Orthopedic Specialists

3 Common Cycling Injuries and What to do About Them by Matt Moritz, PA-C

July 1, 2021

Cycling is a good low impact exercise whether you are hitting the trails outside in preparation for RAGBRAI at the end of the month, or inside on a stationary bike. Biking is a good activity for those who have arthritis, as it places less pressure on the joints. Bikers can suffer from cycling injuries. Listed below are 5 common cycling injuries and treatment options to help keep you on the road, and preventing injury.
1.    Knee pain: Typically occurs from overuse the knee or biking incorrectly. If your feet are not positioned properly on the pedals of your bike, the knees may not be in proper alignment, causing pain and inflammation. Use RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) with an anti-inflammatory to help with the knee pain. Be aware and change the position of your feet on the pedals and work on proper alignment to help prevent further injury. If you continue to have knee pain, see one of the orthopedic providers for further evaluation and treatment options.
2.    Achilles Tendonitis: Cyclists can develop Achilles tendonitis from the impact of the tendon that is located behind the ankle that connects the heel of the foot to the calf muscles. Inflammation of the tendon can increase the change of having a Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles tendonitis can also become chronic if not treated in a timely manner. It is recommended that if you have Achilles tendonitis you consult with an orthopedic provider for further treatment, such as immobilization or heel wedge to minimize stress, physical therapy, or other methods to help reduce pain and inflammation.
3.    Low Back Pain: Pain in the low back can occur during or after a long bike ride. The low back pain can be caused by low back strain or sprain.  This injury is typically caused from overuse. Try resting your back to help avoid aggravating factors that can increase your low back pain. Before getting on your bike doing bike strengthening exercises can improve the stability of your spine, and help you get back to logging the miles on the open road.  When you start out on your bike ride, start nice and slow and be aware of your riding position. If you continue to have pain, it is recommended that you be evaluated for further treatment options.

These are 3 of the cycling injuries athletes commonly experience. If you have experienced any of these or other cycling injuries, contact Orthopedic clinic at Iowa Specialty Hospital or Orthopedic Specialists, at one of our many locations for further evaluation and treatment. At Iowa Specialty Hospital Hospital we specialize and look forward to providing care for you, to get you back in the big race!

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