How to Prevent the 6 Most Common Cycling Injuries
Riding bicycles is an exhilarating workout, but it can definitely be hard on our bodies. Achilles tendons, shoulder pain, and back pain are just the beginning. But who wants to stop working out just because of some pain? The benefits it has on our bodies far outweighs the negatives. However, it is important to work out and ride correctly in order to avoid serious injuries. Read on to learn how to prevent common cycling injuries.
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An overuse injury, Achilles tendonitis is caused by inflammation and is different from an Achilles rupture. This injury can be caused when your bike doesn’t fit you properly or your shoe cleats are in the wrong position. Try lowering your bike saddle, this will help even out the muscles used to pedal. If you still experience pain, taking Ibuprofen will ease the inflammation.
Found just below your kneecap, patellar tendonitis is typically caused when your saddle is too low or when you’ve completed a long ride using big gears. When the muscles in the glutes aren’t used efficiently, the quadriceps take over and become fatigued, resulting in this injury. Try raising the seat or switching up the way you pedal. By increasing the amount you pedal, this injury can be avoided.
Broken Clavicle or Scaphoid
We certainly hope this doesn’t happen, but these injuries are common when a crash occurs. When you extend your arm during a fall, the clavicle, or collarbone, and the scaphoid, the bone running from your thumb to your wrist, absorb much of the impact. If this happens to you, seek medical attention right away. Avoiding the fall itself might not be possible, but to prevent an injury to these bones, keep your hands on the bars and let your body absorb the impact as well.
This is a skin disorder that is the result of sitting for too long in the saddle and the friction that occurs. To prevent this, consider purchasing a new pair of shorts or lowering the saddle. A lower seat can help limit the side-to-side motion that causes the friction. If adjusting the seat hasn’t helped, use a chamois cream to ease the pain.
Lower Back Pain
The long rides are the best, but also are the leading cause of lower back pain. When you push the lumbar region of your spine too far, it could lead to sciatica, which would require medical attention. Before you get back on your bike, boost your core-strengthening workouts. Building the core muscles can provide a base for your spine while riding.
When riding, you are essentially holding up your head in an extended position. This can lead to pain from the base of the skull to the sides of your neck and shoulders. First, make sure that your bike is fitted properly by moving the seat forward and shortening the stem. This will allow your body to be in a more upright position. The pain could also stem from tight shoulder muscles. Try loosening your grip on the handlebars.
Don’t let body pain stop you from experiencing the joys of riding. The more you know about bike positioning and training the right muscles in your body, the better you will feel, even after those 100-mile rides.
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