How to treat common cycling injuries?
In our last blog, we discussed how to prevent cycling injuries. Here we are going to discuss reasons, treatment and prevention of some of the common cycling injuries.
Cycling is a superb activity for your brain, heart and overall well-being. Just like with other sports, it is common to feel pain in some body parts occasionally when you take up cycling as a regular activity. If these aches go untreated or unmanaged, they can make you struggle hard to rotate the pedals of your favourite bicycle. Cycling injuries are unfortunate but timely cure and treatment could help you recover speedily.
Here we have collated some of the injuries/pains, their reasons and how to prevent them.
1. Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common issues reported by cyclists. Symptoms include neck pain that radiates to the middle of the back. Sometimes there is a difficulty in rotating or turning the head also. This significantly impacts the flexibility while riding your favourite MTB cycle.
Over straining your spine and wrong posture are two prime reasons for neck pain. If untreated, neck pain could lead to extremely painful muscle spasms and stiffness. The neck ache also arises if the bars are too low. The rider has to hyperextend his body to see what’s coming ahead.
Gentle neck stretches and light neck exercises could help loosen the neck stiffness and allow it to move freely.
2. Wrist, arm and hand pain
When too much pressure is exerted on the upper body it results in pain in wrists, arm and hands. Ideally, 40% of the rider’s bodyweight is positioned in the front (handlebars) and 60% at the rear part of the bicycle. If this ratio is imbalanced and more weight goes beyond the handlebars, your wrists and arms would be battling.
Make sure that the handlebar of your MTB cycle or roadster bicycle is not too long. Secondly, the handlebars should be at the proper height and not too low. Also, holding handlebars in one position for a long time could affect the forearm muscles and the wrists. To avoid building tension in the wrists, griping positions should be kept altering.
Make sure that the handlebar is positioned at their natural angle and is reachable.
3. Lower back pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common injuries that cyclists suffer as the backs are curled on the handlebars for a long time. Main symptoms include a sharp pain in the lower back that radiates down the buttocks and thighs. You may feel slight stiffness and fatigue while getting up from sitting posture.
This is a common problem with aggressive cyclists who ride with low handlebars. Alleviate the handlebar to its natural position. When you are at work, make sure to keep a round pillow behind your back while sitting. This will help you maintain your posture. Use a comfortable chair at your workplace.
Work on your core strength i.e. muscles. Exercise daily to keep your leg and thigh muscles strong and flexible.
4. Impact injuries
Road crashes are an unfortunate part of cycling. You may be tempted to grab your cycle again immediately after the crash, but the injuries may restrict you in doing so. In case your skin is grazed by hitting in a road crash or bicycle skidding, try to clean the rash as soon as you get back home. If you have a first aid box in your backpack, clean your wound with water and then apply an antiseptic cream.
Keep it dry and clean for the next few days for a speedy recovery.
5. Knee pain
Pain around your knee is often due to poor fit of the bike. It’s very important to choose a bike as per your height and weight. One size over or under could result in body aches and knee pain is one of them.
When the saddle is placed too low, the rider may experience pain in the front of the knee due to excess pressure exerted on knees. If the saddle is too high, stretching of hamstrings results in pain behind your knee.
So, buy a bicycle that offers a perfect fit for you.
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