Cycling is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular pastimes. Its benefits range from improving fitness and strengthening core muscle groups to being an environmentally friendly way to travel to work. Unfortunately, like in any sport, injuries can and do happen. Whether you cycle to prepare for a race or simply to get to work, here’s a rundown of common injuries and what to do if you find yourself out of action.
Leg and foot injuries
Injuries to legs, feet and knees occur mostly from improper set up. If your saddle is too high or your cleats are improperly positioned, the stress of riding will be transferred to smaller and weaker muscle groups. Aches and pains can be remedied with anti-inflammatory drugs and ice while problems like tears and tendonitis can involve weeks of rest and rehabilitation. It’s vitally important that this period of rest is uninterrupted so if you’re bored then consider channelling your competitive energy into somethine like online activities or similar. It’s also a good idea to ease your recovery by using strengthening exercises.
Its often difficult to tell whether pain is a normal by-product of exercise or a symptom of underlying problems. Back and neck pain is a common complaint amongst cyclists since it is often caused by prolonged periods in a locked position. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider that there may be an underlying issue. Check that your seat and handlebars are properly adjusted for your height and that your posture is correct. Kinesiology tape sometimes helps to reduce stress, but this should be used with caution.
These are often caused by improper clothing. Check that your skins, shorts and jersey fit properly and that the materials are appropriate. Always shower after intense exercise and change out of sweaty clothes immediately. If the problem persists, most pharmacists will be able to advise on creams and ointments to help.