If you bike with any regularity, you will eventually get injured. Fortunately, most injuries are minor and can be treated with simple home treatments. Injuries incurred in accidents with cars, however, are likely significant and may require major treatment. If you’ve been injured due to the liability of another, be sure to call upon an experienced bicycle accident attorney right away.
Some common injuries include:
- Foot numbness: Foot numbness is a very common and often disconcerting injury. Many times it is caused by improper footwear. When shopping for shoes, be sure that there is not excessive pressure on any part of the foot, including the metatarsals. In addition, your weight should be distributed evenly and not over the ball of the foot. Some shoe stores have equipment that can examine how evenly your weight is distributed while wearing your shoe to ensure a proper fit. In most cases, numbness is fleeting, however if it persists especially after a change in footwear, visit a podiatrist.
- Lower back pain: Lower back pain is often related to stress on the back when riding. If your bike frame is too large or too small, you will ride either hyperextended or hunched over. Both will put undue pressure on your lower back. Over time, this can lead to herniated discs, so it’s crucial to maintain proper posture when riding. Don’t forget to stretch out both before and after a ride, as well.
- Cuts and abrasions: Cuts and abrasions are inevitable. Most time, minor abrasions and cuts can be treated at home. Run water over the injured area to flush out any dirt or debris and apply an antibiotic ointment prior to bandaging. Most cuts and abrasions heal within a period of days, but if you experience redness, excessive pain and swelling, or oozing of pus, see a physician for treatment.
- AC joint injuries: The acromioclavicular joint is the area where the collarbone and shoulder joint meet. These ligaments are prone to overextension, especially if you hit a bump or pothole while your arms are locked. If you can, avoid putting stress on your shoulders. Try to absorb impacts with your elbow joints, instead. If you are injured, rest and ice the affected area. If you continue to experience pain or notice numbness or tingling, contact a medical professional for further assessment.
- Muscle fatigue: We all exhibit muscle fatigue at some time or another, especially after a long ride. Muscle fatigue is the burning, cramping sensation that is caused by a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles. Anti-inflammatory medications can often help relieve the pain. A massage may also be beneficial to help the muscles recover.
Take care and exercise caution to prevent injuries, and always remember to stretch both before and after a long ride.