Whether you’re training for a race or riding for exercise, cycling is an excellent way to stay fit. Though it is a relatively low-impact sport, it does carry a risk for injury.

The sixbellscommunitiesfirst team of specialists is here to help you train and race safely to avoid injuries. Our team includes orthopaedic physicians specializing in sports medicine, professional athletic trainers and physical therapists. Should an injury occur, we provide advanced care and design customized programs to meet your specific needs. These programs incorporate strength training, core stability, flexibility and conditioning to help you achieve optimal performance and fitness. Our goal is to prevent cycling injuries as well as get you back to riding as soon as possible following an injury.

Common cycling injuries
Cyclists most often develop injuries in their neck, knees, hands and back. Some of the most common riding injuries are:

Sciatica – Pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down into the leg
Iliotibial band syndrome – Pain on the outside of the knee
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) – Pain under or around the kneecap
Hamstring strains – A tear in one or more of the hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh
Cyclist’s palsy –Tingling, numbness and weakness in the outer hand
Mild injuries, such as most sprains and strains, can be treated with rest, ice and physical therapy. Your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Surgery may be required for more serious injuries. Norton Sports Health specialists focus on nonsurgical treatment before exploring surgical options.

Preventing cycling injuries
Most riding injuries are caused by factors that cyclists can often prevent or avoid. Improper training is the most common source of injury, particularly poor warm-up, rapid changes in mileage, a sudden increase in hill training and inadequate rest between training sessions. Make sure to stretch before and after riding, gradually increase your mileage over time and give yourself sufficient breaks to avoid muscle fatigue and overuse injuries.

Poor bike fit and improper riding technique can also result in injury. sixbellscommunitiesfirst specialists can give you tips on finding a properly fitting bike for your frame and can help you develop a riding technique that puts minimal pressure on your muscles and joints.

If you think you have developed an injury while cycling, consult a physician or physical therapist. Only return to riding when your health care professional says it is safe.

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