How to Avoid Cycling Injuries.

With the enthusiasm that greeted the tour de France starting in Yorkshire last year and the number of people who flocked to watch it, a lot of people may be tempted to jump on their bikes.

This is great news, being active and getting outdoors and exercising is good for you. So the last thing you want to get in the way of a lovely cycle ride is cycling injuries.

With cycling there are a few factors that can contribute to neck and back pain, here are the top four:
  • Overstretching to reach the handlebars
  • Backwards-sloping seats
  • Wrong seat heights
  • Soft tyres

These are just some of the factors that can contribute to neck and back pain in cyclists


According to the BCA, a staggering 73% of cyclists weren’t fitted for their bicycles last year* and one in five (22%) have experienced back or neck pain whilst or as a result of cycling**.

To avoid cycling injuries the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has the following advice, especially if you have’t ridden a bike in years!


  1. Don’t strain – make sure you can reach the handlebars comfortably without having to overreach or strain your back, neck, shoulders or wrists.  Adjust the height of the handlebars so that you can sit in a more upright position.
night-sport-bike-bicycle2) Change your posture – Try standing up to cycle at some stages and sitting down at others (but make sure you do this safely!). You might think that you’re limited to one position when cycling but it’s important to try and change your posture.
3) Seat checker – the seat should be ideally flat or sloping slightly forwards to try and minimise strain on the lower back. Try a variety of saddle shapes to find the one most comfortable for your general, size and cycling position.
4) Height test – when the pedal is at the bottom, cyclists should be able to sit on the seat with their leg almost straight with only a slight bend at the knee (this should allow maximum pedaling efficiency).
5) Pump it up – keep tyres pumped up to minimise impact on the spine and consider investing in a floor standing pump.
6) Keep it loose – make sure clothing isn’t too restrictive and provides cushioning and support where required.
7) Warm up & cool down – warm up slowly ahead of a cycle and stretch afterwards to help loosen up tight muscles.If you are already experiencing back problems it is important to check with a chiropractor or healthcare professional before taking up cycling or embarking on a long distance cycle ride or race.

Remember to give your bike attention!

If it has not been used for a while it may be worth having it checked for problems. Banjo Cycles in Newbury offer services in their workshop.
So by all means, get on your bike, but if you are suffering from neck or back pain make sure you have it assessed first.
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions or wish to book a free 20 minute chiro chat with me then you are welcome to click here, contact me through email on rosie@totalchiro.co.uk or phone on 01635 791 301.

If you have any questions or comments then do let me know, or alternatively post them in the comments below.

Warm wishes,

Rosie Piercy MChiro DC


Total Chiropractic

*Research conducted on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association in March 2013 of 485 UK adults.
**Research conducted on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association in March 2013 of
432 UK adults.