Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Your Quick Guide to Indoor Cyclist Accident Prevention

Indoor cycling is one of the most popular workouts today. It has long become attractive to many because it is proven to be more stress-free, compared to biking outdoors. However, just like any other fitness training, indoor biking also has its shares of possible injuries. Even with extensive precautions in preventing accidents, there are still a few possible biking injuries that can be encountered while cycling indoors:
  1. Handlebar Palsy- Otherwise known as Ulnar Neuropathy, this injury happens when there is compression in the ulnar nerve located at the hand and wrist. This condition because of the biker’s tight gripped hand on the handlebars of the cycle. Symptoms of this ailment last from several days, to a couple of months. The treatment typically includes rest, anti-inflammatory medicines and stretching. For more severe conditions, surgery may be necessary to relieve the compression of the nerves.
  2. Patellar Tendinitis- During the workout, the shinbone is under constant pressure. This can occur because of knee-overuse, incorrect execution, position, or poor bike set-up. The biker  can only be relieved from this condition through rest, some stretching, and frequent application of cold compress. Other cyclists who hastily want to get on the bike resolve to surgery for a faster recovery.
  3. Achilles Tendonitis. This is the most common case for bikers who neglect to set-up their bike accordingly. The Achilles tendon is located on the back portion of the ankle, which receives most of the pressure during pedalling. Initially, pain is usually felt followed by swelling at the injured site. This can be prevented by placing the bike at the right height, proper feet alignment and appropriate execution of warm-ups.

Tips to Prevent Indoor Cycling Accidents
  1. Wear the right gear for the workout. It may be pretty tempting to wear slippers, or go barefooted while cycling indoors, but the risks are not worth the extra comfort you’ll get. Cycling shoes are highly recommended not only in preventing accidents and cycling-related injuries, but also to provide cyclists with the maximum comfort during the exercise.
  2. Perform a smooth and continuous pedal. This is done to minimize strain on the balls of the feet or the ankles. Keep both feet flat on the pedals, instead of letting the heel push up during pedalling. Optimize this move most, especially during standing intervals.
  3. The hands must be shifted regularly. Hand stiffness and sore wrists can be avoided by constantly moving the hands around the handlebars, and by keeping the shoulders relaxed at all times. Loosely grip the handlebars, that way the body weight is solely carried by the feet and not the hands.

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons

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