Common Cycling Injuries
If you are a seasoned cyclist or just someone who just enjoys cycling to work, it doesn’t matter, there will be something of value in this blog for you.
The blog explains some of the most common muscle and joint injuries associated with cycling. Especially the type of injuries that aren’t related to crashes, collisions or falls. It will outline what to do when you have an injury, it will explain when you need to seek help, and it will help you with injury prevention.
There are potentially many different causes of injury. It can be down to lack of experience or environmental hazards; it can also be down to rider errors, lack of self-care, overuse, or inadequate equipment.
Typical injuries that happen during cycling include low-back pain, IT band syndrome and hip bursitis.
Other injuries that often occur include patello-femoral pain, neck pain and wrist pain. There is also a possibility that you might suffer from one of the following; cyclist palsy, achilles tendonitis or ilio-psoas tendonitis.
Immediate Care for Cycling Injuries: The PRICE method
It may be necessary to limit movement during the initial phases of injury to protect the tendons, ligaments and the affected joint. One way of protecting an injury is to use a splint or a support.
Often sporting individuals feel frustrated with an injury and during exercise, they try to “push through the pain”. Afterall, the old adage is “no pain, no gain”, right?!
Actually, that’s wrong in the majority of cases.Each case is individual and this aspect of “PRICE” must be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Reducing the amount of daily activity and use of the injured area and avoid training is often advisable during this initial stage of injury.
You need to leave a suitable amount of healing time for the affected tissues and joints. The “rest” aspect of care is often overlooked or isn’t followed for long enough.
Also known as cryotherapy, the use of ice is a widely recognised form of initial injury treatment. It is beneficial in the early stages of injury to help to:
- temporarily reduce blood flow to the area by a process known as vasoconstriction,
- reduce the temperature of the tissues,
- aid in the relaxation of muscle,
- reduce swelling and inflammation,
- reduce pain,
- and act as a temporary numbing agent.
Applying compression to the initial stages of the injury can aid in the reduction or prevention of excess swelling. You can use a compression bandage made from elasticated material.
If a part of a limb is injured, elevation of the limb can help with recovery. This is due to the effect of gravity aiding drainage of the affected area, aiding the reduction of swelling and therefore decreasing pain.
When to get professional advice on cycling injuries
If you have:
- severe pain, especially whilst walking
- severe swelling
- altered sensation in your hands, arms, feet or legs.
If in doubt, get in contact with the NHS via the 111 service and they can direct you to the most appropriate care provider.
How to Prevent Injuries Associated with Cycling
There are many different ways in which you could help you prevent an injury from occurring:
- Efficient warm up
- Adequate cool down
- Regular sports massage or manual therapy
- Effective training
- Good hydration levels
- Appropriate nutrition
- Foam rolling techniques
- Booking a bike fit