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Injuries and cycling

bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
Assuming your bike is set up properly, what are the chances of getting a non-crash injury through cycling? I was led to believe that cycling was a relatively low-risk activity due to the low impact of it, yet I'm sat here with a rather painful injury that's suddenly crept up and has lasted months and doesn't seem to be improving. Is the risk of injury higher than most would like to believe or is it just that the the average human body is useless at doing anything more strenuous than walking down the shop for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread? I mean censored . The human body is supposed to be amazing, and it is, it heals itself when cut or thumped, adapts to stresses, and stops microbes from getting in and taking over, and rids itself of poisons, but despite all these amazing properties it can't seem to handle repeated pressing down on a pair of pedals without getting broken? WTF?!!?!?!
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  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    If you're discounting crashes and assuming a correct bike set-up, it stands to reason that as a non-contact sport the chances of a physical injury would be a lot less than other sports.

    Perhaps cycling isn't the cause of your injury but it is preventing recovery or exacerbating it. Go to the doctors and find out what the problem is as it now appears that it is causing you longer term distress.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    If you're discounting crashes and assuming a correct bike set-up, it stands to reason that as a non-contact sport the chances of a physical injury would be a lot less than other sports.

    Perhaps cycling isn't the cause of your injury but it is preventing recovery or exacerbating it. Go to the doctors and find out what the problem is as it now appears that it is causing you longer term distress.

    This is good advice. The main causes of cycling injury are bike setup / incorrect size bike, over exercising without enough recovery time, not warming up properly before really exerting yourself and aggravating a long term weakness / injury. I have been guilty of all of the above at some point.
  • mrwibblemrwibble Posts: 980
    What is your injury? There is an high possibility you have an incorrect bike set up but difficult to say without specifics

    when you cycle you are putting your legs under a work load, your arms are supporting your body and your core is keeping your body up right. Just because you are sat down and there is 'no impact' it does not mean your body is not working in areas where you wouldn't expect it.


    @imassageuk
  • pcb24pcb24 Posts: 98
    O.k so cycling does not involve the contact aspect of other sports but your still sat in a fully flexed lumbar position for up to 4-5 hours if you go for a long ride. Couple that with some big hills and and a lack of fitness and the strain on your back for example is quite a bit for the average joe. Also going from a few rides to ramping up your cycling training to quickly is also likely to overload your tendons for example. So just because your sat when you are exercise is a naive way to think you'll not get an injury. Ask an elite rower, sailer, cyclist if they escape injuries? You know the answer!
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  • Are you getting old? No offence but when I was younger I never used to get injured, and wondered how, barring crashes how injuries even occured. When you're young you bounce well, seem to be able to go hard right out of the blocks, recover well etc.

    Now I'm in the over 40's club, I notice niggles much more, I think part of getting old is getting used to managing them and having the good sense to listen to your body and know when to rest and have a day off. I take care to warm up before giving it the beans, am probably slightly less daredevil at descending etc.

    I don't mean to sound like a doddery old git as I'm still younger than Chris Horner and he's just won a GT, but I'm stricty a pan and agua kind of rider, well lager and cake really. I consider myself a better cyclist than when I was younger and do plenty of miles and am still pretty quick, I just ride smarter and have to consciously look after myself more.
  • mrwibblemrwibble Posts: 980
    Sat down at a desk for 8 hours a day is not good for a body. There is lack of range of movement for your body, that is why yoga is seriously good for a body. I wish I had started yoga 20 years ago, things may be different now. Sports massage can go a long way in prevention, however from experience, people would rather spend £30 on something for the house or a new item of clothing rather than spend £30 on an hours massage. People don't value or look after their bodies as they should.

    Twitter: @imassageuk
  • stealfstealf Posts: 49
    As MR Wibble says, Increased flexability through Yoga has helped me massively. I can now enjoy 5 hours in the saddle whereas prior to Yoga (18 months ago) I was constanatly sore in the lower back area after just a couple of hours. Though back to Op's issue - we really need to know what the injury is to offer any advice. knees could be saddle position, lower back could be posture, on or off the bike.
    Whatever it is get well soon fella
    A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness.
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  • mk1fishmk1fish Posts: 23
    I agree with the above flexibility will massively reduce you chance of injury, if all footballers could do the splits then there would be no where near as many groin strains and hamstring injuries.

    when it come to cycling you need to look at what your body is going, yes as already said it is under strain just by sitting on the bike, but when you a pedalling doing a repetitive movement 1000's & 1000's of time. it could take years for something to occur. Injury is a guarantee to some extent in all sports.

    as the old saying goes prevention is better than cure.
  • Buckles wrote:
    Assuming your bike is set up properly, what are the chances of getting a non-crash injury through cycling? I was led to believe that cycling was a relatively low-risk activity due to the low impact of it, yet I'm sat here with a rather painful injury that's suddenly crept up and has lasted months and doesn't seem to be improving. Is the risk of injury higher than most would like to believe or is it just that the the average human body is useless at doing anything more strenuous than walking down the shop for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread? I mean for f***s sake. The human body is supposed to be amazing, and it is, it heals itself when cut or thumped, adapts to stresses, and stops microbes from getting in and taking over, and rids itself of poisons, but despite all these amazing properties it can't seem to handle repeated pressing down on a pair of pedals without getting broken? WTF?!!?!?!

