Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

By |February 21st, 2017|media|Comments Off on Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

“45 per cent of cyclists suffer from chronic neck pain, which is often worse after a ride”

Wilber et al. 1995

Cycling posture requires bending forward at the low back and hips and maintaining the neck in an extended position to see the road ahead. This unnatural cycling position puts a lot of pressure on the junction between your neck and upper back due to the neck joints compressing against each other which may lead to neck irritation. Looking over your shoulder for traffic and the vibration from the road travelling  along the arms to the neck may be uncomfortable.

Riding with the arms and the weight of the head (typically 5kg) held forward for hours at a time may cause neck and shoulder tension which can cause fatigue and neck pain when cycling long distances. Cycling induced symptoms may include stiffness and discomfort in your neck and/or upper back, headaches, migraines, jaw pain, shoulder muscular aches, pins and needles in your arms and finger tingling.

Neck pain is often maintained by poor posture and weak shoulder girdle mechanics when on the bike. The problem with a bike posture is that it accentuates a poor forward head desk bound posture.

Heavy exertional breathing causes the accessory breathing muscles (scalenes) on the front of the neck to be overused and chronically tighten up. As we fatigue the flexed/hunched posture of the lower and upper back becomes more pronounced affecting the thoracic spine, rib cage and shoulders which then leads to an increase in extension in the neck to look forward.

The body is very good at compensating for slight postural strains or muscular imbalances and it can be a while before the problems manifest as pain. If you have […]