Off road mountain biking is now a very popular recreation and a well-recognised sport. Mountain biking involves off road riding over tracks with variable surface conditions. In a cycling sport, if you take two and a half hours to cycle race 100km and your average cadence is 90rpm, this means that you’ll be making 64,800 pedal strokes as you cross the finish line. That’s a whole lot of repetitive movements, enough to cause you injuries in soft tissues.
Aside from repetitive movements, the unpredictable nature of mountain biking combined with lack of rider awareness and increased participation has led to a higher incidence of traumatic injuries.
Mountain Biking and Injury Risk
Mountain biking is a popular extreme sport in the last few years with high velocities and bold manoeuvres. In comparison to road cycling, the bikes are heavier and built to withstand more abuse considering the rider will go through technical obstacle-filled trails and challenging terrain. It can be considered an extreme sport conveying a high risk of serious injury.
Common Mountain Biking Injuries
Most injuries occur while going downhill, with the more severe occurring when the rider is thrown off the bike as opposed to falling on to the side. A variety of factors can be associated with this type of fall, such as trail surface irregularities, mechanical failures and loss of control.
Some of the most common injuries in Mountain biking are:
Many mountain biking injuries occur to the head and upper extremities. It can be led by a head trauma due to fall or collision with another rider or object.
A fall or an impact may cause scratches and lacerations which can be superficial or deep, and in some cases require debris to be removed from under the skin.
Neck and Back Pain
The neck and shoulders are in an upright position and the back is curved when riding the bike. Static posture can cause neck pain and back pain, especially if the rider has a poor posture.
Wrist and Hand Pain
Wrist and hand pain during biking can be caused by nerve compression. The symptoms are similar to those of carpal tunnel syndrome, except that numbness and tingling occur in the ring and little fingers and tingling on the radial side.
Too high or too low saddle can result in knee pain. Poor positioning of the bike part changes the biomechanics of the legs, compromising the joints and soft tissues.
Incorrect foot position can cause foot pain. Pain can be felt in the forefoot when pressing down, as well as at the back of the heel or under the heel.
How Physiotherapy Helps
The goal of physiotherapy is to prevent, minimise and address problems in the musculoskeletal system. A physiotherapist helps you to prepare and heal your body from existing injuries. Physiotherapy clinics offer training programs designed to maximise your performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Injured riders from mountain biking can benefit from treatment physiotherapy provides. Physiotherapy includes active rehabilitation treatment plan augmented with a home exercise program, education, modalities, manual therapy, needling and corrective taping.
Our team at i Physio Perth will help you improve your chance in succeeding the self-management of your injury and regain strength and mobility so you can continue enjoying the sport you love.
If you have injuries from mountain biking, please don’t hesitate to call us at 9444-8729 today.