Cycling, being one of the best stress relief sport is not expected to hurt you while you're riding a bike. You might feel as if your leg muscles are being torn apart, which is quite common for every cyclists and it is in fact your muscles that are getting harder and tighter. You may not worry about that, but any pain on your neck, back or knees is a matter of concern. The main reasons for these might be using a wrong bike, using one that isn’t properly adjusted to fit your body, adopting a strainful posture when cycling, wrong peddling techniques or not using shock absorbing bike accessories such as gloves, handlebars, covers and seat covers.
We will discuss here the 6 major injuries starting from the neck to foot that are caused by cycling, the reasons for it and also about the simple exercises to cure it out.
1. FOOT PAIN
The foot pain or the foot arch pain is a common pain caused by the wrong size of the shoe or the wrong placement of the cleats, and also may arise due to the wrong bike fittings. Sometimes, usage of carbon sole also causes the pain because of it's stiffness.
If you are using cleats, make sure that it's not too forward or too backward because that might affect other muscles or even the bones. You should also make sure that the shoe is not too tight and that it should have good air ventilation, so that you won't feel any suffocation or numbness. Also, try to use a shoe with a proper arch support.
2. KNEE PAIN
Researches indicates that 23 to 33 percent of cyclists will be suffering from knee pain in their cycling life. So please don't think that you are the only person who might be experiencing it. The primary reason for the knee pain is because you ride longer or harder than your body is normally conditioned to, which will create a strain in your connective tissues and that will cause pain and inflammation. Another main reason is riding without proper bike fittings. Continuing these routines with knee pain for a long time might end up creating big troubles. So it should be sorted out as soon as possible.
There are few exercises which can considerably reduce the pain and develop the tissues inside. Few of them are:
- Straight Leg Raises
- Hamstring Curls
- Prone Straight Leg Raises
- Wall Squats
- Calf Raises
- Side Leg Raises
- Leg Presses
3. GROIN PAIN
The main reasons for groin pain are the wrong bike fittings (the seat angle adjustment, the positioning of the seat on the seat post, the height of the seat etc.) or using an uncomfortable seat on the bike.
For sorting this out you should try adjusting the seat to a proper and comfortable position. Always try to go to a showroom where they will fix a proper trail for the bike. Decathlon is one of the leading example for that purpose. They provide the products for trial so that you can feel and experience the product properly before you purchase. Also, you can try different seats which will provide you better comfort. Also, try to use cycling padded shorts which will make a great difference.
4. LOW BACK PAIN
The reasons for the low back pain is also due to the non proper bike fittings (the seat height being too high or too low, improper differential between your saddle and bar height) or riding a non proper sized bike. If we bent and sit on the bike for a long time, this will also create a low back pain. Another issue is that if we ride a bike for a longer time on a rough terrain, it will increase jarring and compression on the spine, which can also lead to low back pain.
Proper sized bike selection and proper bike fittings will get rid of this issue to a large extent and another factor which we should take note is that we should try to sit straight and not to bend too much. Bridge exercise and deadlifts will strengthen the supporting muscles and will deliver a lot of difference.
5. HAND PAIN
It is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterised by numbness or tingling in the fingers or weakness in the hand. A common cause in cyclists, this is due to the excessive pressure given on the bar tops while riding or riding on bikes with flat bars. Handlebars which are too low can also cause a hand pain. A higher raised stem will sort out that issue. You should also check your wrists. They should be in a slight, 10 to 15 degree back-bend position, on the bars.
Proper bike fittings, a good pair of gloves will help you reduce the pain. Also, we should maintain a good posture and the hands should be relaxed and not be stressed.
6. NECK PAIN
Most neck pains due to cycling is because of the muscle stiffness or soreness, after sitting in a same position for a prolonged period. If you're riding a road bike, your head is tipped upward which can aggravate arthritis in the neck, create pinched nerves and even contribute to spinal stenosis. Also if the proper bike fitting is not done, these issues are likely to come for sure.
Correct fitting of bike and kit, Osteopathic treatment to ensure good joint flexibility and health, regular stretching to maintain flexibility will reduce the pain and sort out the issue.