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Non-Traumatic Cycling Pain
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Common Non-Traumatic Cycling Pain

Do your hands go numb when you ride your bike? Or is your knee giving you grief? Are your muscles sore at the end of each ride. We'll give you some tips on causes and prevention. Acute trauma from crashes in cover in our section on Acute Trauma Response.

Problems arise from:
  • Poor bike fit (see our section on Bike Fit). These result in foot hand, neck, knee and back pain.
  • Over use resulting in muscle discomfort and pain.
  • At other times, they're a little more complex, and I look for underlying medical issues as the cause of the problem.
Types of non acute trauma injuries:
  • Points of contact injuries: Resulting in hand numbness, pain on the bottom of the feet, back pain, shoulder pain, and saddle soreness. this is usually a result of poor bicycle fit (see our section on Bike Fit).
  • Friction: Result of loose clothing, especially with the saddle.
  • Tight Grip: Holding the handle bars to firmly or leaning over too far resulting in hand numbness and/or pain.
  • Muscle Fatigue: Over use injuries resulting in muscle or ligament strains and post ride muscle pain. As a result, this tends to be where cyclists suffer fatigue. Over long rides, lactic acid builds up in the muscle, causing pain. After a day's racing, the pros get a massage to dissolve this acid and ensure that they are fit for the next day.
  • Muscle tightness: Simply cycling to keep fit and for fun, you might find that you have quite tight hamstrings and calves. The tightness doesn't always manifest itself when you're on the bike because the body adapts to the rhythm of the pedal stroke, but try a non cycling movement pattern like running and you soon notice that your legs aren't right. The problem also gets exacerbated by cycling longer distances than you're used to, when tightness in a calf or hamstring can lead to muscular tearing.
  • Back and neck pain: Ideally, cyclists ride with their back muscles in neutral, but this often isn't possible when the bike you're riding isn't set up to your exact size.
Treatment:
  • Point of contact: See our section on Bike Fit.
  • Friction: Wear appropriate padded bicycle shorts that don't move around when seated. Also use a lubricant such as Chamois BUTT’r, Bag Balm, Udderly Smooth or even vaseline will prevent chafing.
  • Use gloves with gel padding, don't "monster grip" the bars but relax, gripping enough incase you hit an unexpected bum. Move your hands around from hood when on the flats with low traffic to the center part of the handle bars on both side.
  • Start out slowly, saving your energy until latter in the ride. This is what the pros do, especially on long ride.
  • Keep a good cadence and use your aerobic abilities instead of muscling up those hills.
  • Use stretching in the proper manner, active warm up at a low pace and finally yoga which help flexibility. See out section on Fitness Tips. Fitness Tips.
  • Stay hydrated and consider magnesium, sodium, potassium supplements to prevent muscle cramping.
References:
  1. Common cycling injuries and how to prevent them  The Telegraph, 2016
  2. The Most Common Cycling Pain and Injuries  from Sportmedicine.about.com by Elizabeth Quinn, 2016
  3. Cycling Tips  from Physioworks.com by Article by John Miller, 2015
  4. How to Prevent the 6 Most Common Cycling Injuries  from Active.com by Marc Lindsay, 2014
  5. Leg Pain  U.S National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus, by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, 2013

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Anthony Marchand Bicycle Repair And Maintenance information And Tips