Cycling is a strenuous physical activity that can cause unnecessary strain on the different parts of the body, including the neck. You spend most of your time hunched, making you
more susceptible to non-traumatic neck injury and pain. A sore neck can be painful and limit your performance, making it crucial to treat and prevent this problem.
If you want to know more about cycling neck pain, keep on reading as we talk about how to effectively address this common condition among bikers.
The Best Solutions for Cycling Neck Pain
Neck pain can be debilitating. It can make you uncomfortable and unproductive. This will also negatively impact your cycling performance. To prevent these things from happening and to make the most out of your road bike, below are some of the most promising solutions.
1. Find the Right Fit of the Bike
One of the most important in the prevention of cycling neck pain is to make sure that the bike fits perfectly. If you do not know how to do this the right way, here is a quick guide on how to fit a bike without a calculator.
You might need to raise bike handlebars to correct the fit of the bike. If it is too low, it also reduces the center of gravity. Most of your weight will be in the front wheel and your body can suffer from more stress.
Adjusting the height of the MTB saddle is another effective solution. It should not be too low or too high. Make sure that it suits your height. It must also be appropriate to the position of the handlebars and pedals, among other parts of a bike.
2. Exercise Regularly
Creating a home exercise plan is one of the best ways to prevent road bike neck pain. Focus on mobilizations, strengthening, and stretching exercises. Work not only on your neck and shoulders but also on your core. This will help to minimize the strain on your head.
How do I strengthen my neck for cycling?
To strengthen your neck for cycling, engage in a variety of strength exercises, including the following:
- Flexion: Rest your arms while drawing your shoulder blades back and down. Bow your head, hold for 30 seconds, and repeat up to four times.
- Rotation: All that you have to do is move your head on one side as far as you can reach. Do the same thing on the opposite side. Feel your neck as it stretches.
- Side Bend: Tilt your head on one side while keeping your head straight. Hold this position and move to the opposite side.
What exercises are bad for your neck?
Some of the exercises that are bad for your neck include pull-ups, heavy barbell bench presses, heavy lateral raises, and overhead presses. They can aggravate pain by putting unnecessary strain on your neck muscles.
3. Assume the Right Position
To avoid road bike neck pain, proper posture is also important. You will be more susceptible to pain when your body is too arched. Especially when you are riding a road bike, a forward head position can aggravate neck pain. Do not tip your head too much.
When biking, bend your elbows slightly, which will let your arms absorb vibration. Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed. You should also check the position of the bike helmet, making sure that it isn’t too low.
4. Alternate Hot and Cold Compress
To reduce inflammation as a result of road bike neck pain, use a cold compress. Do this as soon as you start feeling the pain. It can be effective in the reduction of swelling. After the cold compress, follow it up with a hot compress, which will loosen sore muscles and treat stiffness. Keep the compress on your neck at least 20 minutes. If you are using ice, wrap it in a towel and do not place directly on your neck.
5. Take Medications
If the pain persists and you have tried other solutions, take medicines. Over-the-counter pain management medications will help to ease the pain. If you are unsure about what to take and if the pain worsens, it is best to consult a medical professional. If medicines do not work, physical therapy can also be recommended. Acupuncture and massage are also great alternatives if you are not responding well to medicines.
Q: What is Shermer’s Neck?
Shermer’s Neck is a physical condition wherein the back neck muscles tighten and lose their ability to hold your head. It is not gradual. Within a few hours, your neck can immediately give out. This is common in ultra-cycling, often as a result of the aerodynamic position of the rider.
Q: How do I stop my shoulders from hurting when cycling?
To stop your shoulders from hurting when cycling, assume the right position when riding. This will take off the unnecessary stress on your shoulders. Adjust the saddle and the handlebars to make your position more comfortable. It is also important to work on shoulder strengthening exercises.
Q: How can I adjust my neck?
To adjust your neck, loosen up the neck muscles then cup your chin using your left hand. Extend your right hand to the back of your head. Slightly tilt your head and rotate your head counterclockwise. Switch the position of your hands and adjust the other side of the neck. However, the best practice is to visit a qualified professional to adjust your neck instead of doing it yourself.
Q: How do you fix a stiff neck?
To fix a stiff neck, consider proper stretching and manipulation to relieve sore muscles. Adjust your sleeping position or change your pillow. Correct your posture when sitting for a long time, especially when you are working on your computer. Applying heat and ice will also help.
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Knowing how to manage cycling neck pain is important for every rider. From prevention to treatment, take note of our recommendations above to keep your neck safe and sound in every ride. This way, you will be more comfortable and can concentrate better!