If cycling is one of your favourite activities, then you need to know how to avoid joint pain, because at one point or another you’ll face it for sure.
Something to be thankful about is that cycling is one of the sports least likely to cause serious joint pain because it isn’t as impact-heavy as some others, like rugby or skateboarding.
The bike ends up holding most of your weight, as opposed to you having to move it. However, that doesn’t mean that cyclists are immune to joint pain.
See Joint Health Guide for all of the ways to avoid pain when riding out on your bike.
Some of the most popular areas of trouble for joint pain while cycling, and top tips to avoid joint pain are listed below.
How To Avoid Joint Pain As A Cyclist
Wrists, feet and knees are cited as the most common joints that suffer pain while cycling. It’s no wonder, as they’re the most strained when using a bicycle.
Knees are used to propel the bike forward, feet grip the pedals, and wrists endure the constant vibration of the handlebars.
Often, it is joint related diseases that cause the pain. Things such as arthritis cause the joint that is supposed to be able to move freely to become stiff and immobile.
As you grow older, your joints will wear differently and can either change shape entirely or deteriorate.
While this is an expected outcome for joints over time, overuse and disregard for your joint health can affect your cycling days.
Find out how to avoid joint pain below:
The way that you operate a bike is by pressing with your legs to keep the pedals in rotation, requiring force to be applied through the knee and ankle joints, in addition to all of the joints in your lower body.
If you aren’t taking care of these joints, your cycling days could be cut short.
The mere mention of a bad knee can get cyclists amped up about their good cycling days when their knees weren’t worn out, and they could cover crazy distances on their bikes.
Keep a brace handy for proper support throughout the ride. You’ll be far less likely to suffer a joint related injury, or cause unnecessary wear on your joints.
Vitamins specific to joint health are abundant in the market today.
Glucosamine and calcium are two of the most sought-after because they can help with cartilage repair around joints, in addition to keeping joints strong and preventing some of the wear and tear mentioned earlier.
Omega 3’s, like the ones found in fish or fish oil capsules can help subdue inflammation in joints.
Joints in the foot area, such as those in the toes and your ankles are also mandatory for an enjoyable ride.
You can’t push the pedals with a weak ankle, or even put on your cycling shoes with advanced foot joint pain.
Investing in proper shoes to ride in will help with this, as can additional ankle braces and stretching.
Your feet will suffer from the vibration of the road too, so taking a break to walk around and wiggle your toes will help.
These aren’t commonly thought of as a cycling joint pain until they hurt. Consider the sheer amount of vibration that they endure, even on a smooth ride on pavement.
Have you ever attempted to hold onto a blender while it’s processing food? If so, you’ll have a better understanding.
After a bit, it becomes impossible to hold onto the blender because the vibration has weakened your grip.
This is similar to a cyclist’s rides, except the vibration isn’t strong enough to cause weakness immediately. It is enough to considerably weaken your grip over time.
Your wrists will still strive to hold on, and help keep you on the bike.
Taking a break every few miles or so to shake out your hands, especially on a bumpier ride, or investing in protective gloves and braces can be very beneficial.
There are additional vitamins, such as turmeric, that can help with the inflammation caused by constant strain exposure.
Gingerols, active ingredients known to inhibit the body’s production of inflammatory substances, can be found in ginger roots.
Carotenes, found in a lot of tropical fruits like papaya, mango, melons, apricots, such as beta-cryptoxanthin, can help to reduce inflammation as well.
Using a mix of nutrient-rich foods to combat inflammation and support the repairing process of joints, as well as proper braces and cycling gear will help you avoid joint pain and prolong your cycling adventures.
Cycling is a wonderful, low impact sport, but it can be derailed by unmanaged joint health.