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Four injuries every bicyclist should know about
There is nothing better than being outside on a nice day and riding your bicycle through the trails. It is a great way to get exercise. A lot of injuries can occur to an athlete riding a bicycle, but some injuries are more common than others.
Whether you are riding a bicycle for entertainment or you are in a race, here are four likely injuries you should know about:
One common, but avoidable injury a bicyclist can suffer is head injury, which is often related to not wearing a helmet. If you are a serious athlete, you should always wear protective equipment, including a helmet, at all times. Head injuries are most commonly attributed with falls, which can happen if your bicycle hits a rock, then you hit your head on the ground. There are so many possible situations that can occur, which might result in a head injury, and the consequences could be fatal. If you injure your head, you can become paralyzed, have mental disabilities, and even die, so it is not worth it to yourself or your family to not wear a helmet. Not to mention, you never know if a person is out on the bicycle path throwing rocks, which could also result in a serious head injury. Head injuries are one of the most common injuries in all of sports, and they can easily be avoided all together if the athlete just wears a helmet, regardless of the sport involved.
For an avid bicyclist, heat stroke is one of the most dangerous injuries that can occur. Heat stroke occurs most often during the summer months when an athlete is in the middle of a competition, or he or she is out traveling new paths. Some common signs of heat stroke include inability to breathe, dizziness, lethargy, stomach cramps, headaches, and feeling lightheaded. In order to prevent heat stroke or other heat related problems, you should always carry plenty of fluids with you on your ride. Some of the drinks you should bring include sports drinks such as Gatorade, and also bring at least six bottles of water with you on your ride. The heat can zap nutrients right out of your body without you even knowing it, especially if you are in the middle of a marathon or other bicycle competition. If you need to, you can wear a backpack with some drinks in it to make sure you have plenty for however long the bicycle ride will be.
Back injuries and pain are very common in a bicyclist, mostly because athletes are unsure how to find a bicycle just right for them. If you experience back pain or have other back injuries, this is a result of the bicycle not being the right size for you, which can strain your arms and back when riding. If you want to avoid the back pain or other injuries, you should make sure that you are riding your bicycle with the handlebars an inch lower than the seat. If you are on a mountain bicycle, however, you want to have the handlebars about three to four inches lower than the seat, especially if you are riding for a competition. The most common group to suffer from back pain and injuries are women, because the handlebars often are too far out to grab onto comfortably. When a woman strains to reach the handlebars, it causes strain on the back muscles, resulting in injury or pain in the back. A common way to avoid these types of back problems is to always make sure the handlebars are positioned correctly for both your height and gender.
Cramping is also a common injury that a bicyclist could suffer from, and it is usually the result of overusing muscles. A bicyclist often uses the same muscle groups over and over, such as the legs, arms and back. When these muscles do not get to relax, they will often tense up, which results in muscle cramping or fatigue. Preventing muscle cramps is all about resting the muscle groups, so you should stay off of the bicycle a couple days each week. You can also stretch or do warm up exercises to help decrease the muscle cramps, or decide to shorten your bicycle trips a little each day. Any muscles that are used often will cramp once in a while, but for a bicyclist, the cramping can be more common or could result in a more serious injury if not treated with rest.
I have worked in the dietary department of a hospital for three years, obtained certification in nurse assisting, and went to vocational school for Allied Health.
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