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Watch out on your bike

Cycling does not come without its costs. Injuries either occur through a crash and trauma, or overuse or incorrect bike set up and poor posture on the bike.


A selection of typical injuries might be:


Achilles tendonitis (tendinopathy) - This is an overuse injury resulting in pain weakness, localised swelling and stiffness and is caused by repeated micro trauma to the tendon. Other causes of Achilles tendonitis are poor bike set up and improper position of shoe cleats. You can read more about treatment here.


Knee Pain - The knee is the most common site for overuse injuries in cycling. Patellofemoral syndrome (cyclist's knee), patella and quandriceps tendinitis, and iliotibial band friction syndrome are a few of the more common knee overuse injuries. The first three mentioned involve pain around the kneecap, while the last condition results in outer knee pain. See more here.


Broken Clavicle or Scaphoid - These two bones are the most commonly broken during a crash. The clavicle (collarbone) and the scaphoid (carpal bone at the base of the thumb) are the weak points that absorb impact when the arm is extended to brace during a fall.


Saddle Sores - Cycling long hours in the saddle causes friction of your sit bones against the seat. Old shorts and having your saddle too high are also common causes.


Lower Back Pain - Poor bike set up and long hours in an aggressive riding position are the major culprits leading to lower back pain from cycling. Excessive flexion in the lumbar region of the spine can lead to more serious conditions involving nerve entrapment and sciatica, which require medical attention. Read more here.


Neck Pain - Pain in the neck often involves tightness in the upper trapezius muscle found in the neck and shoulder. These muscles commonly become fatigued during cycling from having to hold the weight of the head in extension for long periods of time. Poor bike set up, can cause pain so make sure you see a good bike fitting expert. Also, reduce tensing the shoulder muscles by loosening your grip on the handlebars and relax the shoulder muscles to prevent fatigue and tightness.


Wrist/Forearm Pain or Numbness - Two common wrist overuse injuries, Cyclist's Palsy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, often due to sustaining pressure through the wrists / hand with straight arms, and therefore putting pressure through the nerves in hand and wrist.


If you experience any of these common injuries we can give you advice at the centre so contact us


Posted by Jane Morris, one of our osteopaths.