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What You MUST Know About Cycling Injuries

By Krista Elliott

With the intense heat of summer behind us, this is a great time to take your workout outdoors. And one of the most enjoyable outdoor workouts is cycling. If you like a solo workout, cycling gives you enough scenery to be interesting while still providing the meditative solitude you crave. Love to work out with a group? Joining some friends for a bike ride is a great way to spend an hour after work. Plus, cycling provides a great cardiovascular workout, along with strength training for your legs, bottom, back, and abs. 

Like many sports, however, cycling comes with a few risks. The obvious and most dangerous risk is that of colliding with a car, so please make sure to cycle safely, and always wear a helmet. Collisions notwithstanding, many cycling injuries affect the joints and spine, which not only takes you off your bike for awhile, but can cause lingering pain and mobility issues. Here are some examples of joint injuries that can occur when cycling:

  • Dislocated shoulder - Usually caused by a fall off the bike and landing on the shoulder, or the impact absorbed when the arms are extended to brace oneself during a fall.

  • Misalignments in the elbow or wrist joints - Again, usually caused by a fall and landing on an outstretched arm. 

  • Neck pain - Riding crouched over your bike causes you to have to tilt your head up for extended periods. This can cause strain and subluxations in the cervical spine. 

  • Back pain - The seated position on a bike means a lot of stress and pressure going through the spine. This can lead to spinal disc problems, or inflammation and pinched nerves, causing conditions such as sciatica.

  • Knee pain - Overuse injuries to the under surface of the kneecap, most commonly caused by riding on a bike saddle that is too low, can present as pain at the front of the knee due to patellar tendonitis. And any joint misalignments will be aggravated by the repetitious movement of cycling.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Despite the risks, cycling is still a fantastic exercise and social activity, so don't be scared off! There are plenty of simple steps you can take to avoid injury. 

  • Get fitted for your bike at a reputable bike shop. They'll help you pick the right one for your frame and activity, and will help you adjust the seat and handlebars to fit your body perfectly.

  • Maintain good posture, while cycling, with a straight back. Mountain bikes and leisure bikes allow you to sit more upright than racing bikes do, so keep that in mind if you have neck issues. 

  • Quality cycling gloves will reduce strain and pain in your wrists and forearms. 

And most importantly, take good care of your body with routine chiropractic care from The Joint Chiropractic. With regular care from The Joint, small misalignments in your joints and spine can be addressed and treated before they cause big issues, helping to improve your balance and biomechanical function. And if you do take a spill and get injured? Chiropractic treatment from The Joint is a natural and drug-free way to reduce pain and help you get back on your feet (and your bike) that much faster. 

So forget all your duties and pedal on down to The Joint (again, remember that helmet) and see how we can get you feeling like royalty! 

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