4 Common Cycling Injuries (And How to Prevent Them)

While you may think you're immune to overuse injuries in a non-impact sport, it turns out that cyclists get hurt just like everybody else. Here's an inside look at common cycling injuries, treatments that can help and prevention tips to keep you on the road and on track.

Hamstring Strains

The hamstring is made up of three muscles along the back of the leg that make it possible to bend the leg at the knee. When they get stretched too far, a strain or tear can occur.

"We especially see a lot of hamstring strains early in the season when people go from the trainer to riding outside," says Dr. Chris Leisz, Medical Director of the Endurance Sports Injury Clinic through Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pain, bruising and general tenderness accompany hamstring strains and can be particularly nagging if you don't treat them with care.

Treatment:

  • Rest for several days without doing any activity that involves the hamstring
  • Ice the area for 10-20 minutes twice daily
  • Wrap the leg with an elastic bandage or compression sleeve to promote blood flow to the injured area

Prevention:

  • Always warm up for at least 15 minutes before any hard effort
  • Ease into any change in training
  • Make sure the strength in your quadriceps is equal to your hamstrings by doing the following exercises:
    • Hamstring curls
    • Dumbbell lunges
    • Wall sits

More: 11 Exercises to Boost Hip Strength

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