“How to beat aches and pains if you enjoy bicycling”
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
An excellent form of cardiovascular exercise is cycling.
What’s more it’s low impact which is a plus for people with arthritis. If you have arthritis there are a few things you need to know.
For instance, purchase cycling gloves. These will help protect your hands from the strain that comes from riding a lot. Properly padded gloves are useful in decreasing the shock of road riding. Remember if you ride too much you can develop hand pain due to pressure on the ulnar and median nerve in the wrists. These problems have been referred to as handlebar palsy!
For goodness sake, wear a light weight, well-ventilated helmet. And make sure your bike seat fits properly. If you ride a lot, beware of pudendal nerve problems that may develop and cause impotence!
The position that many bikes put you in may lead to neck strain. Consider a bike that allows a more upright position. Do neck stretching and strengthening exercises on a regular basis. If your neck does bother you, use a moist heating pad, a neck support pillow, a topical analgesic like Myorx, and over-the-counter analgesics.
The same position can put a tremendous strain on your back. Take frequent stretching breaks. Work on stretching and strengthening exercises for your low back. Usually, extension exercises are best for the back in people who are cycling enthusiasts. Check the position of your seat. Is it too far back or too far forward?
Knee pain can result if you’re doing too many hills. This puts a lot of strain on the quadriceps and patellar tendons in the knee. Stretching before you ride is key. Also, shift your gears to as low a gear as possible.
When you ride for an extended time your shoulders might feel it also. Stretching beforehand and afterwards can go a long way to minimizing this problem. Try to be conscious of not hunching your shoulders.
Indoor cycling is a good alternative during nasty weather. A recumbent indoor bike puts less strain on the low back, neck, and shoulders. As with outdoor riding make sure the seat and pedals are properly adjusted. Also make sure the tension is not set too high. Stretching and warming up properly can pay big dividends.
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