Cycling is a highly effective form of exercise which can increase your physical strength and improve your cardiovascular fitness. However, as with any type of exercise, it can put you at risk of injury. Here are two steps you can take to avoid getting hurt whilst cycling.
Adjust the components of your bike to achieve the most comfortable position
Failing to stay in the right position when you're on your bike can increase your chances of straining your back, neck or wrists, or of injuring your knees. Try to avoid allowing your knees to straighten out completely when you're riding your bike; if you find that you can't help doing this, you may need to lower the height of the seat a little bit.
Similarly, your arms should not be completely straight when you're holding the handlebars; if they are, you most likely need to adjust the position of the seat slightly so that it is closer to the handlebars. Finally, check the height of the handlebars, if they are quite low (to the point where you have to lean over and bend your back to grip them), then you should raise their height, as constantly bending forward can result in shoulder and lower back injuries.
Seek the advice of a sports physio specialist as soon as you notice any pain
Cyclists are particularly prone to knee injuries and lower back problems. If you find yourself experiencing small amounts of pain in these areas (or anywhere else, for that matter), it is absolutely essential to get in touch with a sports physio specialist in your area as soon as possible.
If you choose to ignore this pain and carry on with your usual cycling routine, the pain is likely to worsen, and you could end up with a major, debilitating injury that could affect your ability to do any form of exercise.
As such, it really is worth addressing minor problems before they turn into serious ones. A sports physiotherapist will be able to identify the source of the problem and may offer you treatments such as ultrasound therapy, massage, joint manipulation and joint mobilisation to help heal your injury.
They will also be able to offer you advice on how to prevent the pain from re-occurring in the future. If for example, the injury was the result of bad posture or poor cycling techniques, they should be able to help you correct these errors and thus enable you to avoid doing further damage to your body.