The 3 Most Common Cycling Injuries
While cycling has always been a favoured activity in the summers, it has exploded significantly in popularity this year. With everyone getting back on the saddle, we have been seeing an increased number of cycling injuries at Ace Sports Clinic. Below are 3 of the most common injuries we see and treat in cyclists as well as some tips to prevent them.
Neck & Back Pain
Neck and back pain is typically due to an ill-fitting bike or improper form and posture while cycling. For example, if the seat is too high or the handlebars are too low and we have limited range of motion in our hips, we tend to spend more time in lumbar spine flexion; this prolonged position is not ideal for our low back and can lead to pain and dysfunction in the area. The improper position of the seat or handlebars can also lead to issues in our necks; we tend to shrug our shoulders, spend too much time rounded in the upper back, or jutting our chin forward while cycling. These positions, for a prolonged period of time can definitely lead to pain and dysfunction in our neck and shoulder blades.
When starting to cycle again, it is important to make sure that your bike is fitted properly to your body and that you warm up and cool down with specific stretches to reduce some of the tension created during your ride.
Wrist or Forearm Pain or Numbness
Ulnar nerve palsy and other wrist or forearm complaints are especially common in those who ride on a road bike. Poor positioning of your grip on the handlebars can lead to over-gripping on the bike, which can lead to overuse injuries of the forearm muscles or compression of your ulnar nerve. This can create pain in the wrist or forearm or even cause numbness into your hand. While cycling, try to avoid putting your wrists into too much extension and be aware of how much you are gripping onto the handlebars. If your pain persists, come into the Clinic to get assessed and we can help you properly add load back into the tissues to reduce pain and return you back to activity.
Knee pain is another issue we see often in cyclists; patellofemoral pain syndrome and patellar tendinosis are two of the most common knee injuries seen at Ace. These conditions typically present as pain surrounding the knee cap and are most often due to overuse, improper load management and improper seat height. There are often issues with imbalances in the muscles in the hip and knee which can contribute to the pain. These concerns can be addressed with proper rehabilitative exercises and a graduated return to activity with proper mechanics.
If you’re returning to cycling and have pain, we can help! Contact us to book with an Ace Certified Practitioner. We look forward to helping you get back on the bike safely and comfortably.
Written by Dr. Allie Dennis, Chiropractor, Ace Sports Clinic