There are five types of body pains and aches that are cyclists are prone to suffer. The most common among these is leg pain, followed by knee pain.
Back pain is also common. Cycling like most sports that involve going over long distances can result in a myriad of body pains and aches, which we will be addressing below. Read on and learn how to treat cycling leg pains and common aches associated with the sport.
1. Leg pain
The legs and calves exert a lot of effort when cycling. Many professional cyclists have developed a high tolerance for leg pains and will continue to pedal even if their legs are sore. This is often the result of muscle overuse or pushing oneself beyond their limit in order to break their current record. This can be very bad for your legs.
If your legs are sore after biking, the first thing to do is apply ice to the affected area. Elevate your legs and get adequate rest. Overexertion often results in micro-tears in your leg muscles. Micro-tears can also result in the shortening of the muscles. Stretching your calves and hamstrings is a great way to hasten the healing process and to ensure that your muscles heal long rather than short.
2. Hand pain
If your hands are aching and you feel a tingling sensation, it could be that your seat is too high. Bicycle seat when too high will cause you to ride too far forward subjecting your arms and hands to unwanted strain and weight.
Another cause of this is when you’re taking a long ride and you haven’t changed your hand position at all or given them rest.
If you feel that your hands have grown numb while riding, shift your position a bit to relieve your hands from the pressure of bearing your upper body weight. Also, change your body angle to a more upright position to allow your bicycle seat to bear more of your weight.
3. Knee pain
Knee pain is another health issue cyclists need to tackle. There are many reasons why pain in the knee occurs. One of the most common causes is faulty posture. Another is improper seat height adjustment. Sometimes when your legs are tired and you continue to pedal, the legs and body can do all kinds of involuntary shifting and twisting in order to compensate for pain, discomfort or fatigue.
This can wreak havoc on the delicate structures of the knee, causing the ligaments to become inflamed.
If you feel a sharp pain in the knee pain, you need to take a rest. Apply some pressure to the area around the knee. Elevate the affected and then apply ice to help reduce the inflammation. Gently stretching your leg muscles are is also a good way to relieve pressure in the ligaments and help your knee to heal faster.
4. Hip pain
Overtraining is one of the main culprits of hip pain. And when the pain sets in, it may take a while for it to go away. So right from the start, it pays to listen to what your body is telling you. Take a rest before you get too tired.
The gluteus maximus is a major muscle group located in your buttocks. One of the functions of this muscle is to turn the leg in a toe-out manner. Actually, cyclists have very little use for this muscle group. For this reason, the muscles can become somewhat weak from lack of use.
Now, when a cyclist is overworked their major leg muscles the body begins to compensate by turning out the legs a little. This is when the weaker gluteus maximus becomes overworked causing numbness or pain not only in the hip area but can also radiate down to the legs.
The immediate solution to this problem is rest.
However, if you want to prevent this same thing from happening in the future, the long term solution is to increase the strength of this muscle group. Here’s how to go about it:
- Get down on the floor with your back lying straight
- Take your left ankle and rest it on your bent right knee
- Now stretch by bending your hips and drawing your right leg as far as you can toward your torso
- Hold for about 20 seconds
- Repeat the procedure for the other leg
5. Back pain
Back pain can be caused by a number of things, including overstraining, bad seat adjustment and poor posture. So, the moment you begin pedaling, your back is subjected to a tremendous amount of stress. The faster you go, the more the tendency to overreach and bring your ligaments and spine out of alignment.
A simple exercise for back pain is to stand with your back against a wall. Reach up high above your head with palms facing forward. Next let your fingertips touch the wall behind you and hold for about 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
This is a simple exercise that can bring almost instant relief from back pains. However, if symptoms persist, see your doctor.
Dealing with common aches and pains associated with cycling can be simple enough if you follow the guidelines above. However, there is no substitute to taking precautionary measures and listening to your body for clues on how to treat your symptoms.
Another thing you can do to speed up recovery is to get regular massage. Leg massage in particular has been shown to enable cyclists to heal faster from torn leg muscles. The benefits of massage are many including improved circulation, keeping your muscles flexible, preventing shrinkage of muscle tissues, and quicker recovery.
If you would like to incorporate regular leg massage into your lifestyle but don’t have access to a professional therapist, then your next best solution is to use a portable, cordless leg massager.
The Verseo Air Compression Leg Massager helps improve circulation, relieves pain in legs and arms due to too much or too little movement, and offers 3 intensity settings for your complete comfort and satisfaction. Use this cordless massager anytime, anywhere and see the difference it makes in your life.