“How to beat aches and pains if you love motorcycles”
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
Riding ‘cycles is exhilarating. Getting out on the open road gives you freedom that’s hard to describe.
And the vantage point you get… looking out at the world from the seat of your bike is a treat- an experience- very few people have the opportunity to get. But riding ‘cycles has its own share of problems. And one of them is PAIN!
Riding motorcycles is a set up for neck pain. The long hours spent riding can lead to neck strain. This causes muscle aches in the neck and shoulders. You can also get headaches. So what do you do? Well, first, recognize that this is going to happen if you don’t take frequent breaks particularly if you hold your head in one position for a long time. It’s a good idea to stretch before and after you ride!
Your shoulders can also hurt. When you hold your arms in one position… and especially if you hold them at shoulder level, you can run into a problem called impingement syndrome. This is when your rotator cuff tendons get pinched. It’s a common problem. Specific stretching exercises for the shoulder before and after you do any type of activity that requires arm movement should help. Also, make sure you take frequent breaks. Ice packs after you work sometimes help with the pain as do over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.
Elbow pain is a common problem after any type of repetitive arm motion. If you do any type of maintenance work on your ‘cycle… can lead to painful condition called lateral epicondylitis. This is a type of tendonitis that affects the outside part of the elbow. Stretching before you ride can help as can stretching and ice after you ride. Anti-inflammatory medicines, an elbow band, and physical therapy also can help. Note: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the treatment of choice for tendon problems. It is an ultra-concentrate of your own blood that contains many platelets. Platelets are cells packed with growth and healing factors that help heal tendon. This is injected into the tendon using ultrasound guidance. The old-fashioned treatment was a cortisone shot which actually weakens tendon tissue..You may need a cortisone injection.
Hand and wrist pain is another common problem. Keeping your hand on the bars, using the brakes, popping the clutch, opening & closing the throttle all can cause this. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve into the hand gets pinched Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Treatment consists of physical therapy, a splint, and sometime injecting with steroid. In some instances, surgery is required. Different forms of tendonitis can also develop after any kind of repetitive activity. You can get trigger finger where the finger seems to stick. A painful tendonitis of the thumb can also be a result of gripping the handlebars… especially if you grip it too hard and fore too long.
Low back pain can come on from sitting too long in one place. Long hours in the seat can cause severe back fatigue and back pain. If the pain radiates into the buttock or down the leg you may have sciatica (pinched nerve). Use a lumbar roll and also use one of the many neck support pillows available. Low back pain can also be a result of lifting and carrying heavy articles. Make sure you lift with your legs. You may need to go down on one knee before you lift. Keep your back straight and your head up. Test the item you’re going to lift before you lift it. Don’t twist. Stretch before you and after you ride. Use ice packs if you strain your back. Over the counter medication can sometimes help also. See your doctor if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a day or two.
Your hips and knees can also stiffen up. Take breaks… and stretch. And stop and go riding can put stress on your brake foot as well as your shift foot. Make sure you take breaks and stretch.
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