Injuries

How to Deal With Mid- to Late-Season Injuries

It’s not at all uncommon for even the most seasoned rider to experience muscle, joint and nerve fatigue as the summer miles add up. The most common mid- to late-season injuries among riders from recreational to the professional ranks are in the hands, back and knees. The good news is that most of these are just a few tweaks and stretches away from being relieved, keeping you on the road through the rest of the summer and into the fall. I'll provide some practical advice for how to avoid and alleviate the pain we're all prone to suffer from time to time in our hands, lower back and knees.

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Listen to Your Body to Achieve Best Fitness Level

The best way to achieve a high level of fitness without injuring yourself is to listen to your body. Don't depend on heart rate monitors, fitness trackers or other gadgets. The most sophisticated fitness tracker and injury-avoider is your brain. Training to achieve a high level of fitness requires intense exercise and most exercise injuries are caused by continuing to exercise intensely when your body tells you to take the day off.

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Injuries to the Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint

From the elite pro to the casual rider, falls or crashes sometimes occur in spite of our levels of skill and diligence. However, if you do fall and sustain an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, don’t despair. The overwhelming majority of riders recover fully without surgery and are back in the saddle happily riding within six weeks, accoriding to Edward Fink, M.D.

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How Do I Deal with Achy Knees on Cool Days?

I ride fine through the summer and spring, but when the weather drops to sub 50F, my knees complain. Doesn't matter how much I layer up. Wool layers, nylon pant shell, knee warmers, 3/4 tights, etc., my knees just ache on long rides after about 20 miles and I don't know what to do. I'd like to ride through the winter, but my knees seem to be limiting me. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Medical Advice Re: ‘Trigger’ and ‘Gamekeeper’s’ Thumb

Trigger thumb arises when the sheath surrounding the tendon controlling thumb flexion becomes constricted and does not allow the tendon to glide freely as the thumb flexes and extends. This condition may occur in any digit and can arise from repeated trauma to the base of the thumb, although most often there is no precipitating cause. The tendon sheath constriction causes the tendon to become bulbous, and pain occurs at the site of this swelling.

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How To Solve Saddle Sores

A saddle sore can ruin a ride. Even a tiny zit can begin to feel like you're perched on a golf ball. Nearly as painful are crotch abrasions caused by shorts that bunch or have an irritating seam.  Even the pros, hardened by thousands of miles in the saddle, fall victim to what cycling author Arnie Baker, M.D., calls "crotchitis." Of course, avoiding saddle sores is better than curing them. Here's how.

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How Can Neck Strain Be Avoided?

My 13-year-old son is mad-keen on road and track racing, and is quite successful so far. He loves it! He avidly reads all your articles. However, we haven't yet found accurate advice on position of the head/neck/shoulders while riding. What's the correct position for these areas? I don't want him to be hurting from back problems either now or later in his career.

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What's This Pain in My Upper Back?

Last year I increased my mileage to 200-250 miles a week and developed serious upper-back pain between my shoulder blades. It still bothers me. My position on the bike is good. I didn't have this pain until I increased mileage and probably didn't recover well between rides. Any suggestions?

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