By knowing common cycling injuries, you can be preventative and avoid them. Here are 10 common injuries after a bicycle accident.
Even if the common injuries in a bicycle accident are unavoidable, it is important to know how to treat them to get you out cycling again!
1. Saddle Sores
Saddle sores develop from hours of riding, causing friction between your thighs, clothes, and saddle, creating a nasty rash! You can recognize saddle sores are developing from soreness between the contact area of your saddle and skin. Use a saddle sore relieving balm or cream to help relieve the sores, and try different saddles and saddle heights that fit right for you. If the saddle is angled too far up, it could increase the friction. As well, make sure to clean your gear to prevent further infections.
2. Neck Pain
When in the cycling position, your upper back and neck muscles are supporting the weight of your head in a poor body position. Neck pain and possibly reduced mobility in the upper back and neck develops because of the overstraining of the back and neck muscles being in a static, uncomfortable position for long periods of time. Try to be mindful of your posture and loosen your grip on the handlebars. It will also help to adjust the height of your bike, so you can sit in a more upright position. Make sure to stretch and do yoga to release the stress and tension in the muscles.
3. Lower Back Pain
Similar to neck pain, lower back pain occurs from prolonged sitting in the natural position for cycling. Unfortunately, the position puts a lot of stress on the spine. You may street feeling stiffness in your back and pain located near the buttocks. Practice lower back and hip stretches to relieve stress from prolonged sitting and pushing on the pedals. You should stretch your spine both before and after your ride, and attempt to build stronger core muscles. Make sure you are intentional about the proper position you need to be in based on the bike you are riding.
4. Knee Pain
Your knees are the most overused part of your body if you participate in cycling. Cycling can potentially create an imbalance in the hip and thigh muscles, creating tension in the knee cap. Knee pain can be resolved by fixing the position of your cleats, adjusting the height of your saddle, or trying a new saddle. Try to determine if the stress on your knee is coming from the saddle, overtraining, or riding for long periods of time. Knee pain can be intense. If the pain does not resolve it would be best to consult a doctor.
5. Muscle Fatigue
Muscle fatigue comes from the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, which can cause the feeling of tiredness, burning, or tension. Muscle fatigue especially occurs to cyclists who are training more aggressively than normal. A massage can help release the lactic acid, as well as anti-inflammatories can help with the pain. The root cause of solving muscle fatigue is to strengthen your muscles!
If you are not training more aggressively than normal, you may want to consider the possibility of illness, hormone problems, or heart issues. You should consult a physician if muscle fatigue is common for you.
6. Hot Foot
Hotfoot is a burning sensation or numbness and pain on the underside of the foot. Your feet while cycling experience a lot of pressure on them, causing pressure and discomfort on the nerves traveling from your toes to the balls of your feet. Poorly fitted shoes and socks can cause hotfoot. Try your best to find the best-fitting athletic socks and shoes for your foot.
7. Hip Pain
Tightness of the muscles surrounding the pelvic and hip flexors causes pain in the hips. Again, prolonged sitting in the natural cycling position irritates the hips and decreased flexibility.
Make sure to adjust your saddle height to the correct height for your body position for your type of bike. Yoga and other hip stretches will release tension and make your hips more flexible.
8. Wrist and Hand Pain (Handlebar Neuropathy)
Wrist and hand pain, also diagnosed as handlebar neuropathies or handlebar palsy, occurs when there is compression on the nerve that runs from your wrist to the little finger and ring. This compression occurs from holding the handlebars in one position for too long, or restriction of the forearm muscles and wrists. Attempt to alter and loosen your grip on the handlebars frequently.
9. Impact/Traumatic Injuries
Although it sucks, crashes and other accidents are common while cycling. If you have experienced a crash before, you likely had impact injuries. Cyclers can face a lot of traumatic injuries from fractures, dislocations, cuts, contusions, or any other traumatic injuries on an average bike ride.
Make sure to put safety first and always wear a helmet. Carry an emergency contact number while riding, and remember to pay attention to your surroundings. Seek medical attention right away. Any crash involving the impact of your head and helmet warrants immediate medical attention, concussions are serious and be life-altering.
10. Achilles Tendonitis
Another common overuse injury is in the ankle or Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is often the result of overtraining when the ankle or Achilles tendon does not get enough time to heal in between rides.
Try to give yourself a break in between rides and give your ankle and tendons time to heal. The pain may return. Ice your ankle and elevate it to reduce the pain and take anti-inflammatories. However, most importantly, giving your body time to heal in-between rides will be the best solution.