Stay Healthy While Cycling
Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Marin County, if not the most. It’s a great way to boost your health and give yourself an intense workout. However, many people overlook the injuries that can come along with the sport they love so much.
According to studies, 42 percent of cyclists have injured their knees, 36 percent hurt their groin and buttocks, 31 percent damage their hands, and 31 percent their back. Health issues caused by cycling can progress over time as a result of repeated movements like pedaling or can arise suddenly with a fall. Both types of injuries should be taken seriously.
Most cycling injuries are caused due to riding at a high speed, with soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma being the most common. While you may not be able to avoid all injuries, you can still take preventative measures to minimize damage. You can start with wearing a helmet and practicing proper posture by keeping your back and shoulders straight!
These other bicycle-related injuries are a bit more complex.
This is one of the most overuse injuries in the sport. If your cleats are not positioned the correct way, you will start to notice a sharp pain in your knees that won’t go away. Not sure how to properly position your cleats? Ask someone at your local bike shop for help. Not only will you prevent knee pain, but your pedal strokes will be more powerful. Cyclist’s knee and patella and quadriceps tendinitis are other common knee overuse injuries. If you’re already noticing pain in your knees, do not ignore it. This is an injury that should be treated promptly.
Lower Back Pain
Spending long periods of time in the same position without taking a break can inflict pain on your muscles. When cycling, the position of riding a bike puts a lot of stress on your spine. When your body is in a flexed position, you’re bound to have back pain. So make sure your back is in the right position for the frame of your bicycle for the entirety of your ride. Back pain isn’t something you should have to live with. A chiropractor is a doctor that works specifically with the spine and can help to combat some of the issues caused by cycling.
You may not even be aware, but your hamstrings and your calve muscles are likely too tight. This is hard to feel when you are riding because your body has adapted to the constant motion. If you try another exercise like jogging or rollerblading, you’ll start to notice the pain. Muscle tightness can lead to tearing, which can be a much more serious injury and requires medical attention. Always make sure you warm up before you get on your bike and stretch to loosen up your muscles!
Ever noticed how large the quadriceps are of pro cyclists? This is due to the fact that they use these muscles to keep the bike going. Your quads need time to recover. If the muscles get too tired, lactic acid builds up in them and starts to cause muscle pain. A massage can help to soothe the pain. You should also try to switch pedaling in an out from the saddle in order to let some muscles relax while you put pressure on others.
Neck pain is not something you should take lightly! It is caused by tightness in the muscle that begins at the base of your skull and rungs along the sides of the neck all the way to the shoulders. This muscle gets tired because it carries the weight of your entire head during the time you’re riding. By making sure you have a bike that fits your body poperly, using good posture and loosening your grip on your handlebards, you can help prevent neck pain. A chiropractor can also help treat and prevent neck pain, as well as alleviate some of the symptoms.
Right now we’re offering a 20% discount on first-time visits for new patients! If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or are preparing for a big ride, come in for a visit with one of our specialists to make sure you’re in tip top shape!
To take advantage of this special offer:
- Enter your name & email address in the contact form at the bottom of this page
- Copy “SUMMER SPECIAL” in the message section & submit.