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Patho-mechanical injuries

Patho-mechanical injuries


Cycling is physical exercise, and physical exercise is healthy. Yet during the exercise of cycling all kinds of inconveniences and complaints may occur which can thoroughly spoil the fun of cycling. The causes which give rise to these complaints are not always easily recognizable. The injuries that we will discuss here can be categorized as the so-called patho-mechanical injuries.


These are injuries that arise as a result of incompatibility between cyclist and bicycle. The causes of injuries as a result of cycling can be divided into two categories, namely complaints as a result of adjustment of the bicycle and complaints which basically have a physical cause but which are aggravated by the imposed movement when cycling or by a specific cycling position.


A random test (Stevens, 1998) among 100 racers and leisure cyclists who did not show any organic deviations resulted in the following complaints:

  • Lower back pain (65%)
  • Knee or leg problems (18%)
  • Neck pain (9% combined with lower back pain 5% without back pain)
  • sittings complains (3%)

Because very often the adjustment of the bicycle is still a matter of trial and error, it happens more than once that an incorrect adjustment of saddle, handlebars and shoe cleats leads to injuries. What is still underestimated, also in the paramedic professions, is that cycling is an imposed movement which is unnatural to human beings. As a consequence of this unnatural movement the slightest irregularities of physical symmetry can lead to all kinds of complaints.


As a result of extensive research and after measuring thousands of cyclists, has concluded that physical asymmetry is the main cause of many cycling injuries.


Complaints that arise when riding a bicycle can roughly be divided into three main categories:


  • Complaints that arise as a result of strains or being physically unfit.
  • Complaints as a result of an incorrect adjustment of the bicycle.
  • Complaints of a physical nature.


Finally, it is better to prevent injuries than to cure them. See to it that your equipment (bicycle, clothing, cycling shoes etc.) is in perfect condition and see to it that your bicycle is properly adjusted!


A fitting and correctly adjusted bicycle is a prerequisite for preventing and solving complaints: cycling should be done on a bicycle that fits!