Houston is rapidly becoming known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S. With neighborhoods and parks like Sam Houston Park, Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trails, Discovery Green and even the downtown area, Houston offers people plenty of opportunities to bike around the city and enjoy the scenic beauty.
However, bicyclists may also be well advised to know some of the more common injuries and ailments associated with this activity. They can enjoy their bicycling in Houston while also protecting their bodies and health pain, stiffness and immobility.
The Achilles tendon connects the back of a person’s heel to his or her calf muscle. This part of the body is often at risk because of the repetitive motion involved with pedaling.
Minor cases of Achilles tendonitis can be treated at home with:
- Ice Packs
- Low-impact Heel Stretches
In more serious cases, people may need to have surgery to repair the tendon. However, this condition can be avoided by not overusing this area and by reducing physical exertion.
Like Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis also can be linked to bicycling. This injury involves the swelling of the underside of a kneecap. The person also experiences pain.
As with other cases of tendonitis, rest, ice and mild calisthenics are often the best treatment. If the pain is so severe that a person cannot rest, walk without significant discomfort, or focus on daily obligations, this person should see a doctor immediately.
Chondromalacia is a softening of the patella and is often accompanied by a dull pain. Younger bicyclists are often at risk. To heal, they should:
- Take Ibuprofen for Pain
- Do Low Impact Stretches
- Go through Physical Rehab
The tendons also wear out, causing the knee bones to grind. More severe cases do require surgery. Many people also go on to develop arthritis in their knees.
Osteoarthritis can be a very painful condition for which there is no cure. It often must be treated symptomatically with:
People often develop it because of years of strain and overuse while doing physical activities like bicycling. It also comes about because of injuries that have healed, yet remain vulnerable to arthritis. The most severe cases of osteoarthritis call for steroid injections or surgery.
When people think of bicycling injuries, they often think of those conditions that afflict their legs or feet. However, hand injuries are common, particularly among those cyclists who have been cycling for years.
After years of gripping the handlebars and maneuvering the air brakes, people can develop a loss of sensation in their hands. This damage is caused when the nerves wear out and no longer have sensation.
People often must stop bicycling because they cannot use their hands effectively. More severe cases may be remedied to a certain point with surgical intervention.
Few bicyclists have avoided falling off their bicycles and getting road rash on their faces, hands, arms and legs. Even the most skilled of cyclists sometimes crash and get road rash.
Road rash can actually hide more serious damage, such as deep cuts and bruises, infections and embedded debris. Most cases can be treated at home and require that mild soap and warm water be used to clean up the affected areas. People should also look for embedded rocks, dirt, glass and other debris.
If their road rash becomes purple, begins oozing pus or will not stop bleeding, people should go to their doctor immediately. They may be developing an infection that requires antibiotic treatment.
With Houston gaining popularity among the bicycling crowd, people who come to this city to enjoy this pastime should know about the common injuries and conditions associated with it. They can enjoy the best of bicycling in Houston by being on guard for these risks.
*Online Image courtesy of Bike