Cycling is a great activity that counts as fun and exercise. Whether you’re hitting up some trails for fun, exercising, or riding your bike to a specific destination, it’s a good idea to be aware of common cycling injuries. No matter your reason for cycling, awareness is the first step to preventing an injury. We want you to freely cycle wherever you want to go.

In today’s blog, we’re talking all about the most common cycling injuries and how you can prevent them and/or ease your pain while recovering from them. Keep reading to learn what to look for and the best ways to care for your body to avoid injuries.

Knee Pain

A lot of cyclists experience knee pain from cycling too much. The repetitive motion for a prolonged period can indeed cause problems. Common injuries include patellofemoral syndrome (or cyclist’s knee), patella and quadriceps tendinitis, medial plica syndrome, and iliotibial band friction syndrome. 

Patellofemoral syndrome is where the cartilage under the knee cap gets damaged from injury or overuse. Patella and quadriceps tendonitis refers to pain in the anterior knee. Inflammation causes tendonitis and is usually related to athletic activities. 

Medial plica syndrome causes pain and swelling in the middle of your knee after stress or overuse. Finally, iliotibial band friction syndrome occurs when your connective tissue rubs against your thigh bone. 

If you feel pain in your kneecap, you might have one of the first four injuries. However, iliotibial band friction syndrome affects your outer knee, causing pain in your knees and hips.  

The simplest solution for these injuries is to wear shoe implants, wedges under your shoes, or reposition your shoes on the bike pedals. 

Head Injuries

A head injury can range from a scratch or cut to a traumatic brain injury or something in between. Of course, wearing a helmet is the best protection against a head injury. While it’s not a fool-proof solution, it can reduce a TBI injury to a concussion. In some situations, it can prevent an injury altogether.

Neck/Back Pain

Did you ride your bike in the same position for a really long time? That’s a recipe for back and neck pain. Simple exercises like shoulder shrugs and neck stretches help with the tension. 

But that’s not the only cause of neck and back injuries. Bad form is another one. It’s essential to ride a bike that properly fits you. For example, if your handlebars are too long, this could strain your neck and back. 

If your hamstrings or hip flexor muscles are tight, you might round or arch your back to compensate, causing your neck to hyperextend. This can be a painful injury. 

Your best bet to prevent neck hyperextension is to stretch your muscles and keep up your flexibility. You can also change your grip to relax your overused muscles and focus on other nerves.

Wrist/Forearm Pain or Numbness

Don’t lock your arms or keep them straight while cycling; always ride with your elbows slightly bent. Why? When you inevitably hit a bump in the road, the bend in your elbows will absorb the shock. 

In addition to not locking your arms, you shouldn’t keep your hands in the same position on the handlebars, as this can cause Cyclist’s Palsy or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You can prevent this by keeping your wrists above your handlebars while cycling and rotating your grip between the inside and outside of your palms.

Finally, padded gloves and hand stretches before your ride with help prevent injury. 

Urogenital Problems

Urogenital problems refer primarily to men who experience numbness or pain in the genital or rectal area. Sitting on a bicycle for a long time can definitely cause that, which is why you should pick a wider seat, a padded seat, or a partial seat where part of the seat has been removed. You can also change how the seat is tilted or wear cycling shorts to help relieve urogenital pressure.

Foot Numbness and Tingling

The number one cause of foot numbness and tingling is wearing shoes that are too small. If your shoes are pressing into your fight while actively cycling, your feet will quickly go numb. 

You could also experience exertional compartment syndrome, where increased lower leg pressure compresses your nerves. Surgical release solves this problem. 

Saddle Sores

Saddle sores are no joke. They result from your undercarriage being in the same position for too long. If you notice yourself moving around on your bike to relieve pressure, you’re probably on your way to a saddle sore. But did you know that trying to avoid a saddle sore could result in other injuries?

The best way to prevent any injury related to a saddle sore is by taking a break and allowing the painful areas to heal. When you get back on your bike, be sure to wear proper cycling shorts to reduce discomfort. 

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

Common cycling injuries happen every day. Sometimes those injuries result from improper posture or staying in the same position for too long, as we discussed in this blog. But sometimes, a cycling accident is someone else’s fault. 

It’s unfair to be left with medical bills and injuries from an accident someone else caused. That’s what we’re here for. If you were injured in an accident, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Located in northern Utah, we serve all of Salt Lake and Utah counties and have offices in Provo, Orem, South Jordan, and West Jordan. You can get started by scheduling a free case evaluation, where we’ll discuss your case with you and see how we can help. 

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here for you. We understand how traumatic an accident can be, so we’ll do our part to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Contact us today to get started.