Cycling Injuries Treatment
Since the invention of the bicycle over 150 years ago, cycling has gained massive popularity worldwide not only as a commonly used method of transportation, but also as a physically demanding sport. The varieties of this sport include mountain biking, track and road bicycle racing. The number of annual cycling events is countless, ranging from official events such as Tour de France, to unofficial races held by local communities and charities. It is also a major integral part of sporting competitions such as triathlons, decathlons, IronMan challenges, and on and on. It is impossible even to estimate approximately how many cyclists there are out there in the world or even in the United States alone. For whatever reason you may be cycling, be it for training as part of a professional race track cycling team, or simply enjoying a ride around the park every now and again, it is a wonderful sport to enjoy.
A high intensity activity with the majority of pressure relaying on the legs, this is also a dangerous sport, often times taking place at extreme speeds. For example, track racing cyclists can reach speeds as fast as 80km/h. The danger is increased when cycling takes place on the open road or dangerous tracks, such as oftentimes used in mountain biking. However, that does not deter most of us from cycling, either as a sport or as a transportation method. Since there are an enormous variety of factors that could be accounted for similar symptoms but different injuries, a professional diagnosis of the injured area (involving either an MRI, X-ray, ultrasound scan, etc) is vital in order to establish the most suitable rehabilitative treatment.
According to USA Cycling, which keeps tracks of all cycling license holders, there are nearly 200 thousand cycling license holders, but the actual number of cyclists is many times over. In contrast to those statistics, there are also over 55 thousand injuries registered in the United States last year alone.
Head injuries among cyclists range from slight concussions to severe brain damage, which results in death. It is crucial to always follow general safety rules while riding a bike, particularly on the open road. In 2012 alone, there were over nearly 55 thousand injuries registered as a result of a collision on the road, with a majority involving a vehicle on the road, out of which, 275 were fatal for the cyclist – so wearing a helmet and some protective gear, as well as being cautious of your surroundings, particularly of the traffic, can prove to be life-saving. As the recently opened bike sharing program recently launched in NYC does not require the rider to wear a helmet, it is advisable to keep in mind that cyclists suffer head injuries even more often than soccer players, to which head injuries typically attributed to. Yearly statistics show that on open roads, cycling injuries (and unfortunately deaths) occur through disregard of traffic rules (by both cyclists and motorists), resulting in collisions with other vehicles on the road.
However, in the instance of a concussion, caused by the head coming into contact with a solid surface and resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to brain ricocheting against the skull. This causes free radicals to form inside the brain, the same radicals which are responsible for inflammation and tissue deterioration. The common symptoms include the person not being aware of the impact which caused the concussion, as well as dizziness, headache and a feeling in need to vomit.
The legs’ muscles, joints and tendons experience the largest part of the load of pressure while cycling; therefore, most of the recurring injuries happen in the knee and the ankle regions. Repetitive strain injuries in the knee and the Achilles tendons are most popular due to the cycling motions made by the legs. The higher the intensity of the sport, the more wear and tear occurs naturally. Tendinitis, the most common of all repetitive strain injuries, is caused by inflammation in the soft tissue (tendon) due to micro tears in it from overuse, resulting in pain when pedaling. Tendinitis occurring in the soft tissue of the knee is caused by the repetitive motion the knee does when pedaling.
Likewise, the Achilles tendinitis occurs in the soft tissue which extends from the calf muscle and connecting at the heel bone, creating the Achilles tendon. This tendon is responsible for the function of the foot (e.g. while cycling or walking) and the bottom of the calf muscle. Serious damage of this tendon may be disabling and career ending in this sport.
Back pain is common among cyclists due to the hunched over position while sitting on the bicycle. There are many reasons for back pain which can incur while cycling, however, degenerative disc disease is usually to blame for it, and it is not always necessarily caused by cycling. Such factors as a genetic predisposition, age, as well as posture may be to blame as well. In any case, degenerative disc disease occurs when the water retention in them reduces significantly, causing a lessened effect of shock absorption, and leading to irritation and friction occurring between the vertebrates. Pain is considered to be the symptom which appears after the disease has developed. Although it is an untreatable condition, it is very manageable with manual therapy and pain relieving medication, and you should be able to continue to enjoy the sport you love.
TREATMENT AT OUR CLINIC
At our clinic, you will have a number of treatments available to you, and depending on your condition, the experts will first evaluate the seriousness of your injury and prescribe an individualized rehabilitative plan, which will enable you to return to cycling. Traditional methods of treatment, such as physiotherapy and manual therapy, combined with innovative technology available in the only private clinic on the East Coast of United States, enable us to treat more serious injuries, such as soft tissue tears. With the help of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), small shockwaves are applied to the treated area, thus bring the blood supply into the injured zone and triggering and fastening the rehabilitative process.