Whether it's from a crash, overtraining or from poor bike fit, injury is part of the cycling sport. It's one of the main reasons why riding a bike can be a challenging activity.
Although some injuries are impossible to avoid, there are some things every cyclist can do to prevent injuries. Here is a list of the six that are most common and what you can do to avoid them.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury caused by inflammation. This injury is not to be confused with Achilles tendon rupture, which is a much more painful and sudden injury that requires immediate medical attention. Other causes of Achilles tendonitis are poor bike fit and improper position of shoe cleats.
Tip: Back off your training and use ice to calm down the inflammation. Ibuprofen is also recommended for their anti-inflammatory properties. But for Ibuprofen to work, it must be present in your system for consecutive days. Taking it only when you have pain will not help with the inflammation.
More: Overcoming an Injury
If your injury isn't from overuse, more than likely it has been caused by bike fit. Having your saddle too high keeps the foot plantarflexed (toe pointed down), causing constant contraction of the calf muscles.
Lowering your seat and making sure that your cleats aren't pushed all the way forward towards the toe will help to even out what muscles you're using to pedal. Allowing the foot to dorsiflex (toe pointed up) during the bottom portion of the pedal stroke can ease the tension on the Achilles, allowing the tendon to have needed periods of rest.
Located just below the kneecap, tendonitis of the patellar tendon is usually caused by having a seat that is too low or from riding too long using big gears. Because of this, the gluteal muscles aren't being utilized as well as they should be. As a result the quadriceps muscles become overworked and fatigued, leading to tendonitis in the tendon.
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