On the whole, cycling is a very safe sport. Although injuries can occur, many cycling injuries are preventable. Whether you are new to cycling or an expert cyclist suffering from discomfort or pain, rest assured that most cycling injuries can be avoided. If you have neck pain, pain in the calf muscles, or even discomfort in your wrists, you can make minor changes to prevent future pain.
One of the benefits of cycling is that it allows you to be active in a way that is safe, even for those of us who are accident- and injury-prone. But no activity comes without risk. Fortunately, most cycling injuries can be avoided. Let’s consider common cycling injuries and ways to prevent them.
Prevent Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries are common among bicyclists. Whether you are guilty of riding for too long or in too intense a manner, relief is easy to find. Simply, rest. If you have been pressing too hard or increasing the intensity of your cycling regime too quickly, allow your body a few days to rest.
Remember to plan ahead for cycling training. It simply does not make sense to go from cycling casually through the park to intense climbs over mountain trails. Give your body time to adjust and make transitions slowly. Although some slight muscle tenderness is normal, you should never encounter pain.
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Prevent Saddle Sores
Saddle sores are another preventable cycling injury. Saddle sores are raised, often red areas of the skin that occur in the area where the body is in contact with the saddle. They can be caused by pressure and rubbing or by inflamed areas around hair follicles. Saddle sores, a nuisance many cyclists face, can be largely avoided.
To avoid saddle sores, wear cycling shorts that fit well (are not too tight or too loose). Also, choose a saddle that fits your body. These measures will help prevent irritation by chafing. You may need to use chamois cream to reduce the friction and rubbing that occurs. It also provides and anti-bacterial barrier to help prevent any infection.
Do not shave the areas of your groin that come in contact with the saddle. Shaving can leave the skin and pores vulnerable to infection. Infection and the resulting saddle sores can set in as friction irritates the already broken areas of skin. Instead of shaving, trim these areas.
Avoid Injuries Caused by Improper Bike Fit
Many injuries are caused by a bike fit that is less than optimal. If your pedal stroke is too long or too short, you will notice pain in the legs, hips, and trunk. In fact, any time you develop discomfort or pain after cycling when there is no known cause, you should first consider your posture on the bike.
Sometimes, novice cyclists throttle their grip on the handlebars. They squeeze as if their life depends on it. This can result in ongoing pain and even numbness that lasts for hours after riding. Keep the wrists relaxed and grip the handlebars firmly but without squeezing. This allows for ample blood supply.
Of course, the most horrific cycling injuries occur when a motorist strikes a bicyclist. Although not all crashes are avoidable, you can make good choices to help lower your risk. Do not wear headphones when cycling – it is important to be able to hear traffic and road sounds around you.
Use reflectors and lights on your bike and wear bright colors. One of the best ways to avoid cycling accidents and injuries is simply to be seen. Reflective clothing, colors, and lights make you noticeable to all those around you.
Finally, exercise extra caution when cycling through intersections. Most bike crashes occur in intersections, so be wary when you ride through these dangerous areas. Do not assume that motorists can see you, even if you think you made eye contact with them. Drivers are often distracted or simply are unaware of the rights of cyclists.
If you have been hurt in a bicycle crash with a motorist, you need experienced legal representation. Contact the Law Firm of Kass & Moses today to learn more. With decades of experience helping injured cyclists recover financially, you can rest assured that we will do all we can to get you the compensation you deserve.
Most cycling injuries can be prevented, by crashes sometimes cannot. Make the law work for you by contacting personal injury attorneys who specialize in cycling crashes.