As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to fall, many outdoor enthusiasts will start switching to mountain biking as their preferred form of exercise. Few things can beat working up a sweat in the crisp autumn air while surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the leaves’ changing colors. However, at Free Body Physical Therapy, our team wants you to remain vigilant of the injuries you can sustain while mountain biking if you’re not careful. We’ll break down these injuries for you and offer tips on how they can best be avoided.

Common Mountain Biking Injuries

Every physical activity comes with the risk of injury during its completion. Even though mountain biking is relatively low impact, you can still find yourself hurt if you aren’t careful. Getting injured means you’ll need to spend time rehabbing, leading to less time on the path. Below are just a few examples of some of the most common injuries you can face when you’re careless on the trail:

  • Skin abrasions.
  • AC joint sprains or dislocations.
  • Knee pain.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Bone breaks.

Consistently Train

Mountain biking is a more intense workout than just riding your bike down a paved path. Because of this, our team highly recommends continually training to ensure you remain in mountain biking shape. If you try to perform this activity after months of living a relatively sedentary lifestyle, you increase the chances of becoming injured. By keeping your endurance and strength up throughout the year, you’ll be able to spend more time on the bike and less rehabbing an injury.

Check Your Bike  

Whether it’s your first or hundredth bike ride of the year, it’s essential to check for problems before every ride. If you try to ride a bike that is damaged, you’re asking for trouble. By performing a routine check each time you’d like to go for a ride, the odds of remaining injury-free increases. Below are examples of what you should check your bike for:

  • Tire pressure.
  • The breaks are functioning correctly.
  • Your seat is at the correct height.
  • All chains are in place.
  • The gear shifts are working properly.   

Wear The Right Gear

Those who are avid mountain bikers know that depending on the path they choose to go on, it can be a bumpy ride. The uneven terrain can sometimes lend itself to an increased likelihood of falling off the bike. To prevent injuries from taking place should this happen to you, it’s imperative that you’re wearing the right protective gear. Each of the following should be worn at all times when you decide to go mountain biking:

  • Helmet.
  • Elbow pads.
  • Knee pads.
  • Wrist guards.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most common reasons people become injured in any physical activity is a lack of hydration. When you become dehydrated, the chances of suffering from muscle cramps and spasms significantly increase. It can also lead to bouts of dizziness, something you do not want to face when riding a bike. Our team highly recommends not only bringing water with you on your bike ride but also making sure you drank plenty of water before even leaving the house.  

Schedule An Appointment

Unfortunately, even after taking all of the necessary safety precautions, an injury can still occur when mountain biking. However, seeking out swift treatment can increase your recovery time, allowing you to return to the paths sooner than expected. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we can work to make that happen. By offering physical therapy sessions, we can improve your condition and get you back to being pain-free. To schedule your much-needed appointment for care, contact our team today.