With the late arrival of spring, cyclists start to reappear in the streets. This sport is gaining a lot of popularity year after year, be it for the weekend cyclist or the competitive one.
We often wrongly think that cycling injuries are almost non-existent because of the lack of impact on the joints compared to running. What is not overlooked is the repetitive nature of this sport.
Indeed, many biking enthusiasts will suffer from overuse injuries. No one is immune to this type of injury, but it’s possible to minimize the odds of getting hurt by avoiding risk factors, which fall into 3 categories:
1. Training (frequency, duration, intensity, etc.)
2. Biomechanics (flexibility, strength, pedaling pattern, etc.)
3. Bike (adjustment or "bike fit")
For the 1st category, we generally aim for a progression of up to a maximum of 10% per week. It is not uncommon to see injuries occur early in the season because we tend to want to pick up where we left off in the fall, while it would be better to resume gradually.
Biomechanical factors may be addressed by your physiotherapist and/or another qualified health professional for this type of problem. (S)he can assess the flexibility, strength, and endurance of your muscles, as well as your technique. Therefore, (s)he can better equip you to promote your rehabilitation and prevent further injuries.
The bike fit is also a must, whether it's buying a new bike or a used one. A qualified person will be able to prevent many problems by making some adjustments. It may even be appropriate to see them again for an adjustment at the beginning of the season, especially if your morphology has changed (in the case of weight loss or weight gain, for example).
Finally, there is no miracle formula to safely avoid problems, but you will greatly minimize the risks by following these tips. Also remember that it’s not normal to have pains on the bike, even in relations to the saddle, and that it’s always important to consult a qualified professional as soon as possible following the onset of symptoms.