Some sports injuries are more serious than others but rest assured if you do suffer an injury we have the knowledge and experience to help.
Common cycling injuries:
Knee pain is the most common pain seen in cyclists and is usually due to the highly repetitive motion of the knee flexing as the pedal goes round.
A knee normally moves over the toes as the pedal goes around, but excessive sideways motion of the knee, or poor bicycle set up can accentuate the forces going through the knee and lead to inflammation or wear and tear on the various structures around the knee.
A seat that is too high may lead to excessive strain on the ilio-tibial band (IT band) which is a strong fibrous band that runs down the side of the thigh from the hip to the outside of the knee. A seat that is too low can cause pain under or around the knee cap due to prolonged time spent pushing whilst too bent.
This is generally caused by poor posture in the saddle or too much time spent in a bad position, reduced flexibility in the upper back, or a fault with the set-up of the bike itself that can exacerbate the problem.
The pain can spread around the region and sometimes can also lead to numbness or tingling in the arms.
Lower back pain
This is very common among cyclists because the back is held in a ‘flexed’ position for long periods.
For many non-elite cyclists, it is also worth noting that the main cause of back pain may be the many other lifestyle activities such as prolonged sitting at work or heavy lifting, and that cycling is merely a factor that aggravates the problem. A sustained flexed position can compress the discs of the spine or place an excessive strain on muscles and ligaments which over time can lead to pain.
The pain itself can sometimes spread from the back to the buttocks, and along the leg.
Often called Achilles tendonitis, this is characterised by pain in the Achilles tendon which runs down the back of the leg from the calf to the heel, and can develop inflammation and other problems through overuse.
Some cyclists suffer pain as a result of the constant pressure being applied through the front of the foot during pedalling. This can be pain of the soft tissues under the forefoot, but sometimes may involve damage to the nerves which run between the toes.
This is the most common fracture seen in cycling and usually happens when cyclists fall onto the point of the shoulder, referring the impact along the collarbone and causing it to break. The break can be very painful and is usually diagnosed by an x-ray.
The scaphoid is a small bone on the thumb side of the wrist that can fracture when a rider puts a hand out to break a fall. Scaphoid fractures often do not show up on an immediate x-ray but will usually present in a follow-up 10-14 days later.
Muscle contusion and bony bruises
This is where a muscle or bony prominence (most often around the hip and thigh) gets bruised in a fall. The impact of the fall can cause damage to the muscle or bone causing swelling and visible bruising, and often limits the amount of movement in that area.