How can I avoid cycling injuries?

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
An important way to avoid cycling injuries is to get your bike fitted to your body at a reputable bike shop. In this process, they take a variety of measurements, only one of which is the distance between your feet and your seat, and adjust each component of your bike so that it is more efficient for your body.
To avoid the other cycling pitfalls that cause knee injury, modify your training to restrict intensity when you are sore or injured, keep your cadence greater than 90, and limit hill workouts until your symptoms subside. Keep your quads, hamstrings, and calves flexible. If you have access to a therapist with electrical stimulation, you can use it to strengthen both types of muscle fibers (fast and slow twitch) and equalize your medial and lateral quad strength (usually, the medial or inside portion of the quads is weaker than the lateral or outside portions). Orthotics or wedges may compensate for foot pronation (flat feet). You should also avoid squats and lunges while you are injured.
Cyclists may develop Achilles tendonitis from the repetitive dorsiflexion (ankle flexed up) during the power phase of cycling or if the seat is too low. If your foot does not flex up enough or is flat, you are at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tight tissue on the bottom of your foot). Forefoot pain can be avoided by preventing excessive resistance (too much pressure) in a low cadence (slow pedal speed).
Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

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Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

It's one of the undeniable facts of life. After we reach a certain age, our bodies change. No matter how fit we may have been at 20, we're very different people after 40. But growing older doesn't...

Most knee injuries from regular cycling are typically associated with 'overuse' injuries or injuries which result when the chosen volume or intensity of training causes damage to tissues which are not adequately repaired during a training cycle.  Bad form in conjunction with strenuous training, are most likely responsible for most cases of chronic knee pain in cyclists.

To avoid cycling injuries, it is advised that individuals undergo a proper fitness assessment with a qualified professional.  Muscle imbalances will need to be addressed and a proper bike fit is important.  During cycling and spinning sessions, emphasize very small amounts of cycling against high resistance for beginners.  Opt for cycling techniques which use low rather than high gears, and avoiding excessive amounts of hill training. Once you have incurred some regular cycling training, workouts should gradually advance in duration and intensity should increase gradually.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.