Cycling is a great activity for staying fit and exploring new places. Like any sport, there are some common injuries that can occur in cycling. Some of these injuries occur due to overuse, and some result from acute trauma. Here are 5 common cycling injuries:
Knee pain can occur while cycling due to a variety of things. If your knee pain is located on the front of your knee, that typically indicates that your saddle height is too low. When the back of your knee is hurting, it may be the case that your saddle height is too high. If your knee hurts on the inside or outside, it might be the position of your feet on the pedal that is the root cause. Left unattended to over time, some of these pains could develop into patellar tendonitis. This means the tendon below your kneecap is overworked due to improper. Small tweaks to saddle height and cleat positioning can really help eliminate overuse injuries in your knees. As with any overuse injury, resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatories is always a good idea too. Pushing through the pain can lead to longer healing processes and a more serious injury.
Some cyclists develop inflammation in the tendon behind the ankle, the Achilles tendon. This can be caused by an improper fit to your bike or improperly positioned cleats. If your seat is too high, your toe may be pointed down while you ride, which causes a lot of stress on the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. Just like with knee pain, rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories can help.
Back pain, often starting in the lower back, is a common overuse injury for cyclists. Long rides in unstable positions can lead to back pain. It’s important to make sure your form and bike fit are correct to avoid chronic back pain from cycling. A strong core helps too- stronger muscles around your pelvis help you stay stable on the bike.
If the way you lean over your bike while riding is improper, you may develop neck pain. A reach that is too long can cause aching in the shoulders and neck. Adjusting your seat stem length, seat setback, handlebar drop, and handlebar width are all possible ways you can reduce neck pain.
Sometimes, it isn’t your form that causes you pain over the long term. When you are speeding along on your bike, you can obtain injuries from crashes. One of the most common forms of injury from a crash is a clavicle break. Your reaction upon falling from your bike may be to extend your arm before impact, which can lead to a clavicle break. Your head is at risk too. Even with a helmet, which significantly reduces negative outcomes from head impacts, you can develop a concussion from blunt force.
One last common impact injury is road rash. This occurs when you slide on the ground after falling and your skin is grazed. The seriousness of your road rash can vary in severity, depending on the factors involved in a crash.
For any impact injury, it’s important to take the time to evaluate how your body feels and seek medical attention if necessary. This can be as simple as keeping road rash wounds cleaned and covered or as significant as an emergency room visit for a broken collarbone or wrist.
Cycling injuries aren’t always avoidable. When you find yourself in need of assistance for a nagging injury, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld and Orthopaedic Specialists are here to help. For an appointment with a board certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor in Louisville, Kentucky, call 502-212-2663 today!