If you are much into cycling, you will agree with me that cycling injuries and pain are so unavoidable as the thrills and joys that come with cycling. Just like all fitness sports, it’s always structured to make you happy and keep you healthy, but you can’t deny the possibility of getting injured. So while cycling, never be afraid of cycling pains as they are bound to occur. You can take solace in your professional pain doctor to help you through the pain management period.
NYC And Cycling
New York City is so congested, and like every other big city across America, the rate by which people are biking is increasing geometrically. Most individuals looking for a great alternative to running and other aerobic activities have found cycling to meet these needs. It also proves as a useful means of transiting over a shorter distance in time, avoiding unhealthy traffic, and exercising at the same time. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that more than 49 million Americans ride bicycles at least monthly.
With all these bike crazes, the number of cycling-related injuries and pains has also risen, soreness and pains of all kinds that sometimes come with cycling are inevitable. The majority of these pains often come from overuse. Other types of pains result from improper bicycle fit, technique, or training patterns. These may not only cause pain but can also exacerbate these injuries. Irrespective of the type of pain you may face, your local pain specialist is there to always assists you through the difficult times and further help you to avoid pains while riding next time.
Common Cycling Pains And Injuries And How To Avoid Them
IMPACT INJURY:Concussion and Broken Collarbone
Falls from bike no matter how good you are, it’s purely unavoidable most times. When you fall from a bike, your body is automatically susceptible to pains and injuries of various degrees. One of the typical traumas that come with falls is a concussion. Concussion results from a severe trauma in the head, whereby there’s a violent blow to the head, forcing the brain to move within the skull violently.
Shoulder fractures or break of the clavicle can occur as a result of falls. As unavoidable as it may seem, the good news is that with the help of your local pain specialist, you will completely heal in a matter of weeks.
To avoid head injury, it is often recommended always to put on a bike helmet. Bike helmets can’t prevent falls, but they certainly will reduce the risk of a serious head injury while biking.
WRIST, ARM, HAND AND NECK PAIN
When too much pressure is being transmitted through the upper body, pains around the neck and wrists are bound to follow suit. In bike dynamics, roughly 60% of your body weight is rested on the rear of the bike, while the remaining 40% occupies the front. If there should be any slight reverse in roles, such as a good amount of your weight pushes forth to the handlebars, then your arms and wrists will have to bear the brunt.
Neck pains are common in cycling. It can be aggravated by a lot of factors like riding position, technique, and comorbid conditions. If the handlebars of your bike are so low, you will be forced to hyperextend your neck foremost of the riding sessions. This poor riding position, aside from the prolonged neck extension, can result in increased load on the arms and shoulders, leading to muscle fatigue and pain.
To effectively tackle this, before you pick a ride or set out to ride any bike, do the needful by ensuring that your reach is not too long and that your handlebars are not too low. Also, to reduce the distance created by such poor handlebars, opting for compact or shallow drop handlebars could be a viable alternative. Finally, using cycling mitts or gloves with padded areas can help prevent compression of the nerve.
The knee is the joint between the upper and lower- lower limb. The knee cap, commonly called the patella, can be influenced by forces of pull and push, which begets knee pain. These pains can occur in various forms, notably as anterior knee pain, medial and lateral knee pain, posterior knee pain, and iliotibial band (IT Band) syndrome. The pain at the front of the knee is referred to as anterior knee pain. It can be caused due to over pedaling and when the saddle is too low, placing undue pressure on the patella. The Posterior pain occurs behind the knee. It commonly arises when the saddle is too high or too far back, leading to overextending the knee and stretching the hamstring attachments. The IT band, a thick strap of tissue can be inflamed due to overuse and weakness of the gluteus medius muscle. Lastly, the lateral and medial pains experienced at the side of the knee is a product of cleat placement.
Avoiding knee pains mostly involves massage, adjusting the saddle to the best-fit position, adjusting your cleat position, and of course, rest. Also, ice and anti-inflammatories can be used to manage these pains effectively.
Similar to wrist and neck pains, lower back pains are also a product of prolonged hours spent curled over handlebars. Other causes of back pains include poor posture on and off your bike, lack of flexibility, cycling on rough terrain (which can jar and compress the spine, causing back pain), and overly taut hamstrings. This can ultimately lead to changes in posture.
Handling back pains includes resting, stretching, using foam rollers, and employing the services of a pain doctor that sees to your quick bounce back. However, to entirely avoid this pain, consider meeting with a professional to help adjust your bicycle to fit your body properly. Also, work on your posture as well as riding core strength.
LEG AND FOOT PAINS
Leg and foot pains that come with riding can be in the form of hotfoots and saddle sores and blisters. The major underlying cause of this is overuse. However, using the wrong shoes for cycling or undersized shoes can result in blisters and hotfoot. Know when to take a break while cycling and always go for the right shoes that complement the season-best.