Common Biking Injuries, treatment and Prevention

Just like any other sport, Biking also is not safe from accidents and injuries. However, with proper preventative measures, it can be reduced to a large extent. It’s also equally important to be informed of treatments in case you happen to face one.

Let’s discuss some common ones as follows:

Accidental Injuries

Accidental injuries are an unfortunate part of biking. We all know, biking requires a high degree of skill when it comes to controlling and balancing over a wide variety of trails and paths, a slight misjudgment of the turn, jump, or switch can result in a crash.

If you ever crash, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately without judging how severe the impact is, because at times the apparent visibility of injury may not be there but an internal injury could have been caused that needs medical attention, hence ignoring it may not be very wise.

As much it appeals to you and is tempting to get back on the bike soon, you’ll need to allow yourself to get some rest and time off the bike for a full recovery.

Overly usage of muscles also puts a lot of strain on them and can get sore, which means extra rest would help in this case when you focus on the healing part to happen in quick time, as you don’t want to stress out the injured area too soon to be starting all over again. I know the temptation, but trust me “rest” is your “best” friend.

On the serious side of injuries, the collarbone is pretty common due to its position very much connected with the impact of the crash where the rider tends to apply avoidance using his hands, and impact comes to the collarbone ending up getting snapped. However, it can take somewhere around 6 to 8 weeks for a full recovery, but again the key is to follow the due protocol or give yourself a restful time to heal.

For minor injuries from road or trail crashes, such as scratched and peeled skin (road rash) on the impact areas such as the most common and obvious targets are knees and elbows, which can take up to two weeks to heal up. It is highly recommended to have a thorough wash with soap to kill the germs off and use alcohol pads to dab on to sanitize the wounded area and apply antiseptic bream and let it dry before you can wrap a gauze Band-Aid. During the healing process, it may feel very itchy however, it’s best to resist scratching it as it can renew the wound before healing and can take longer.

How to avoid a crash while riding a bike?

  • Keep your speed under control, especially in challenging areas such as turns and drops, etc.
  • Depending on the situation, but usually making use of the rear brake as a priority can give you more control on lowering your speeds quickly, as opposed to the front brake that can land you in a crash if applied too quickly at high speeds.
  • Always wear a helmet to protect yourself from a head injury.
  • Wear biking gloves to protect your hands from scratches
  • Wear glasses, not to just look cool, but also to protect your eyes from any debris and natural elements such as bugs.

Hand & Wrist Pain

If you’re a heavy biker (not in terms of your weight but the frequency of your riding), you may develop wrist pain, which comes from an extended pressure on the wrists while you ride. They can be quite uncomfortable, however, the good news is by reducing your ride frequency or length of the rides can break the continuous extended pressure on the wrists, while helping to build the muscles as well. Frequent breaks in your ride will also help to reduce this strain.

If you’ve got wrist pain already, then rest is what you’ll need to give them to heal up. They are quite notorious if you do not allow full healing and put them to the test too soon can get you started all over again, hence patience is the key here.


Results from a sudden impact to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. A concussion can be quite stressful to deal with, symptoms of which include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache with severe to mild intensity
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor balance
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced hearing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness or vertigo

This would be termed as a serious injury and extreme care and rest are required to heal up on this one. Having a sturdy and good quality helmet can reduce this impact to a significant level, yet concussion may result from the impact.
Things that can help in the recovery process are:

  • Reduce screen time.
  • Avoid unnecessary movement of your head and neck
  • Limit exposure to bright lights and loud sounds
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3s.
  • Rest

In most cases, the recovery takes somewhere between 7 to 10 days depending on the impact. However, tips shared above and a good rest can help with quick recovery. Since this involves the head and brain, consulting with the physician is an absolute ‘must’ that shall not be ignored.

Lower Back Pain

Let’s face it, biking does require a total bent position on the handlebars, and when that happens for prolonged hours of riding causes stress on the lower back muscles causing pain in the lower back area. Regular breaks with some stretching can help to ease the stress on the lower back before you hop on and continue your ride.

If you suffer from lower back pain, take some rest and avoid any activities such as prolonged sitting, working on a computer, etc. that can add further stress to it. Just like any other part of body muscles, lower back muscles also need time to heal up so rest is necessary.

A few things to help apart from breaking down your journey into segments with regular breaks and stretching, you can also think of performing some mods on the handlebar to raise it up a bit so you don’t have to tilt way too much. This can take some pressure off your lower back and help you with a much comfortable ride.

Any exercise that can help strengthen your core would be helpful in gaining strength and executing your riding technique with much ease.

In case you have unbearable lower back pain in a continuous manner, you must consult with the doctor/physician to have a thorough checkup performed. It’s always better not to leave anything for doubt.

Knee Pain

Knee pain is another common injury that can occur from bike riding. With extreme pressure applied on the knee joint in a continuous manner, it can dislocate the knee cap, which takes away the control or movement on the knee and cause pain.

With lower saddles, when your stride is almost cut into half also gives knee pain in the front, so it’s always advisable not to ride on a lower saddle and adjust it such that your stride has a full stretch. This is one of the most overlooked items as everything seems OK by the looks of a bike but trust me, raising my saddle height is by far one of the most effective adjustments I’ve done on my bike, as by doing so my ride enjoyment went from level 5 to level 10 and was able to effectively transmit power to the paddles. As I mentioned, balance is the key here, if you raise your saddle way too high, that can also give you pain on the backside of the knee due to extreme stretch with every stride.

Saddle Sores

These are common and arise from extreme activity such as preparing for races etc. where you focus so much on the other areas to improve upon, saddle takes the lower priority in the list. If you got a saddle sore, try to take a few days off the bike to recover. It is also very important to check out different saddles and see which one works best for you. Every person has a different frame and body shape, one saddle comfortable for one doesn’t mean it is for the other person unless and until you test it out on a decent length ride.

Some cycling shorts with padding inside can also help make the ride comfortable and avoid much friction.

It is advised to avoid any hair removal due to the possibility of ingrown hair in the area can cause further irritation and discomfort. Instead, trimming would work best.

Take your time to set up the angle of the saddle, trust me minor adjustments make a big difference in this, although it doesn’t seem to be doing much. You should keep the right balance, it shouldn’t be leaning too much on the front to give you almost a sliding feel, and similarly not leaning way back to give you a feel of riding a Harley, unless you are into leisure biking. This saddle angle should be in good balance to give you a comfortable ride yet let you transmit the power in an effective manner for a smooth ride.

One of the most important things is to make sure the screws on your saddle are extra tight, as they are notorious to loosen up during your ride and throw you off balance during your ride. I’ve had that happen a few times, and that taught me a good lesson.

In case you have got severe sores from the saddle, make sure to clean the area with soap and water to keep it disinfected, and use antiseptic ointment followed by rest to heal up.