Cycling Injuries

The various injuries

cycling injuriesThe most common injuries for cyclists are point of contact. These injuries affect the parts of a cyclist that touch the bike, the hands, feet and backside. Injuries to the hand are normally caused by gripping the handlebars for too long in one position, which affects a large nerve called the ulnar nerve. The best way to prevent this is by moving the hands around the handlebars as much as possible. Some cyclists use cleats which fasten the foot to the pedal. If the cleats are not positioned correctly, then the result could mean shooting pains up the legs and it can also cause inflammation resulting in Achilles tendonitis. Ensuring the cleats are well aligned is the best preventative measure, as is a good bike fit. The main point of contact injury for the backside is saddle sore. This is a friction injury and can be prevented by wearing decent clothing and very padded shorts. Injuries such as lower back pain and ITB (Iliotibial Band) syndrome can often be attributed to poor bike fit and may have to be treated through physio and more.

Diet and prevention

The frame should be set up correctly and not be too large or too small. The height of the saddle should also be set correctly at the correct height. Many cycling injuries are muscular and caused by overuse. Warming the muscles up is excellent for injury prevention, as is cooling down after a cycling session. Proper nutrition and hydration is also a great preventative measure for injury avoidance. Carbs intake is important as it refuels the muscles, protein will help to rebuild them and consuming plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration is vital. Getting regular sports massages, physio and more, can be good for relieving tired muscles and can help detect potential problems and trouble areas before they develop into long term injuries.

Although crashes are not commonplace for cyclists, the use of a proper, well fitted cycling helmet can help to avoid injuries to the head.