More and more people are being drawn to cycling. The sports profile has been raised across the UK in recent years by the successes of road and track stars such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Jason Kenny.
It is largely considered a very safe sport, with Cycling UK stating that the general risk of serious injury is 0.05% per 1000 hours of cycling. But for those spending large amounts of time on two wheels, niggling aches and pains are an all too common part of the sport. Many superficial soft tissue and musculoskeletal issues are commonly caused by riding at high speed and can be easy treated by massage along with general muscle fatigue.
Other issues are directly related to poor posture and it important to make sure the bike is set up correctly to fit the rider. Long periods in the same position directs stresses through the spine. Shorten the stem to ensure you are in an upright position, this reduces strain on the neck. Pain here starts at the base of the skull and runs along sides of the neck to the shoulders. Fix your posture and loosen your grip to relax the shoulders.
Check that the saddle is not too high. This will help to reduce the risk of Achilles tendonitis. Another good tip is to keep toes pointing downwards and to keep a continuous contraction of your calf muscles. Foot numbness can also be common amongst cyclists. This is normally caused by poorly fitter shoes, so it is also worth checking that your cleats are not too far forward. Poorly positioned cleats will also cause knee pain, but when you get it right it will actually give you more power.