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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Common Bike Injuries

Cycling is a pretty popular pastime in Austin. Whether you ride the city's streets, rolling hills, or many nature trails, safety should be your number one priority. Still, no matter how cautious you are, bike injuries and accidents happen.

Here is a rundown of some common cycling injuries, and how to avoid them:

1. Achilles or patellar tendonitis are overuse injuries caused by inflammation to tendons in the lower leg and knee areas.
  • Rest for a few days at the initial onset of pain to avoid further damage.
  • Later, vary your pedal cadence, and adjust your seat height.

2. The clavicle (collarbone) and scaphoid (bone on the thumb side of the hand) are the most commonly broken/fractured bones following a crash. 
  • Hold onto your handlebars as you start to fall, allowing the bike frame and your body as a whole to absorb the force of the impact.

3. Saddle sores are skin sores brought on by long hours in your bike seat.
  • Use a chamois cloth on the seat, or a lubricating cream on your skin, to help ease the discomfort of rubbing against the saddle.

4. Lower back pain is often due to a poor bike fit or too many hours spent cycling. 
  • Make sure your bike properly fits your body's size and alignment.
  • Build in rest days between long rides to let your body heal.
  • Add core-strengthening exercises during training to help support/balance pressure put on the lower back. 

5. Neck pain comes from holding the weight of the head in an extended position for long periods of time. 
  • Shortening the bike's stem and moving the seat forward to hold your in a more upright position can help lighten your head's load on the neck. 
If your bike injuries are not easily treated with rest, ice/heat therapy, or over-the-counter pain medication, make an appointment with your orthopedist. 

(Adapted from

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