Cycling injuries can range from minor muscle sprains to serious knee injuries. In this article, we shall have a look at the different types of cycling injuries and their viable treatments.
Different types of cycling injuries and treatments
#1 Knee pain
It’s hard dealing with any type of pain resulting from cycling injuries. Knee pain can have adverse effects since it can limit your ability to bend or move around like you always used to, especially with cycling at an intermediate to advance level.
Cycling injuries in the knee can cause a lot of discomfort. In some cases, you can’t even be in a position to perform the small chores – they seem like heavy duty tasks because of the discomfort.
What causes knee pain?
Athletes are mostly affected by knee pain; however, common individuals are severely affected by this condition as well.
- Sudden and jerky movements. Especially athletes are likely to have sudden movements that may contribute to the development of pain in the knee area.
- Awkward landings, falls, trips, as well as accidents (cycling injuries), can result in knee damage. Athletes are highly vulnerable to knee injuries since they’re always proactive.
- Sporting activities which involve a lot of “starting/stopping” and even changing direction put unnecessary strain on the ligaments of the knee too.
- Tendon inflammation is another factor that can cause severe knee pain. Cycling injuries occur when the tendons become overused. The overused tendons become susceptible to further injuries causing pain in a wider region of the knee.
Treatment of knee pain
- Stop engaging in activities that aggravate pain. Use an elastic bandage to get relief if the pain results from a recent injury.
- Get relief from knee pain by using an aid like a cane to support you when you’re walking. You can either use the cane on the opposite side of the knee or in the hand that is on the side of the painful knee. I’ve noticed each patient is very individual in this respect.
- Exercises will also help reduce knee pain. You should, however, start the exercises slowly and perform them a number of times a day.
- Pain at the top of the knee can be relieved by indulging in swimming as it isn’t a weight-bearing activity. Cycling can be great for the knee as well as a potential irritant, depending on the intensity; just like any activity.
When you have knee pain, the way you sit can cause problems, so you’ll need to sit in a favourable or more comfortable way. Be wary of sitting in a position that may put your knees in a much-flexed position.
#2 Lower back pain
Physical therapy may broadly be seen in a science or healing methodology. It’s a combination of physiology with some exercises which make the muscles stronger, supple and better placed to support the body for its everyday functioning.
Physical therapy is highly effective for all types of muscle spasms, aches, and pains and one of the most common implementations of the practice are for healing a lower back pain or sore neck.
Lower Back Pain – A Commonplace Occurrence
Lower back pain is commonplace, and just about everyone has suffered from bouts of back pain. Studies even show that 90% of population suffers from backache at some point of time in their lives.
Causes of lower back pain
In our spine, there’re three curves, and along with the discs, these possess shock absorbing properties and allow our spine to bend.
- Prolonged standing or sitting may cause the muscles that support the spine to tighten and cause pain.
- Using bad posture and poor body mechanics while performing the daily activities can cause lower back pain.
- Prolonged standing or sitting; as is common in Singapore/SE Asia, may cause the muscles that support the spine to tighten and cause pain.
- Osteoporosis or “weak bones” and can lead to fractures, known as compression fractures, which result in very uncomfortable pain; typically thought to be age-related; osteoporosis is also being discovered in other age groups and categories these days.
Treatment options for lower back pain:
- Lose Weight. Carrying around too much extra weight, especially around the mid-section, puts additional strain on the lower back.
- Exercise. Exercise is a universal “elixir”, which is named reducing the probability of a number of possible ailments such as heart disease. Cardiovascular work can help by reducing and maintaining weight. Weight lifting should also be a part of any exercise routine.
- Not overusing your back. Learn not to use only your back when lifting objects. It’s best to squat, keeping your back straight, and using your legs to lift an object from the floor.
- Back Treatments. You can have a chiropractor physically adjust the spine. Aside from that, some chiropractic clinic offers computer-assisted rehabilitation for the core muscles as well as more advanced treatment in the event you’ve been diagnosed with a “slipped disc”. You probably won’t want to go the surgical route initially. There are many options such as orthopedic consultations, TCM, massage, physiotherapy etc.
- In the event you want to try a home remedy; some people have reported relief with a series of home stretches or even the use of an ice pack or even heat in some cases. Each patient is different, as is each case relative to the spine.
#3 Shoulder pain
Shoulder pain conditions that limit movement are common. These are caused by problems with the shoulder joint and its surrounding structures.
This also leads to problems in several intrinsic, smaller muscles of the shoulder joint and ligaments, which are designed to enhance the stability of the shoulder.
Your shoulder is more prone to injuries than other joints because of its wide range of movement. You need to know how to deal with the pain.
Cause of shoulder pains
- Arthritis causes progressive joint pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness.
- Injury from a trauma whether it’s a car accident or falling off your bike depending on the way you land or even a basic “slip and fall”.
- A dislocated shoulder is visibly deformed or out of place, and consequently, there may be swelling or bruising around the joint.
- It‘s usually the rotator cuff tendons (the thick bands of tissue that connect the muscles to the bones) that tear. However, sometimes the tear occurs in the muscle.
How to treat your shoulder pain?
- Cycling injuries, including shoulder pain, are treated with pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs).
- Also, another way of easing shoulder pain is using by applying a cold pack to your shoulder for 10 minutes at a three or four times a day.
- Physiotherapy can help improve your shoulder strength and flexibility as well as relieve the pain associated with most shoulder problems.
Depending on the nature of the shoulder issue, chiropractic treatment can help the shoulder/spine related joints which often go neglected.
#4 Neck pain
Pain in the neck is something that most of us will experience at one time or another in our lives.
Although the term “neck pain” is very simple and straightforward, it’s a very individual experience. Consequently, the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment must also be individually based.
Causes of neck pain
- An injury to the soft tissues, tendons, muscles, or ligaments in its structure leads to neck pain.
- Neck pain results from stress on the neck due to improper posture.
- Closeness, as well as the angle of your head towards the computer monitor, is also crucial.
Treatment for neck pain
- Get plenty of exercises and make sure you sleep on a bed that helps support your back and neck.
- Always sit with your feet planted firmly on the ground at a 90-degree angle or more.
- Therefore to avoid neck pains, adjust the monitor of your computer to face towards you at eye level or slightly elevated.
Chiropractic treatment for cycling injuries
Chiropractors specialize in treating all sorts of problems. It’s based on the simple premise that the spinal bones protect the nervous system.
However, the spine is susceptible to all sorts of potential injuries such as cycling injury and injury from poor posture while riding. Even our Southeast Asian style of work ethic and various pillows people may use can lead to injuries.
Bottom line, as a chiropractor, not only with over 20 years of experience, I have treated all of the above injuries at one point or another.
This is not to say, chiropractic is the best choice for any or all of them. even though similar to some conservative orthopedic surgeons, we try to explain to patients their various conservative options; unless something is so obvious referral is indicated.
Author: Dr. Dylan Altfeld
Dr. Dylan Altfeld, has been in practice for over 20 years. He graduated from the renowned Palmer College of Chiropractic. He has helped thousands of patients of all ages – from the “weekend warrior” to several US professional athletes. Much of Dr. Dylan’s practice consists of the routine “stiff neck” from the typical Singapore long work day. He loves Singapore and its people so much that he decided to become a permanent resident.