Cycling is an extremely competitive physical sport that can be great exercise and tremendous fun as well. It has often been described as balancing the body on an unstable system. Thus, there is a potential risk of injuries involved. In spite of this fact, it is widely pursued as a recreational activity and a means to stay healthy. Evidence indicates that cycling as a recreational activity decreases sitting time, increases energy expenditure, and brings about a positive effect on several health markers as well. There is also apparently no detrimental effect on work performance and no acute effect on cognitive function.
Cycling, like any other sport, is not without risk. Participation in competitive bicycling has increased substantially over the past two decades, and bicycle injuries have increased proportionately. Cycling has been reported in several studies to have higher rates of injury than other sports and recreational activities. Bicycling injuries can be classified into those due to bicycle contact, traumatic, and overuse injuries. The most common site of overuse injury is the knee, and the most common site of traumatic injury is the shoulder, with the clavicle or the collar bone having the maximum fractures. Many overuse and bicycle contact ailments are relieved with simple bike adjustments. Head trauma is another common injury associated with cycling.
Regarding the treatment of cycling injuries, the activity must be adjusted to allow time for healing. Inflammation may be reduced by using ice, consuming non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections or physical therapy. Therapy includes localised ultrasound therapy and massage. To prevent further injuries the bike must be checked and altered according to the rider. The height of the seat and front wheel steering bar can be adjusted in all bikes and must be done before one starts biking over hills or on tracks. A helmet is a must to prevent head injuries and has become mandatory in Canada and some US states.