The thrill of careening down a mountainside, coasting over rollers, navigating rock faces, and chasing booters far exceeds the occasional injuries that come with the sport. The injuries do come, though, as well as discomfort and pain from your riding position and grip. Protective gear such as a full-face helmet, shin pads, and elbow pads are a must, but at Physix Gear Sport, we have even more of your body covered. Our fitness and health products are designed to get your best runs in and stay on the mountain. Your health care team should always address acute injuries but take ownership of your minor aches and pains. Before riding, prepare for the hill with strength training, stretching for better performance, and cardio.
Some of the more common aches and injuries while mountain biking occurs at the shoulders, wrists, and ankles. It’s imperative that you evaluate these joints and their supporting muscles for serious injury and get these assessed and treated before hitting the trails. It’s essential to take the time to strengthen and stretch your muscles to improve performance and prevent injuries. Just as your bike requires regular maintenance and equipment upgrades, so too does your body.
Mountain Biking Requires Broad Shoulders
Shoulders take a beating during mountain biking, especially if your bike or strength is not up to the task. The shoulder joint offers us a massive range of movement. However, the cost of this wide range of motion is an inherently unstable joint. Consider using a waterproof, long-wearing, and residue-free kinesiology tape to ease the chronic pain in this often overworked joint and the many muscles that act on it. When used correctly, high-quality kinesiology tape can aid in your recovery and help you to prevent reinjury.
Gripping the handlebars, steering, and absorbing impact all put a strain on the shoulder joint. If you have sudden pain due to a crash, seek immediate medical attention. If your problem is chronic, consult your doctor about physical therapy, which may reduce your pain and strengthen the joints, mainly your rotator cuff muscles. Kinesiology tape is one of the gold standards used as a sports aid by reducing pain, controlling swelling, and increasing the taped joint’s mobility. The correct application of this wonder tape is essential, so ensure you apply it to your most significant advantage.
Make your Weak Ankles a Thing of the Past
Ankles are tricky beasts, as once they are injured severely, they tend to get reinjured easily. During mountain biking, ankle injuries are relatively common as landing on them first from jumps or other heights is standard. Putting the foot down at high speeds, clipping a rock or tree trunk can also result in an ankle injury. Again, kinesiology tape can provide some much-needed stability, control of swelling, and pain relief. Get even more comfort and enhanced performance by wearing compression socks, which reduce fatigue, improve circulation, and control swelling.
Wrists are Often Our Weakest Link
Wrists are often overlooked when we consider our ability to participate in complex movement sports like mountain biking, and they can take a beating. Your wrists are critical in maintaining your handle grip, manoeuvring over and around trail obstacles, and absorbing impacts. Reaching out with your hand to brace a fall, such as those that occur during mountain biking, is instinctive. Damage to the wrist can include fractures or damage to soft tissues. Kinesiology tape can provide your wrist with support and pain relief. The forearm muscles need to be strengthened and stretched, just as you would the upper arm muscles. Consider the easy to use, go-anywhere workout provided by pull up bands. Don’t be fooled by their simple yet elegant design; these bands offer a great resistance training workout. In addition to strengthening, your forearms can benefit from using massage balls, which ease that tight, stiff feeling after a day of riding.
Prevention is always best, and strengthening the muscles that act on our shoulder, wrist, and ankle joints are critical to enjoying technical sports like mountain biking. Consider your body as your most valuable and irreplaceable piece of biking equipment, care for it accordingly, and you will have incredible runs!