Cycling is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. Depending on how often you decide to hit the road, though, it can also be a source of potential bodily injury. Before you set out on your next ride, make sure you acquaint yourself with a few of the most common cycling injuries so that you can better avoid them.
In some places, like Arizona, have seen the total number of bicycle-car collisions decrease in recent years, according to Phoenix bicycle accident injury lawyers L.P. Guerra. The number of fatal crashes around the country in 2018, however, still numbered 857, and the number of non-fatal, injury causing crashes was well into the thousands. Collision with a vehicle can result in various injuries:
- Soft tissue damage
- Musculoskeletal trauma
- Head trauma
Even if they aren’t fatal, each of these can cause long-term damage (all the more reason to wear protective riding gear). Collisions account for a good number of cycling-related injuries, but remember that you don’t actually have to smash into anything to develop aches and pains. The following issues are often a result of overtraining on your bike or riding with improper form.
You use your legs to push your pedals, so it should come as no surprise that pain in the legs — specifically knee pain — is a common ailment among cyclists.
The surprising part is the fact that knee pain is not always caused by a problem directly in the knee. According to Cycling Weekly, it can be a result of adjacent issues in the quads, ankles, back, and other parts of the body damaged while riding. Thankfully, watching your form and performing strengthening exercises can help mitigate current pain and prevent future pain.
While cycling, it’s easy to slip into an awkward, seated position for extended periods of time. This, in turn, puts stress on your spine, and over time, can cause considerable pain in your back. To mitigate this, you’ll want to find the right posture to fit the frame of your bike, and make sure to stretch properly.
Perhaps the most annoying bane of every cyclist, saddle sores occur when the friction between your skin, clothes, and bike saddle results in a rash. These are often minor, but the abrasion can become serious in cases, resulting in boils or even infection. It’s best to prevent saddle sores before they begin, by finding a comfortable seat for your bike and wearing shorts that won’t chafe.