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Pedal With Confidence: How to Prevent Common Cycling Injuries

bicycle rideFrom biking the Green Lake Trail to the Seward Park Perimeter Loop, cycling in South Lake Union is one of the top athletic passions here in Emerald City. While putting power on the pedals is a great way to keep your body in peak condition, it’s important to be aware of the potential for injuries.

Common Cycling Injuries

Cycling injuries can range from mild discomfort to more serious issues. “We see a lot of knee issues, falls, especially when cyclists stop suddenly and go over their handlebars, and neck and shoulder strains from being in biking positions,” said Dr. Shepherd. These injuries are often caused by improper bike fit, lack of preparation, and overuse.

The Importance of Proper Bike Fitting

Dr Shepherd bikingOne crucial step to prevent injuries is ensuring your bike fits you correctly. Dr. Shepherd emphasizes that anybody who gets on a bike should be fit for their bike first. A proper bike fitting involves adjusting the seat height, pedal positioning, and other elements to match your body’s measurements. “Without a proper fit, cyclists are mechanically disadvantaged, which can lead to strains in the knees, hips, and other areas,” he explained.

Many local bike shops offer fitting services. These experts can adjust your bike to ensure optimum function and comfort, making your rides more enjoyable and less injury-prone.

bikes on trunk

Pre-Ride Stretches and Exercises

Warming up before a ride is essential to prevent injuries. Dr. Shepherd recommends leg stretches for prepping, and even upper body stretches for the arms and shoulders are helpful. Preparing your muscles for the biking position can reduce the risk of strains and other injuries.

Additionally, performing hip exercises can be beneficial for cyclists. Dr. Shepherd suggests incorporating hip stretches into your routine to improve flexibility and strength, which can enhance your performance and reduce the likelihood of injury.

Recognizing Early Warning Signs

It’s important to listen to your body and recognize the signs of overuse injuries. “Early signs would be knee pain or hip pain, as well as unusual stress points in your upper back and neck,” said Dr. Shepherd. If you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial to address them promptly to prevent further damage.

Chiropractic Care for Cyclists

Regular chiropractic care can help maintain alignment and address any issues that arise from cycling. “For those doing a lot of distance and intensity, getting checked weekly is advisable,” added Dr. Shepherd. For casual cyclists, a visit every two to three weeks can help keep your body in top condition.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy cycling while minimizing the risk of injuries. Proper preparation, bike fitting, and regular chiropractic care are key to a safe and enjoyable riding experience.


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