Summer Cycling Injury Prevention
Despite not having much of a spring this year, it’s safe to say that summer is upon us in NYC. Along with the warm weather and beautiful rays of sun comes the desire to be outside and active. One of the most popular summer physical activities is cycling. Whether you are an avid cyclist, signed up for multiple summer bike tours or just enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the park, you should be aware of the most common cycling injuries and how to prevent them.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a common knee injury, easily provoked by frequent cycling. Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or ITB, is a knee injury causing knee pain and limited mobility due to repeatedly bending and straightening the knee. The Iliotibial Band stretches from the hip to the knee and can become inflamed or injured with the constant movements of pedaling a bicycle. To avoid an ITB injury it is imperative to make sure your bike is assembled appropriately for your body. Bicycle set up should not be a one-size-fits-all standard. The best prevention for this type of injury is to go to your local bike shop and have them help you set up your bike appropriately to make sure your legs have enough room to extend and your bike seat is the right height.
Foot pain and foot numbness are other common injuries amongst cyclists. Believe it or not, the constant pedaling of your feet on the bicycle causes a lot of pressure on the bones and joints in your feet. The foot is comprised of metatarsals and phalanges, with the tibia and fibula attached by the ankle. Repeated movement of these bones and the joints in the foot can lead to swelling and increased pressure especially by the ball of the foot. To avoid foot pain and foot numbness for cyclists it is important to wear the appropriate type of sneakers for cycling. Your sneakers should be supportive, fit correctly and have enough cushioning to make sure the ball of the foot is protected.
Lower back pain is another common injury experienced by cyclists. Sitting upright for long periods of time on your bicycle can put pressure on the spine and the muscles in the lower back. Lower back pain can lead to spine injuries such as herniated discs and nerve issues if ignored. Fortunately, lower back pain prevention for cyclists mainly consists of ensuring proper bike set up, similar to foot injury prevention. Speak to a specialist in bikes and make sure your bike is the right size and fit for your body. Proper seat placement depending on your height is also imperative to help avoid back pain.
Cycling is a great activity for leisure or for athletes, just remember to do your homework on how you can avoid getting hurt. As careful as we may be, injuries do happen. For cycling injuries, including the ones listed above, physical therapy and manual therapies are often the first line of defense and super effective in promoting healing. Should you find yourself with an injury, call us at 347-560-6920 today.