The Rise in Spinal Injuries among Cyclists


At the Annual Academic Road Safety Lecture on Cycling Safety held in Dublin last Monday 5th October, it was noted about the rise in spinal injuries among cyclists with consultant orthopaedic surgeon Sean Morris stated that spinal injuries suffered by cyclists rose by over 300% in the last five years. This alarming figure highlights not only the increasing numbers of cyclists on the road, but also the extent of injuries that can brought about with cycling.


A spinal injury can vary in severity and Mr. Morris reflected this when he explained that a measureable amount of these spinal injury patients were left paralysed. If you have any type of back pain or spinal pain (whether it be an uncomfortable ‘niggling’ or more serious pain), it is strongly advised to seek physiotherapy treatment. This can help to form a diagnosis, treat the pain and problem and also to ensure that there are no more issue to address. If the need arises, we can work in conjunction with your GP or refer you to specialists to help you getting and feeling better.


It should go without saying that safety precautions should always be taken when cycling to include the wearing of helmets, high visibility clothing and working lights attached to your bike. Taking vital steps like this can greatly prevent a risk of further and more serious injury as you are more visible to the traffic and goings on around you on your journey.


Cycling habitually whether as your form of transport or as a hobby is a physical activity that places emphasis on nearly all of your body parts. From your feet, legs, hips and back powering the bike, to your arms and hands controlling the movement and to your neck and head on constant lookout; it is important to be able to do all of this as comfortable and pain free as possible. We see from this breakdown above that if one element is not working at peak performance (i.e. neck pain may restrict your range of movement to look around), your cycling and safety capabilities are affected.


If you have any type of pain, discomfort or concern when you are cycling, it would be of great benefit to you to seek physiotherapy treatment. At PhysioCare, every patient we treat is on an individual case-by-case basis. Not only do we treat your issues, our team of Chartered Physiotherapists can tailor for you a home exercise programme to manage and maintain your symptoms as and when they strike. If you need to develop, correct and/or strengthen a certain body part or muscle, you can avail of one-on-one personal training sessions or fitness classes in our rehabilitation gyms located at both PhysioCare Blanchardstown and PhysioCare Carrickmines.

For more information on any of the above or to make an appointment, please call us on 01 531 0007 or click here to contact us


References
Melia, P. & O’Keefe, A. (2015). Cyclist spinal injuries ‘soar 320pc in five years.’ (online) Available at: http://www.herald.ie/news/cyclist-spinal-in-juries-soar-320pc-in-five-years-31585053.html [Accessed 07/10/2015]