How to Prevent Back Injuries in Bicyclists

How to Prevent Back Injuries in Bicyclists | HealthSoul

While it’s less jarring to the spine than some other forms of aerobic exercise, back injuries in bicyclists are a common complaint heard by chiropractors. In fact, research indicates up to 58% of professional cyclists experience lower back pain. Fortunately, working with an experienced and knowledgeable chiropractor can help you keep your wheels spinning, whether you’re an endurance cyclist or a beginner looking for a low-impact workout.

Common Body and Back Injuries in Bicyclists 

There is just no denying the physical and environmental benefits of hopping on a bicycle. As with any other form of exercise, though, it’s vital to be sure you’re protecting your body. While patients with conditions like spinal stenosis can find relief from their pain on a bicycle, there are some common body and back injuries in bicyclists chiropractors often see, many of which can be successfully treated or prevented by high-quality chiropractic care.

  • Lower Back MisalignmentsLower back pain isn’t just common in bicyclists but in the general population as a whole. Still, leaning forward over your handlebars does have the potential to negatively affect healthy spine curvature and put undue stress on the piriformis muscle, which runs from the lower back to the upper thigh. Excessive tightness of the piriformis muscle can aggravate the sciatic nerve, as well. Combine biking posture with the tight hip flexors and hamstrings often seen in avid cyclists, and it’s easy to see why lingering lumbar pain is one of the most common back injuries in bicyclists. Making sure your bike is properly fitted and boosting core strength can help, along with regular adjustments.
  • Hand and Finger Numbness – Do you frequently experience sensations of tingling or numbness in your hands? Compression in the upper back may be the underlying culprit.
  • HipLocks – Cycling is great for your glutes, but when they get tight, hip joints can be affected. The sacroiliac joint doesn’t always function the way it should for avid cyclists, causing a kind of kinetic chain reaction that eventually manifests as knee pain, one of the most common complaints expressed by cyclists.

There are so many potential causes for body and back injuries in bicyclists, which can often be attributed to riding an inaccurately sized bicycle or poor cycling form. It’s important to make sure your equipment is properly sized and in good condition, and that you maintain good form as you ride. An unexpected but frequent cause of lower back pain in cyclists? Leg length discrepancies. The average person has a discrepancy in leg length between three to six millimeters, but it is possible to have a bicycle fit adjusted to accommodate these discrepancies.

Treatment and Prevention for Back Injuries in Bicyclists

The fun and excitement of cycling don’t have to come to an end when you experience back or joint pain. Whether you’re experiencing chronic pain due to an old injury or your current biking habits, quality chiropractic care can keep you on the road and pain-free. Regular adjustments to address stress injuries, exercises designed to boost your core strength and proper cycling posture all work to mitigate or prevent back injuries in bicyclists.