Neck pain is a common complaint of both the recreational and professional cyclist. When riding, the neck is held in a position of extension for a prolonged period of time and this posturing is more extreme when the rider assumes an aero position. Compound this with vibration from the road, and lack of strength in the muscles between your shoulder blades, and you are left with a literal “pain in the neck.” A study of more than 500 recreational cyclists found that 85% have experienced pain from riding, most commonly in the neck and back.
The first line of defense is a professional bike fitting to assess everything from saddle height, to stem length, to handlebar width and position. Spend the time and money to have your bike fit, and it will pay dividends back in the form of fewer overuse injuries.
Five quick solutions to decrease neck pain:
The cause of the neck pain can be multifactorial and while this article highlights some solutions to common postural problems, consider seeing a physical therapist that can assess your mechanics on and off the bike, as well as design a specific treatment program to maximize your efficiency and performance.
Yeager, Selene. Troubleshooting Your Weak Spots. Bicycling Magazine Jan/Feb 2008.
Jacob Hyatt is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a passion for cycling and working with cycling specific injuries/ prevention. Call to schedule your evaluation with Jacob at our Scottsdale location at 480.860.4298
or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org