By Eleanor Dix
In this article, we discuss some of the most common cycling injuries and how to prevent them from occurring… In recent years, cycling has become increasingly popular, in fact, in 2020, Brits bought a whopping 3.3 million bikes. A great form of exercise, as well as a cheap and convenient way of getting around, cycling brings with it some great benefits. However, it can also lead to accidents and injuries if proper care isn’t taken.
Manchester, London and York solicitors are seeing that an increase in cyclists on the road has led to an uptick in cycling related injuries. In this article, we’ll take you through the seven most common cycling injuries and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
One of the most common, and thankfully least serious, cycling injuries is the simple graze. While the odd graze to legs and arms is considered to be simply part and parcel of cycling, these can be painful as well as unsightly. This kind of injury can occur when cycling too close to walls, trees and fences as well as from falls and can be avoided by keeping legs and arms covered where possible.
2. Cuts and Bruises
Cuts to the face and limbs can be caused by falling from a bike or from a collision with a vehicle and can range from the fairly insignificant to deeper cuts which require stitches. The best way to avoid these kinds of injuries is to take as much care as possible when cycling. Additionally, protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads can also help to minimise the risk of cuts and bruises when out on your bike.
3. Head Injuries
One of the most serious forms of injury when cycling is the head injury which can result in brain damage and, sadly, in some cases, death. 70% of cycling fatalities in London are caused by head injuries and, these are largely a result of a collision.. Cyclists should always do everything within their power to avoid head injuries and, this can be done by avoiding cycling on busy roads, cycling outside of peak traffic times and, most importantly, by wearing a good quality cycling helmet. While wearing a cycling helmet is not a legal obligation in the UK, these can significantly help in avoiding serious head injuries which may result in a reduced quality of life or death.
4. Saddle Sores
Regular and extended cycling can lead to soreness and abrasion around the thighs and nether regions which, whilst not serious, can be painful. The most effective way of avoiding this is to invest in a good quality saddle for your bike and, to wear protective padding. While this may – not the look many cyclists are going for, padding can make for a more comfortable ride.
5. Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common issue for enthusiastic cyclists, and this tends to occur when a cyclist is holding his or her head in a particular position for extended periods of time. For example, a cyclist might ride with their head at a downward angle to avoid flying insects, resulting in short- and long-term neck pain.
This can be avoided by investing in a good pair of riding goggles which will allow the cyclist to ride with their head upright without risking insects and other debris getting into their eyes.
6. Eye Injuries
Following on from the last point, a considerable number of UK cyclists suffer from eye injuries and conditions every year. While they’re usually not serious, these can nonetheless be painful and, in extreme cases, can lead to longer term eyesight issues.
Eye injuries can be caused by insects, dust and even wind during a cycle ride, as well as other random debris which can get into the eyes. Cyclists can protect their eyes with a pair of riding goggles which are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of using an eye wash or eye drops after each ride to flush out any nasties which may cause eye irritations.
7. Joint Injuries
While cycling is really good for our muscles and our health in general, it can also lead to injuries to our joints, including knees, hips and hamstrings. These injuries, which can not only be painful, but can force the cyclist to hang up their riding activity while they recover.
Cyclists can minimise the risk of joint injuries by making sure that they perform warm up exercises before embarking on a bike ride, to avoid causing strain to joints. A healthy diet can also help to protect joints, with experts recommending plenty of carbs and fruit and vegetables to help keep joints healthy and avoid injury.
As with any kind of exercise or sport, getting plenty of sleep is also essential for keeping everything working the way that it should.
Cycling Safely is Paramount…
While we may have painted something of a grim picture for cyclists in this article, don’t be put off. Cycling is not only great fun but can help to keep us healthy and fit. Additionally,with fuel prices going through the stratosphere at the moment, cycling can also help households to save a considerable amount of money.
To stay safe when cycling, always follow the rules of the road and avoid busy roads and traffic hotspots which are known to experience a high number of accidents. Finally, protective gear like helmets, goggles and padding can form a really effective defense against injury for UK cyclists.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment from a cycling injury. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.