Sooner or later, most of us cyclists do crash and need some treatment. Cycling injuries are usually 1 of 2 types: Overuse or Crashes (trauma). For endurance running and swimming, injuries are usually of the overuse variety.
For overuse (gradual onset) injuries, I always consider the following factors:
- Bike fit (or running or swimming biomechanics)
- Body fit (or “intrinsic” factors within the body that may contribute to injury)
- Training errors (“too much too soon”)
As a general rule of thumb, once you are set up correctly on your bike, have worked on your body performance and learnt to how to monitor and maintain your body, then cyclists often don’t develop too many other injuries until they crash! I suggest booking an appointment for treatment within a week of a crash even if you suffer only minor grazes. Why? Many times during (even “minor”) crashes your spinal alignment (amongst other things) can be affected, resulting in sitting crookedly on the bike. This often leads to knee or back pain down the track, as sitting crookedly can lead to one knee tracking outwards (further from the top tube) and the other inwards (closer to the top tube). Knees generally like moving in straight lines, not crooked ones if they are to remain pain free! So if you notice that one knee is closer to the top tube than the other, or your pelvis is not sitting straight on the saddle, then you may need to consider doing something about it
(like book an appointment to get your alignment straightened out)!