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Common Cycling Injuries
Wednesday 14 September 2016

Cycling is known to be one of the most efficient ways to maintain weight and increase overall health because of the intense cardio workout; however it does not go without the risk of pain and injury.

Most cycling related injuries will have some early warning signs and symptoms including joint pain, tenderness in a specific point, numbness and tingling, weakness, swelling and reduced range of motion. It is very important not to ignore these symptoms and to seek advice and treatment from a professional. Often injuries are caused by overuse, improper posture and incorrect riding position, it is important to get niggling problems treated though as they can be debilitating.

The most common types of cycling related pain and injury include;

Knee Pain

This is the most common lower body pain in cyclists can be caused by poorly aligned cleats, bad riding position or simply overdoing it. This cycling induced pain can lead to knee pain, patellofemoral syndrome and patella tendonitis, which leaves cycling virtually impossible.

Lower Back Pain

Weakness in the core area and a poor bike fit can lead to lower back pain as can imbalance in the spine. In a world where we spend long periods of time sitting at computers it is no surprise that our posture in general is not good and these types of pains niggle away. To avoid lower back pain when cycling it is worth investing in a professional bike fit as well as improving flexibility and strengthening your core.

Tendonitis

Pain in the Achilles tendons usually indicates poor pedalling technique, having the saddle too high or having your cleats set too far forward.  Maintaining strength and regularly stretching moderately can help avoid this condition, however it is important to get treatment quickly and reduce cycling.

Saddle Sore

This is caused by friction between the skin, clothing and saddle and can result in very sore skin in the buttock area. The best advice here is to invest in some well-padded cycling shorts, a comfortable saddle and use a form of barrier cream.

Muscle Fatigue

Muscle fatigue is caused by a build-up of lactic acid causing pain, this usually occurs in the quads in cyclists as this is the muscle that is used to power the pedals forwards. A few tips to help avoid this is to alternate pedalling in and out of the saddle as this will help spread the load.  It may also be worth investing in a sports massage session after a long ride.

If you are suffering from a cycling related injury, you may wish to seek advice and treatment from our Physiotherapists or Orthopaedic Consultants.