Getting pain from a cycling session can be frustrating. You are trying to improve your skill and you end up with neck pain, putting you out for the next cycling day. Neck pain from this sport is really common and is usually caused from weak muscles or poor posture.
It’s not hard to overuse your muscles and injuring yourself. Sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing a better bike fit or changing your posture just slightly. You don’t have to give up your favorite hobby due to that neck pain you keep getting. Use this guide to determine what’s causing your neck pain and learn how to prevent it going forward.
What could be causing the pain?
While neck pain and injury is common from cycling, it can be frustrating if you’re not sure what is causing it. There are a few possible causes to your problem and solutions to these problems. The first may be that you are unaware of prevention methods that would help you avoid the neck pain or numbness, such as properly fitting bikes, the right equipment, or not stretching the right areas. Having the wrong alignment or forgetting to stretch after being stiff for too long can cause serious injury after prolonged periods of time.
About bike fit
Getting properly fitted for your bike is one of the most important things you could do for regular cycling. If you don’t have a good bike fit, it might be that your frame is too big or small for you. the handlebars may be too wide or narrow or your stem may need to be adjusted to be just shorter or longer than it is now. This all affects your posture for a long cycling session. Working with a professional could help you to make tiny adjustments that will help you prevent pain and numbness.
You’ll also want to make sure your posture allows your shoulder blades to be engaged and held back away from ears. Your head shouldn’t be cocked back too far either. Make sure your bike gloves have padding for the bike you are using to avoid hand numbness and add tape to your handle bars if you ride on roads.
Learn proper stretching
You may find that you don’t have any pain until a couple of hours after cycling, which could mean that it’s more of a weak muscle issue. Not having strong enough muscles to support your head’s weight for a long period of time could be the reason for your pain.
This is because the trapezius muscles along your neck and shoulder attached to the base of your head are tensed for a long period of time, and it causes your muscles to lack in blood oxygen from the lack of blood flow to the area. When you experience muscle spasms and other pain, this is the reason behind it. Simply remembering to strengthen and stretch this area is the perfect way to relieve this problem.
Proper stretching includes doing:
- Chin tucks in a neutral position
- Right and left head rotations to stretch the neck
- Right and left lateral flexion of your neck to the shoulder
- Extension by tilting your head back to stretch the back of the neck
- Flexion of the neck while standing or sitting upright to stretch the muscles in the back of your neck
If you aren’t using all of the gear you need, have a bike that is just slightly off, or forget to strengthen your muscles, you could end up with pain and numbness when you cycle. Make sure to check all of these items out before cycling again to make sure you are keeping your body healthy and strong.