woman bicycling

Non-Traumatic Bicycling Injuries and How We Help Them Heal

It’s spring on Long Island. The blossoms are bursting and the bicyclists are out in force. Although bicycling is a wonderful exercise, widely touted for promoting physical and mental health, apart from issues involving road safety, it can result in a number of troubling repetitive motion injuries. While the doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine can do nothing to keep traffic at bay, we are well-prepared to help you heal from the aches, pains, and other symptoms of taking long rides in the countryside or stationary ones in the gym.

Though not nearly as serious as the head traumas, fractures, and internal damage caused by a bicycle fall or collision, non-traumatic bicycle injuries can really get in the way of your daily routine, especially in terms of getting the benefits of your favorite exercise regimen. 

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most common sites of musculoskeletal non-traumatic cycling-related injuries involve the knee, the neck and shoulders, the wrist and hand, and the buttocks. But you may also experience pain in the back or forearm. All of these injuries can be addressed by the broad range of treatments available at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. 

Common Non-Traumatic Bicycling Injuries We Treat Successfully

If you are suffering from pain after riding a bike, contact one of our five Nassau or Suffolk offices to discover the advantages of holistic, nonsurgical healing.

Knee Pain

Knees are the most common site for bicycling injuries caused by overuse. Patients who come to us with knee pain typically have one of the following:

  • Patellofemoral syndrome (cyclist’s knee)
  • Patella tendonitis
  • Quadriceps tendonitis
  • Medial plica syndrome 
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome

The first four injuries listed result in pain around the kneecap; the last results in pain in the thigh bone, above the knee.

Neck Pain

Because a cyclist must face forward and keep their neck in one position for long periods, they are often troubled by stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulder region. Doing shoulder shrugs and neck stretches can prevent and alleviate this discomfort in many cases, but if it continues, your best bet is to make an appointment with one of our skilled physiatrists. 

Back Pain

If your handlebars are too low, you may round your back, straining muscles and tendons. If you have tight hamstrings or hip flexor muscles, you may be rounding or arching your back, resulting in hyperextension of the neck. Back pain can be due to many causes, but it is best to treat it when it first appears before it becomes a chronic problem. 

Wrist and/or Forearm Pain or Numbness

When riding a bike, it is essential that your elbows remain slightly bent so they can absorb shocks due to bumps and pits on the road surface and protect your forearms. Failure to alternate your grip on the handlebars to relieve pressure on adjacent nerves can cause two common wrist overuse injuries: median nerve palsy (aka cyclist’s palsy, bicyclist’s neuropathy or handlebar palsy) and carpal tunnel. Fortunately, we have successful treatments for both.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Non-Traumatic Bicycle Injuries

Because our doctors have comprehensive knowledge of the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves of the human body, we have what it takes to diagnose pain and dysfunction. We also have innovative diagnostic equipment to make sure we arrive at verifiable conclusions. 

Once we diagnose the cause of your bicycling injury, we will offer both traditional and complementary therapies, often in combination for optimal results. These treatments include:

  • Acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to promote healing
  • Physical therapy, including electrical stimulation, to restore strength and range of motion
  • Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation 
  • Injections of hyaluronic acid to lubricate the knee
  • PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy to treat pain and inflammation, and increase blood flow
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Fluoroscopy-guided facet injections to relieve back pain

Contact Our Experienced Doctors Today 

Don’t miss another spring day of bicycling due to stiffness, numbness, tingling, or pain.

Contact us now for prompt diagnosis and relief. You can count on our doctors to pay careful attention to your complaints and do whatever it takes to make you comfortable and get you back in the saddle.