4 Common Cycling Injuries (And How to Prevent Them)

Achilles Tendonitis

Issues with the Achilles tendon occur when the connective tissue begins to strain. "Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse," explains Dr. Liesz. "If you go out a little too hard, ride too many hills, or stand up a lot, you can end up sometimes straining the tendon."

Once the Achilles gets swollen and sore, a rupture can happen easily, so be sure to nurse this injury before returning to full training.

Treatment:

  • Rest the Achilles for several days to allow the inflammation to go down
  • Ask your doctor about putting a shoe insert or heel lift in your shoes to help relieve some of the pressure on the tendon

Prevention:

  • Avoid workouts with excessive sections of climbing
  • Strengthen your calf muscles using the following exercises:
    • Calf Raises (both legs)
    • Single leg calf raises with 5-pound dumbbells

Patellar Tendonitis

Slow recruitment of the gluteal muscles can lead to instability in the pelvis, which can create problems such as Patellar Tendonitis.

"Weakness that causes you to rock to one side more than the other can create problems with the mechanics of the leg because you end up having more internal or external rotation of the knee," explains Dr. Leisz. This type of tendonitis causes chronic pain and swelling in the patellar tendon.

Treatment:

  • Back off of training for a few days to allow the inflammation to decrease
  • Wear a patellar tendon strap to help stabilize the tendon and allow it to heal
  • Ice for 10-20 minutes twice daily

Prevention:

  • Don't ride through pain; tend to your knees at the first sign of discomfort
  • Strengthen quadriceps to relieve tension off the patellar tendon with the following exercises:
    • Squats
    • Knee extensions

More: Knee-Strengthening Tips for Cyclists

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