Cycling is a popular sport which requires minimal equipment and training. Anyone can learn to cycle and it’s easy to find a park to enjoy your favorite sport. Being this popular, cycling is also the physical activity linked to most accidents and pains. To stay fit while pedaling you need to know which are the most common cycling pains and how to relieve them, preventing a severe injury.
A faulty position on the bicycle leads to neck pain, as the muscles are forced into an artificial position, which stretches them. To avoid this problem, you need to find the proper position. Your shoulders should make a 90 degree angle with your upper arms, when you are holding the handlebars. Lowering the saddle can help you achieve the perfect position on the bike and can prevent neck pain. You can also try to lower your chin while holding the bars and then lift your eyes to look on the road ahead. This movement helps distribute the pressure evenly on your spine.
The most common problem in cycling is a plain hand pain. In most cases, it is caused by applying too much pressure on the handlebars. This is usually caused by a low handle and a high saddle or a tilted saddle. To reduce the pressure put on your hands you need to raise the handlebars, so your wrists are slightly bent, without making any skin folds. You also need to check the saddle: if it is tilted forward, your body is going to apply more pressure on your hands, causing them to hurt.
Lower back pain
Another common problem in bike riding is low back pain. Depending on how much you ride the bike, it can become pretty severe and can even determine you to give up cycling, which is a shame. The common culprit for lower back pain is the position of the saddle.
If your hips are moving from side to side as you pedal, the saddle is too high, causing your spine to take up too much pressure in the lower back area. If your saddle is positioned too low, your knees will raise too much while you pedal, leading to back pain.
The optimal position on the bike is with a straight back, which follows the normal curvature of the spine in the lower back area. Resist the temptation to arch your back, as this promotes back pain.
The position of the saddle can also lead to knee pain, if it is too high. Pain in the front of the knee is the sign of a low saddle, while pain in the back of the knee is a sign of a high saddle. The cleats might also be guilty for your knee pain; if they are too far, your knees are subjected to additional pressure. You should be pedaling with your toes up, using your calves, glutes and hamstrings, which relieve the pressure from your knees.
Cycling shouldn’t be painful, so if you feel any amount of pain after riding your bike you need to adjust your position. If the pain is still there, it might be the time to see a pain management specialist.