    I can empathise 100% . What kind of injury do you have Buckles ?
    I have just posted regarding an ongoing lower back / hip injury.
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Buckles wrote:
    Assuming your bike is set up properly, what are the chances of getting a non-crash injury through cycling? I was led to believe that cycling was a relatively low-risk activity due to the low impact of it, yet I'm sat here with a rather painful injury that's suddenly crept up and has lasted months and doesn't seem to be improving. Is the risk of injury higher than most would like to believe or is it just that the the average human body is useless at doing anything more strenuous than walking down the shop for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread? I mean for f***s sake. The human body is supposed to be amazing, and it is, it heals itself when cut or thumped, adapts to stresses, and stops microbes from getting in and taking over, and rids itself of poisons, but despite all these amazing properties it can't seem to handle repeated pressing down on a pair of pedals without getting broken? WTF?!!?!?!

    I can empathise 100% . What kind of injury do you have Buckles ?
    I have just posted regarding an ongoing lower back / hip injury.
    Sharp pain in the outside of the right knee during a hard effort. Still can't ride more than the easiest gear 4 months later
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  • vsvs Posts: 468
    Buckles wrote:
    Sharp pain in the outside of the right knee during a hard effort. Still can't ride more than the easiest gear 4 months later

    Try some exercises/stretches to help Iliotibial band syndrome and buy Allison Westfahl's book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-Danielsons- ... B00D616QPI
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I got knee pains through over exercising without proper warm up at a high intensity. My road bike was setup correctly for a standard rider but I soon realised this didn't fit me. After a few adjustments and now taking it a bit easier everything is fine. I also did a full week with no bike riding to releave the pain.

    I am over 40 now and find I have to keep my legs warmer in the cold weather than a few year ago or I get stiffness in them which never happened before.
  • dw300dw300 Posts: 1,642
    People dont seem to realise how much longer their tendons, ligaments etc take to strengthen compared to muscles.

    If you suddens increase volume or intensity of training, its very easy to push the pedals with a force that your muscles have adapted to, but your connective tissues havent. These injuries also take much longer to recover from due to the lack of blood vessels to these tissues. Getting these tissues strong is all part of base training.

    One of the most important parts of training is staying injury free. Even if the progress is slow, staying uninjured will yield faster progress in the long term. Its the reason I SMH at ay exercise or workout programme with Extreme or Intense for people who don't have a good base, or promise results in a short time.
    All the above is just advice .. you can do whatever the f*ck you wana do!
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  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    I've always warmed up and have been injury free for 3 years, don't think I've increased volume at all, only intensity a bit
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  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Just a 'little' update:
    This happened on July 7th 2013 and over 6 months later I'm still in pain. It's never been severe pain just constant pain and weakness in the leg.

    I suspected this was some sort of Iliotibial band-related damage as I've had inflamed ITBs before (nearly two years ago, lasted a couple of weeks, went away after regular massage with foam roller). About a month after the initial injury I went to a physio at my local hospital. He 'tested' my knee by bending, pushing, pulling, twisting it etc. He said my knee's structurally fine, agreed that it was ITB syndrome, and to 'keep doing what you're doing' i.e. resting, gentle cycling and foam rollering (I wasn't foam rollering at the time but had done in the past). However the guy didn't seem certain and neither did I; the pain is further back than my ITB as far as I can tell. He told me to "do exercises to strengthen glutes and hips" but didn't actually specify any exercises.. leaving me as clueless as when I walked in.

    Weeks of stretching and various exercises (side lying clams, side lying leg raises, squats and bulgarian split squats which probably did more harm than good) later, still in pain.

    Went to another physio a few weeks later and she said it's actually my hamstring tendon that's damaged, and that my hamstrings are really tight. She told me to stretch my hamstrings twice a day and gave me a printed sheet with seven exercises (not just for stretching hamstrings though)


    Zero improvement after weeks of religious adherence to the stretching regime (now worried this may have aggravated the problem especially since reading a physiotherapist's blog about his own knee injury which is similar if not identical to mine; saying to avoid doing anything to stretch or compress the tendon as this will make it worse....) went back and she suggested ultrasound treatment. I looked it up and was very skeptical as there doesn't seem to be any evidence that it works other than to reduce pain. Went for it anyway...

    Pain in the tendon reduced massively but now (Start of December) I can feel pain inside my knee (right hand side of my right knee). Went back to the physio, she said there's nothing more she can do and suggested I may have some damage to my lateral meniscus.... alarm bells now ringing. Went to my GP and she referred me to a sports injury clinic at the Orthopaedic hospital. She said they may do an MRI scan on it.

    I started driving to work every day as I started to worry that even plodding to 5 miles to work in 39x23 could be doing some permanent damage. I wanted to see if completely staying off the bike made it better. Absolutely no cycling for the last seven weeks and it actually feels worse!

    Appointment letter has just come through for the Orthopaedic hospital for next week - not going to cycle at all until I get the results and someone tells me it's safe to do so.

    Just can't believe this has gone on for over six months. Back in July I was hoping it'd heal itself in a few weeks, then October came and I thought, ah it'll be fine in a couple more months.... I even booked onto the club training camp in April thinking 'ah it'll be fine, it's six months away' not even considering the possibility that it wouldn't heal well before the end of January....

    Will update again soon.
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  • adam0bmx0adam0bmx0 Posts: 263
    Bumping this for a response, i've buggered my ITB (self-diagnosed) and have been off the bike nearly a month now (after continuing to commute 3miles to work for two weeks after initially buggering it on a hilly ride ) and its still tender and not 100%, getting annoyed at it now, been doing all the re-hab exercises after a lot of reading various material.

    Thinking of potentially seeing a specialist now.................
    If the bar ain't bending, you're just pretending
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Not quite the same but I badly strained my shoulder and which was very painful. Until I saw a consultant nothing would sort it out and this went on for months. After seeing the consultant , having tests and the correct treatment within a week the pain had gone and within two months it was pretty much back to normal.

    Best to seek proper professional help.
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