Cycling is a popular mode of recreation for people of all ages across the US. However, the highways and roads are increasingly becoming unsafe for bicyclists. Statistics published by the US Department of Transportation show 2% of all motor vehicle crash deaths involve bicyclists. The risk is higher for cyclists because they are unprotected and lack safeguards such as airbags, headrests, seat belt restraints, and cabin.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and need an Injury Law firm to handle your case, always go for a firm that cares about injured bicyclists.
Here are the common injuries in cycling you should be aware of:
Bicycle injuries involving the neck can affect the vertebrae and make it difficult to turn the head. The injured individual may also complain about reduced neck and upper back flexibility, leading to poor posture.
If the injuries cause too much strain on the spine, the cyclist may experience painful muscle spasms. During treatment, physicians typically suggest gentle neck stretches to relax the neck. Other treatment alternatives are heat application and resting from back riding. The rider also needs to adjust the bike accordingly.
Cyclists with hip pain often experience pain in the outer and front hip, which may go as far as thighs and knee cap. The cause of injury can be traced to the tightness of muscles at the hip flexors due to prolonged sittings while cycling. The strain can also cause decreased flexibility and bursa irritation.
To minimize the risk of hip pain, ensure the saddle on your bike has the right height. Also, take time to stretch your muscles before riding to ease stiffness. Cyclists experiencing hip pain can seek treatment from a physiotherapist or osteopath.
Achilles tendonitis is a common type of overuse injury often characterized by inflammation. To prevent this type of injury, ride the right bicycle size and ensure the shoe cleats are well-positioned. Also, have the saddle fitted correctly, not too low or high. If you feel pain after riding for overextended hours, take a break and have a rest. The condition can become chronic if not handled correctly and in good time.
A sports medicine specialist can help address the injury by recommending the most appropriate treatment. Other prescriptions for Achilles tendonitis include physical therapy, immobilization, and use of heel wedge.
Knee pain affects the kneecap or patella and occurs when the patella is “removed” from the joint. Treatment for knee pain may involve the use of ice, massage, and foam rolling. Anterior or front knee pain can occur if the saddle is set lower, thereby placing a strain on the patella. Conversely, posterior knee pain may occur if the saddle is placed too high due to stretched hamstring attachments. Another joint pain that may result from knee pain is lateral and medial pain, which can occur on either side of the knee.
The majority of injuries associated with bicycles affect the lower and upper extremities. Other areas include the head, neck, and abdomen. Head injuries usually occur in accidents involving motor vehicle collisions. Serious injuries can result in fractures and dislocations. The cyclist may also develop deformity in some cases.
The superficial traumas resulting from the injuries include abrasions, contusions, and lacerations. Treatment for acute trauma may involve imaging and specialized injury management by an orthopedist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually occurs when you spend too much time curled over the bicycle handlebars. The pain can upset the lower back muscles and compromise other parts of the body. If the pain persists, make a point of visiting an osteopath to help calm the symptoms.
Learn also to enforce changes to prevent lower back pain, such as correcting your bike riding position.
It is essential for people with core muscle problems to work out strategies to build strength and energy to avoid significant complications. The strengthening of the core muscles will also help you push the pedals harder to gain traction and boost your confidence.
As seen above, bicycle accidents can cause major injuries to the body. Some common risk factors for bicycle-related injuries are men cyclists, bicycle speeding, summer cycling, age factor (9 to 14 years), motorcycle involvement, unsafe riding environment, and the cyclist not wearing a helmet. It is always good to be on the lookout and wear safe cycling gear to reduce accident effects. Remember, prevention is better than cure.