Indian Cyclists Network

Cycling is a kind of physical activity in which moving or stationary body parts receive no impact as such. In cycling, injuries caused by same (kind of) movements in repetition are relatively lower while comparing to other sport or physical activities especially like running and paying football. However, this might be partly true. Never forget that pedaling is a repetitive movement that has its own (hidden) cost and dynamics.

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) are the kind of internal or external injuries to musculo-skeletal system which are caused by repetitive movements, forceful exertions, vibration, compression and sustained or awkward positions. Thus, injuries in cycling are mainly linked to several errors which are by made cyclists such as wrong positioning (one of the main reasons), training errors (over-training) and accidents.

These errors can ultimately lead to more serious injuries in future. Now, we will talk about two of the most common injuries in cycling: Tendonitis and Chondromalacia Patella. There might be other kinds of injuries too.

1) Tendonitis: Tendonitis inflammation is produced inside tendons (structures that connects contractile muscle with bone, enabling muscle contraction). Its recovery is very tedious and time consuming. Once tendons start starving of sufficient blood flow, it leads to inflammation. After restoration of blood flow, it requires much time and also special care to decrease inflammation.

One of the most common places of experiencing tendonitis is Patellar tendon. Setting height of seat/saddle at low level and over-training are the main causes of this problem.

Another place which is common to experience tendonitis is tendons of Biceps Femoris which are at backside of thighs. The characteristic pain is usually felt at back side of knees. The most common causes of this injury are excessive seat/saddle height and over-training.

Treatment of Tendonitis involves working with physiotherapists and specific devices to speed up recovery. Sometimes pain arises due to routine habits or muscular imbalance so it's always important to seek out a professional.

2) Chondromalacia Patella: This is nothing but erosion of cartilage that exists between patella and femur. Usually pain is experienced at back side of or around kneecap. This pain causes due to higher compression of cartilage between patella and femur which may originate from poor positioning of rider (too low or too high seat/saddle). Over-training can also lead to this type of injury.

When you feel pains, it is recommended to stop training for some time, apply ice and look for an orthopedist. Only reason to emphasize on this problem is that it might possibly be result of aforementioned wrong practices. Therefore it's very important to correct positioning and demand support to prevent recurrence of same injury.

Above all, taking enough rest after every training session or ride is crucial to avoid erosion and decay of different body parts. If you feel moderate pains in any part of your legs even after covering shorter distance then perhaps it's time to do basic bicycle fitting altogether. Get it done urgently!

Don't ignore pains you experience during or after rides. Stay fit, pain-free and enjoy cycling for decades!

[This article is based on a Spanish article LAS DOS LESIONES MÁS COMUNES EN EL CICLISMO (The two more common injuries in cycling). Few additions and modifications were done to original content.]

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Comment by Matheswaran on September 15, 2015 at 12:38pm

Thanks for sharing.


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