Cycling Injuries

Cycling while seated, like swimming, is a relatively non-weight bearing exercise, it is especially helpful for those who are unable to pursue sports that are high impact on joints such as running. Cycling uses some of the largest muscles of the body (the Gluteals and Quadriceps) and it is excellent for those who wish to lose body fat.

However, as with any exercise activity, it is not a complete exercise in itself. Cycling is described as a "mid-range" activity as it involves moving the muscles in a repetitive motion making the muscles become stronger, tighter, and shorter. The leg is never fully straightened or bent when cycling, so the muscles are never fully contracted or extended. This causes tightness, which contributes to any number of overuse syndromes.

How can stretching help?

Stretching for cycling

Common areas of injury for cyclists:


A saddle that is too high or cleats positioned incorrectly can cause lateral and posterior ankle pain.


Cycling on too high a gear can cause more pressure of the foot against the pedal causing pain; also a natural flat footedness can cause foot or ankle pain.


The most common area to cause knee pain is the gears being too high, saddle too low or cleats positioned incorrectly. Simple overuse can also cause patella irritation.


Back and neck pain arise from incorrect posture on a bike.


Bad posture on the bike while placing too much pressure on the wrist and neck can cause numbness in the hands, wrists or fingers.

Note that overuse is a relative term, and capacity varies greatly between individuals. Someone starting out in cycling must be careful to increase length and frequency of cycling sessions slowly. Muscular pain is a normal by-product of the training process, but joint pain and numbness are early signs of overuse injury.