From the avid enthusiast to the child just learning, cycling provides an avenue for fitness and recreation. It also can open up the opportunity for injury from overuse, falls and collisions. More than a half million people are injured in nonfatal bicycle incidents each year, according to a CDC report. Despite all these injuries, there are steps cyclists, young and old, can take to help reduce the risks of injury.
PREVENTING BIKING INJURiES
Here are some tips for how to avoid injury while cycling:
WEAR A HELMET
Whether it’s a ride around the block or an all-day road adventure, a helmet, sized properly, is essential for safe cycling.
Although you may be familiar with road sharing protocol, take extra precaution for those motorists who may not be as well versed with road sharing.
ADJUST THE BIKE
Many aches and pains can be remedied before they develop into injuries by having your bike properly adjusted. Sometimes this can be as simple as raising or lower the seat or as complex as choosing a bike based on your body structure and measurements.
TIME OF DAY MATTERS
Avoid cycling at night, where motorists may not be able to easily see you. Night riding also makes it more difficult to see the uneven and slippery terrain.
DRESS FOR THE TEMPERATURE
Even in temperatures like the 60s, the joints, tendons and muscles can be more susceptible to injury. In these lower temperatures remember to keep your knees, arms and feet well covered. Bringing extra clothes can also help.
Common Cycling Injuries and Conditions
Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and its cord-like structure connects the lower leg muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is vital for walking and moving the foot. When the tendon experiences repeated or excessive force, the result can be a tear, or rupture, in the Achilles tendon.Learn More
Elbow bursitis occurs when the bursa, a sac allowing smooth movement of the skin over the bone, becomes inflamed and fills with fluid. This can be caused from a trauma such as direct hit to the elbow, repetitive strain placed on elbow from pressure, or also caused by infection or certain medical conditions such as arthritis.Learn More
Facet Joint Disorder
The facet joints in the spine allow for the spine to safely twist and stabilize the vertebrae. The facet joints are positioned between and behind the vertebrae. These joints can be damaged from wear and tear, causing bone spurs and osteoarthritis.Learn More
The ankle joint is held in place by ligaments which stabilize it. When these ligaments are stretched beyond what they can bear from a sudden twist, turn or rolling of the ankle, the result is a sprain. Depending on the severity, this could even include the ligament being torn.Learn More