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Cycling Injury

Injuries sustained while cycling are usually as a result of an accident, commonly resulting in broken a collar bone, wrist or minor injuries such as abrasions. While a broken bone or fracture can set you back a couple of months, such injuries are usually not problematic in the long term. A deeper fear for cyclists is rooted in back or knee pain which can make cycling unbearable.

Cyling Holiday

Progressive plan Cycling The good news is that cycling in general is not a sport which produces many injuries, in fact a maintained level of cycling fitness can see most people competing at a reasonable level in cycling past 50 years of age. The important precautionary measures to prevent injuries, particularly cycling knee injury or back injury, are to ensure that you are using the correct cycling equipment and that your cycling training is increased gradually so as not to induce over-use injuries such as tendonitis.

Long distance cycling as training and as a recreational activity can be great for fitness and enjoyment, but make sure of your bike setup before getting into a heavy training routine. The best place to check your position would be by consulting an expert at a good cycling shop.

Let us look at two prominent injuries:

Back Pain
Pain in the lower back may be due to an incorrect setup. It is possible that your position on the bike is too stretched out, perhaps the position looks good, but your body is not yet supple enough to comply to your aerodynamic demands. For newcomers to the sport it is advisable to begin with a position you are comfortable in. With more riding time your body will become accustomed to the crouched over position on the bicycle.

Progressive plan Cycling In order to minimise the possibility of back injury it is important to keep your core muscles strong. Sit-ups especially will strengthen your abdominal muscles and those that support your lower back. If you are having back pain already it is advisable to see a good chiropractor and re-asses your position on the bike.

Knee Pain
Cycling related knee pain can be due to a bad position on the bike. A saddle set too low can place undue stress on the knees. As soon as you begin to feel pain in your knees you should make sure of your set up. Important areas to check with an expert are the alignment of the cleats under your cycling shoes, the height of your saddle and the fore-aft position of your saddle.

If your position is correct the injury may have flared up because of a sudden increase in training load, putting more strain on the knees than they are accustomed to. Remember to increase training loads gradually. Another mistake which often leads to knee injury is when new shoes or bicycle parts related to the pedalling action are used in excess, before the body has adjusted to the minor changes that have been made to the pedalling action. Personal experience has taught me this lesson after I fitted a bottom bracket which marginally increased the distance between my feet, resulting in tendonitis in the knee.

Recovering from a knee injury usually requires the assistance of a good physio and a reduced training schedule. Always see to an injury as soon as possible, because the sooner you treat it, the quicker the recovery period will be.