Cycling Injuries

Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common injuries, head injuries are responsible for most fatalities and long-term disabilities. Overuse injuries may contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints, compression neuropathies, perineal and genital complaints. Physicians treating such patients should consider medical factors, as well as suggest adjusting various components of the bicycle, such as the seat height and handlebars. Encouraging bicycle riders to wear helmets is key to preventing injuries; protective clothing and equipment, and general safety advice also may offer some protection.

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Tyler Dumont, physiotherapist, discusses What To Do About Cycling Neck Pain Injuries.

Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses back pain in cycling.

Cycling and ITB Syndrome Injuries

A common bike fit issue that can contribute to neck pain is having the handlebars too low or too far away.

So we can adjust that stem and bring the handlebars into the proper position so there’s less neck strain. The other thing to consider is your helmet and your sunglasses. If you’re wearing a heavy helmet or if the helmet has a visor that could potentially impair your line of sight and you might lift your head just that little bit more to see where you’re going.

Also with sunglasses the frame occasionally can block your line of sight and make you tip your head just a few degrees. But that can add up and contribute to neck pain.

If you suspect you have trouble with your handlebar positioning, I would see a certified bike fitter or a physiotherapist who does bike fits. They’ll help get that handlebar in the right spot to take stress off your neck

Video produced in conjunction with HealthChoicesfirst and Tyler Dumont, BPE, BScPT, MSc

Presenter: Mr. Tyler Dumont, Physiotherapist, Surrey, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

Tyler Dumont, physiotherapist, discusses lower back pain and cycling.

Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses Cycling Palsy Symptoms & Treatments.

Patellofemoral Pain - Knee Pain in Cycling

Neck pain and discomfort can be a significant issue for cyclists, especially for tri-athletes that are in that low aero position.

There’s a lot of extra strain on those neck muscles and joints as they’re trying to sustain that position for hours on end. So the bike has to be set up right or else there is extra stress in that area.

If the bike’s not set up correctly what we might see this is the back of the head, here’s the neck and upper back. What we tend to see is a head forward or chin poke position, that can cause a lot of compression and shear through the mid part of the cervical spine.

The upper neck muscles here at the back of the head can get really tight and contribute to neck pain or headaches. And also, this part of the thoracic spine, the muscles are working really hard to hold the weight of that head and can get fatigued or sore. So the bike fit has to be adjusted so we can take stress off of those areas.

With regard to the lower back position, we want to aim for neutral. We don’t want to have an overextended lower back or an overflexed or rounded back. We’re trying to get relatively neutral so there’s less stress on those joints and those muscles so the rider can maintain a nice stable pelvis while riding.

If you have questions about your bike position and you’re experiencing neck pain or back pain, have someone do a bike fit on u you could see a cerified bike fitter or a physiotherapist that does bike fits.

Presenter: Mr. Tyler Dumont, Physiotherapist, Surrey, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

Tyler Dumont, physiotherapist, discusses bike setup and hand pain/numbness.

Cycling Neck Pain and Bike Position

There are a few technique faults that a cyclist might be doing that would contribute to iliotibial band friction syndrome.

One common issue is poor core stability or poor lumbopelvic control. So they might be rocking through their pelvis, and that just leads to inefficient pedal stroke and potentially adds tension to the IT band as well.

The other is pedaling with the knee in towards the center of the bike, that also adds tension to the band. Or, pedaling at too low of a cadence, pushing too big a gear, just putting too much tension through the system adds load to the IT band.

In terms of bike fit faults, classically we think of the saddle or the seat being too high or too far back, so the cyclist is over-reaching for the pedal so that also adds tension to the IT band.

Also another bike fit fault is the cleat position on the shoe. If they’re too toed in that will add tension on the band. Or if there’s a lot of pronation in the foot and the shoe is not really controlling that well, that pronation movement will add tension to the band and contribute to iliotibial band friction syndrome.

If you suspect you have this problem I suggest seeing your physician or sports medicine physician or a physiotherapist who has some knowledge about cycling injuries. They’d be able to assess you and try to get an idea of what factors might be contributing to the injury. And then for bike fitting ideally I’d see a physiotherapist who has some training in that background. Local Physiotherapist

Presenter: Mr. Tyler Dumont, Physiotherapist, Surrey, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

Tyler Dumont, physiotherapist, discusses how a cyclist is treated for ITBS.

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