Tell-tale Signs of Cycling Injuries to Watch Out For

- Health -

4 min read. Written by Shirouz Elango

Cycling injuries can be really tough to recover from. As an activity that embraces pain at the core of it, the ability to tolerate and work through it is an expected part of the performance. In fact, 63% of cyclists report experiencing pain while cycling. 

Sure, improvement requires you to be a little uncomfortable. Just like any other endurance sport, aches and pains are the norms. But it’s important to draw the line between ‘no pain, no gain’ and an actual injury that may be serious. 

We’ve prepared a simple guide for you to be able to discern your pain from the usual soreness to common signs of serious cycling injuries, and some measures you can take to reduce or alleviate them.

Signs of Cycling Injuries 

You’re feeling the burn in your legs, but should you be? Here are some indicators for you to consider if you should be cycling through the pain, or taking a step back. 

#1 It’s Sharp, Swelling, or Tingling 

Aches and cramps can be painful, but a sign that your issue could be something more serious would be when you feel sharp pains, or one that is focused within an area. Swelling, and any kind of joint symptoms such as locking or popping are also other indicators to watch out for. Feelings of tingling or numbness might also require attention as signs of nerve issues.

#2 It Never Seems To Go Away

Got a persistent shoulder ache even though your last cycling trip was some time ago? Discomfort or soreness usually goes away on its own, but if the discomfort persists or increases with activity, it might be indicative of a more serious injury. 

#3 You’ve Had a History With Past Injuries 

Had a sprain or fracture before? Or perhaps even a chronic condition? You might face an increased risk when it comes to cycling injuries. It is important for you to take preventative measures and stop as soon as you encounter issues, as recurring pain is often more serious and harder to treat. 

#4 You’re feeling a mental or emotional toll

Not all symptoms are physical. Systemic issues due to overtraining and under-recovery can manifest through psychological signs. If you’re sensing a change in your mood, sleep patterns, or maybe even a lack of desire to exercise, it could be an indicator that you’re going too hard on the pedal, and could use some time away.

How Can You Recover From Cycling Injuries Faster?

Cycling injuries can be devastating, and taking the time to heal properly can make all the difference in terms of whether or not you return to your regular cycling routine. Here are a few tips that can help you recover faster:

Understand the Injury

Cycling injuries can range from minor nicks and cuts to more serious fractures or tears. It’s important to understand the type of cycling injury you have in order to make a plan and start the recovery process. Depending on the severity, you may need to take time off from cycling, engage in regular mobility work, receive medical treatment, or use crutches or a wheelchair. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a medical professional or physiotherapist who can advise you accordingly.

Get Sufficient Rest 

One of the biggest contributors to complete injury recovery is rest. When the injured area isn’t given sufficient time to rest and recover, it can severely impede the healing process and make it harder for your body to repair itself, further prolonging the pain and inadvertently impacting your recovery period. 

Follow a prescribed rehabilitation programme

Some injuries can be very debilitating and take a long time to heal. In that case, consulting a physiotherapist might be helpful for you to speed up the healing process and get back on the bike faster. Physiotherapy can help you to regain range of motion, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. 

Recovering From A Cycling Injury?

Our expert physiotherapists can help you with a personalised rehabilitation programme while helping you stay on track. Reach out to us for a free consultation today. 


Last Reviewed by Jaden Lim on 27/07/2022