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Cycling continues to grow in popularity. 3.4% of people within the UK now cycle five times per week, with almost 1 in 5 cycling once a month. With it being a great way to improve general health, assist with weight loss and also saving on transport fares, cycling appears to be a no-brainer.

This weekend sees the annual Prudential Ride London taking place, this 46-mile event provides a great opportunity to ride on traffic-fee roads, whilst hopefully acquiring a wonderful tan. For those riders taking part, it is very likely that some common cycling injuries will present themselves in the coming weeks. We’ve asked one of Chartered Physiotherapists, Sam Roshdy, to cover some of these below and give us his preventative tips and what to do should they occur!


Back and Neck Pain

  • Hours spent at the handlebars is one of the most common causes of back pain for a cyclist. Throw in the fact most of us spend our day sat at a computer screen and suddenly, you’re asking for trouble!
  • Excessive periods of lumbar flexion (aka bending forward) can lead to joint stiffness and irritation, trapped nerves, sciatica and muscle spasm. The muscles in your bum are renowned for being the culprit of related symptoms down the legs following prolonged sitting!
  • The muscles around the neck can hold it in an extended position for a long period of time! This can lead to fatigue and a build-up of tension which can cause knots in the muscles.

Management and Prevention:

  1. Bike positioning – raise your handlebars to prevent you from bending forward and over extending your neck whilst riding.
  2. Posture at work, consider a DSE assessment to optimise your positioning and minimise injury.
  3. Core strength & conditioning helps to reduce the weight taken on your back all whilst optimising your upper and lower limb strength.
  4. Take regular breaks when doing any activity for long periods of time, including at work and when cycling.
  5. Going for a long bike ride? Make sure you warm up and cool down efficiently.


Saddle Sores

  • Excessive friction between your skin, clothing and the saddle, usually following long periods of sitting, can lead to itchy skin rashes.
  • Old shorts and clothing are just two ways to incur such an injury. Sitting lop-sided is not the answer however as this may result in worsening the situation and cause additional injuries.

Management and Prevention:

  1. Avoid whatever is irritating the area, i.e. sitting on a saddle, initially.
  2. Use a cream or lubrication to ease the discomfort – a saviour when it comes to dealing with any chafing-related issues.
  3. Clean and rotate cycling shorts regularly to enhance durability.


Foot Numbness / “Hot Foot”

  • Foot numbness, or what’s sometimes known as “Hot Foot”, is when there’s excessive pressure upon the nerves within the ball of your foot which lead to various sensations such as burning, numbness, pins and needles, and most commonly, pain.
  • It can occur if your cleats do not fit correctly or are positioned too far forward. Excessive hill riding can cause significant pressure on the ball of the foot.

Management and Prevention:

  1. Consider looser fitting shoes with adequate space to alleviate pressure.
  2. Cleat placement is another paramount factor –pick a pair with a wider platform to allow for easier distribution.
  3. Consider visiting Capital’s very own bike fitting service in Cambridge, or if you’re not local to the area, we recommend visiting your nearest bike fitting store.


Click here to find your nearest Capital Physio clinic, where our expert physiotherapists are ready to help you prepare for an active summer with a personalised treatment programme. Any questions? Contact our friendly Holborn HQ by calling 033 0333 0435 or emailing You can also find us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.