Generally speaking bicycling is a low-impact sport and an excellent way to stay fit. It does have some risk for sport injury, though. The most common causes for bicycling injuries are due to poor bike fit or from improper riding technique. The bike must be adjusted to fit your body in order to avoid most bicycle injuries.
To avoid the most serious bicycling injury, wear a proper bike helmet.
Most Common Injuries
Common bicycling injuries include knee pain, patellofemoral pain syndrome, head injury (concussion), Chondromalacia (deterioration of the underside of the kneecap), abrasions and road rash, hand numbness, muscle cramps, sprains and strains, delayed -onset muscle soreness, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, arch pain, blisters, piriformis syndrome and also overtraining syndrome.
Osteoarthritis is a common source of knee pain in bicyclist as well as patellofemoral pain syndrome and chondromalacia. Patellofemoral Pain syndrome is also called, “Runner’s Knee” and chondromalacia is a dull pain around or under the kneecap that seems to worsen when you are walking down stairs or walking down hills, or climb stairs or other weight bearing activities.
Putting pressure on the handlebars for long periods of time can result in hand numbness or ulnar neuropathy.
Sprains and strains are acute injuries that result in pain, swelling and sometimes bruising and loss of ability to move a joint.
A broken shoulder can be partial break to the clavicle (collar bone) or to the neck of the humerus, which is the arm bone. Fractures can occur as a result of a fall from a bike, or a blow to the shoulder.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury, which is painful. It affects the tendon in the back of the ankle.
Arch pain is a foot injury, which is actually a strain. Inflammation can occur as well as a burning sensation under the arch of the foot. Foot inserts are often prescribed.
Overstraining syndrome is when athletes go beyond the body’s ability to recover when training for an event or a competition.
Prevention of Bicycling Injuries
Preventing bicycling injuries is pretty simple. The first thing cyclist need to do is to have a proper fitting bike, and the proper gear, especially a properly fitting bike helmet.
Conduct a pre-ride bicycle check to make sure you will be safe on your ride.
Not only can proper bike fit prevent injuries it can also improve pedaling efficiency and aerodynamics and increase your speed.
Make sure you adjust the saddle so that your bike seat supports your full body weight and allows you to move around in the seat if necessary. Pressure points are the result of too much upward tilt to the saddle. The opposite problem, too much downward tilt and you can put too much pressure on your arms, hands and knees, leading to injury.
Have the proper gear, wear biking shoes, riding shorts, and have your heels on the pedals.
Adjust the handlebars so that they are not too high, or too low, too close or too far away. Making sure that the handlebars are correct allows you to bend your elbows during the ride.
A seat that is too high, or too low will cause pain in the front of the knee causes knee pain.
If you have improper foot position on the pedal you can have pain on the inside or outside of your knees.