How Common Are Cycling Injuries?
Cycling is one of the most beloved sports worldwide. After all, what can be more relaxing than taking your bike for a ride after work or over the weekend? However, you still need to pay attention to your surrounding and take the steps needed to prevent injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, cycling related injuries don’t always result from crashes. Certain conditions, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, and back pain are often caused by repeated movement patterns or trauma. These problems can develop gradually or occur immediately after a fall.
What Causes Cycling Injuries?
More than 500,000 Americans end up in the ER every year due to cycling injuries. In Canada, approximately 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured each year. One out of three deaths occurs at night or where there’s artificial lighting.
As you see, cycling isn’t 100 percent safe. Like any other sport, it may lead to injuries. Crashes, for instance, may lead to concussions and muscle strains. Lower back pain is common in those who spend long hours curled over the handlebars. Knee pain occurs due to repetitive motions, incorrect cleat set up, or high saddle positioning.
Fortunately, most cycling injuries are preventable. For example, working on your core strength can reduce your risk of back pain. Regular form rolling and massage can help prevent and relieve a tight IT band. If you have wrist pain, physiotherapy will improve your symptoms and lower the risk of developing complications, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
What to Do in Case of Injury?
Unless you’re struggling with a severe injury, most issues can be successfully managed with physio, massage, foam rolling, and chiropractic. Ice and heat therapy can help too.
Achilles tendonitis, for instance, respond well to physical therapy. This common injury occurs due to the repetitive action involved in cycling, which causes wear and tear to the tendon.
A skilled physiotherapist can recommend exercises that support tendon repair and restore muscle strength. Depending on your needs, he will develop a workout plan that includes isometric, eccentric, and concentric exercises as well as muscle stretching and massage. The sooner you receive treatment, the higher your chances of recovery.
Also, remember to stop cycling if you feel sharp pain or experience inflammation. These symptoms may indicate a more serious injury. Take the time to rest and see a physiotherapist if the pain doesn’t subside.