Cycling Injuries – Are Your Knees Feeling the Burn (and Not in a Good Way)?
Cycling is a great, low-impact way to stay in shape – but it comes with its own risks. Injuries are an unfortunate part of any cyclist’s world – whether from overuse, a crash, or just poor bike fit. Getting out on the bike and staying pain-free can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. With this in mind, here is a list of the most common cycling injuries – and how to prevent them.
- The knee is the most common pain point for cyclists, especially with regard to overuse injuries: the repetitive motion can cause distress in a number of different ways. Patellofemoral syndrome (also called cyclist’s knee), patella and quandriceps tendinitis, and medial plica syndrome are all typical cycling injuries due to overuse. Bike fit and foot position can help reduce the risk of sustaining one of these injuries, as can proper training.
- Achilles Tendonitis is primarily an overuse injury caused by inflammation. It often comes on gradually overtime, often causing pain which is constant if untreated or ignored. If you feel pain, take a break, and seek medical attention before it gets worse. Also, try lowering your bike seat and make sure that your cleats are not pushed all the way forward – this will alleviate pressure on the calf muscles.
- Lower back pain is often the result of poor bike fit or long hours out on the trail, especially if you are in an aggressive riding position. Many cyclists forget about those core muscles that are needed to sustain longer rides, causing the supporting muscles to overcompensate. To avoid this, make sure that you are doing core-strengthening exercises on a regular basis to build up those muscles.
- Neck pain is also common thanks to muscle fatigue caused by the neck having to hold up the weight of your head in extension for extended periods of time. Like lower back pain, this can be combatted with an exercise routine that incorporates neck and shoulder strengthening exercises.
- Head injuries from a crash – often unavoidable since a crash isn’t exactly something you plan for. The best advice here: protect your head by wearing a helmet every time you get out riding. And always remember: if you do fall and hit your head hard, the symptoms of a concussion may not present themselves right away, or may be hard to diagnose, so seek medical attention immediately.
If this advice is just a little too late, and you are already suffering from one of these common cycling injuries, don’t ride through the pain. Attend a sports medicine clinic to get assessed and find out about the various treatment options available.
For more about preventing or treating cycling injuries, please contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine today – we’ve got you covered. Call 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca today.