Cycling is the use of a bicycle for sport, recreation, or transportation. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults.
HERE ARE SOME COMMON CYCLING INJURIES AND WAYS TO AVOID THEM
Neck and Back
Neck aches and back aches are common as the body stays in one position throughout the duration cycling. This means the lower back is always in flexion and the neck in hyperextension resulting in stiffness and pain. If the handlebars are too low, cyclists may have to round their backs, thus putting strain on the neck and back. Tight hamstrings and/or
hip flexor muscles can also cause cyclists to round or arch the back, which causes the neck
Regular stretching and foam rolling before and after cycling sessions will help to reduce stiffness and increase mobility which will make it easier to cycle in proper form. Which will in turn reduce the risk of injuries.
Patellofemoral syndrome (cyclist’s knee) usually described as ache around the kneecap and stiffness when getting off the bicycle. Foot positioning and saddle placement may be a contributing factor. Correction of bicycle set-up, strengthening exercises, adequate stretching and resting is very important for recovery.
Wrist and Forearm
Pain and numbness over the wrists and forearm are usually the result of poor cycling form.
Cyclists should never keep their arms locked or straight while cycling. By keeping elbows slightly bent, they will act as shock absorbers when cycling over bumps in the road.
Alternating hand positions will help reduce pain or numbness by removing stress from over-used muscles and redistributing pressure more efficiently. Stretching the hands and wrists before riding will help.
Male riders who spend a lot of time riding usually develop pudendal neuropathy, a numbness or pain in the genital or rectal area. Pudendal neuropathy is the compression of blood supply to the genital region. Wider saddles with padding, changing the tilt of the seat, or using padded cycling shorts will help to ease the pressure.
Although it is very important to have proper bicycle set-up and correct form while cycling, knowing when to rest and recover is equally as important. Regular strengthening exercises and stretching will help maintain muscle endurance and flexibility which makes for a more comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience.
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