain on your neck. You could experience pain right from the base of your skull to the sides of your neck and right up to your shoulders.
How to Prevent: Before getting on the bike, ensure you spend some time stretching. Shoulder shrugs and neck rotations could help reduce the tightness of the muscles and improve mobility. Similarly, shortening the stem length, lowering pressure on handlebars can also help.
Your lower back tends to stay in a fixed position for a long time while cycling. As you pump energy through your hips to paddle better, your lower back muscles get strained in the process. In addition, improper posture, such as holding the curved back position over long routes, can lead to back pain.
How to Prevent: Your cycle should be customized according to your body measurements and comfort. For example, you should adjust the saddle according to your height; it should not be too high or low. Secondly, it could be beneficial to work on your core muscles. With a stronger core, you would be less likely to put pressure on your lower back.
If it is one injury that most cyclists complain of you, then that is knee pain. Incorrect use of cleats can lead to long-term knee pain. Also, if you suddenly go from cycling 30 minutes a day to hours on end, your knees are sure to feel the pressure.
How to Prevent: Properly set up and position your cleats. For added comfort, use cycle insoles. Check saddle height for balanced weight distribution. Gradually increase cycling time and take proper rest days in between training.
This pain is a result of sitting on the saddle for a prolonged period. Your skin can get irritated because of the constant friction between the buttock and the saddle. Ill-fitting or poor-quality clothes can further aggravate the issue. As a result, you might experience pain in your buttock/groin area and may also develop redness or rashes.
How to Prevent: One of the best solutions to fix most of these common sports injuries is to get your cycle fitted by a professional. Try different types of saddles and explore the range of anatomically designed saddles available in the market today.
Also, invest in suitable cycling attire. For example, a cycling jersey and padded shorts can provide you with additional comfort and help prevent injuries.
You could experience a temporary loss of sensation in your foot, or you could feel as if pins and needles are poking at your foot all at once. Foot numbness becomes worse when you cycle uphill, are exposed to cold weather, or have ill-fitting shoes.
How to Prevent: Start with getting a quality shoe that fits you comfortably. Ensure proper position of the cleats so as not to strain the toes but divert pressure to the ball of the foot. Mix up your cycling routes; if you have been riding around on hills, a flatter surface can help relieve tension and give your muscles a break from over-exerting.
Cycling can be a fun and easy activity to enjoy, but improper technique, posture, and lack of awareness could result in injuries. If you understand common injuries and their cause, you could adopt a proactive approach and avoid getting injured in the first place.
Another way in which you can enhance your cycling experience is by investing in the proper cycling clothing. A well-fitted cycling jersey could provide you with sweat, UV, and wind resistance. Cycling shorts could protect the lower half of your body and offer you the flexibility of using your muscles in full range.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.