We like to be active. In fact, our bodies are made to withstand intense physical activities; one piece of evidence that points to this is the fact that we perspire. This is a very advanced system of cooling which has helped us in prehistoric times when we hunted prey that was much faster than us, but that had to stop and cool down once in a while. Today, we do not practice endurance hunting, but we do play sports. However, too much enthusiasm and not listening to your body can be somewhat problematic, or even cause injuries and serious damage to our tissues; things are no different in cycling. Even though we ride a bicycle, and have mechanical help to move forward, we can still injure ourselves if we do it improperly. Here are some of the most common injuries in cycling and how to prevent them.
Lower back injuries
If you have ever ridden a bicycle, or seen a professional cyclist, you would know that they spend most of their time hunched over their bike, which is a position that can be stressful for the spinal column, but especially in the lower back region. This can be even more problematic for inexperienced or self-taught cyclists, who tense up their whole bodies in order to get more power to their pedaling. In order to prevent these kinds of injuries, you should stretch very thoroughly before and after your rides, and adjust your position so as to minimize the tension in your lower back. If you are having a hard time doing this, consider getting a trainer who will help you correct your posture.
Knee-related injuries are very common in cycling. Due to the fact that cycling cleats are fastened to the pedals to maximize the stroke on the road, pain or injuries may occur in the knee after a while. Fortunately, if you react quickly, you are able to prevent this from ruining your rides. Firstly, you need to position your feet and legs properly in the cleats and prevent your knees from wandering left and right during your strokes. Buying anatomical insoles for your cleats can also be helpful in combating this type of pain.
Professional cycling saddles are not meant to be overly comfortable, but to help you maximize your performance on the road. This is why you may find yourself getting rashes from your saddle during your rides. This is not uncommon, and the best way to go about this is to invest in a good pair of bicycle shorts with a comfortable cushion, which will help alleviate most of the symptoms. If you still get a little sore despite this, you can always put on a little cream after a ride, which will help soothe your irritated skin.
Sore muscles and fatigue
Cycling puts a lot of strain on your leg muscles, especially quads. Because of that, you need to spread out your rides, take a break every once in a while, and allow your muscles to recover and regenerate. If you experience fatigue in the saddle, you can temporarily shift to an upright position.