Sports Psychology: How To Get Back On The Bike After An Injury

Sports Psychology: How To Get Back On The Bike After An Injury

After several weeks or months away from training due to an injury, there are many cyclists who hesitate to return to practicing their favorite sport. Am I 100% recovered? Shouldn’t I wait a little longer? What rhythm should I set in my return to training?

We have all suffered an injury while performing our role as athletes, either professionally or as amateurs. It is something logical and natural, and it is that getting on a bicycle to make any type of route, whether mountain or road, implies a certain degree of danger. Unfortunately, in recent years, the road accident rate has increased considerably, largely as a result of reckless driving.

Everything indicates that, until the current legislation is modified and the penalties are hardened for drivers who end up overwhelming cyclists causing a very high percentage of death of athletes, these figures will not remit, and road cycling will continue to be a little less than a risk sport.

However, as we said, we have all suffered an injury, we should choose the right therapist. Falling off the bike and taking a hit is normal , the problem comes when the consequences of that hit can take us away for a long period of time from the two wheels.

Moreover, an injury, even though it is not serious for our daily performance, may forever separate us from our passion. It would not be the first time this happens to an athlete, a knee injury, for example, pushed Ramón Colillas away from his dream of being a soccer player, but far from leaving the sport, the Catalan redirected his tenacity towards mental sports, and in January 2019 won the PSPC.

The same happened to Michael Woods or David De la Cruz, to whom the injuries in their respective disciplines ended up bringing them to the world of cycling, where they have undoubtedly found greater success.

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Types of most common injuries among bikers

Among the most common injuries suffered by cyclists are skin bruises and abrasions. These are the mildest and would be the result of an abrupt and direct contact with the ground.

We should not worry much about them, but we should rest for a couple of days, take anti-inflammatories and analgesics in the case that the doctor tells us to try to put ice on the area in question in the case of bruises and perform cures timely in the case of burns. The next level of severity in the lesions would be those that are related to the ligaments, mainly acromioclavicular sprains, which may present different degrees, and dislocations.

The fractures also represent a very high percentage of the injuries that affect cyclists, the most common being the clavicle, which occurs when we stretch the arm when it falls. This type of injury is usually treated with immobilization of the arm and absolute rest for weeks, although sometimes it is also necessary to go through the operating room.

To this, we must also add wrist fractures, whose recovery is unusually slow in case the scaphoid is affected, that of the head of the radius, which usually needs an operation and those of the elbow. In the case of road mode, another major injury is the head trauma, the evolution of which can be serious and requires medical assistance.

Older people can also find injuries that do not result from a stroke but continued sports. In this sense, the most delicate area of ​​cyclists is the knee, due to the wear of the kneecap cartilage. To avoid this, we should gradually increase our training pace and, occasionally and always under the guidance of an expert, take medication or infiltrate with hyaluronic acid or plasma.

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When To Return To The Sports Routine?

The only valid answer, however obvious it may seem, is the following: when your doctor tells you to. If we have suffered an injury severe enough to require medical treatment, it will be this and not us who must decide when we are recovered to get back on the hybrid bike.

If we have had a slight injury, we must apply common sense. If we have fallen today, it is not logical that we train again tomorrow. Do not try to force your own body because, in the end, this can be counterproductive for yourself.

On the other hand, we must also take into account the mental factor, especially in injuries that have occurred in a traumatic way. Our body may be fully recovered from wounds, but we still do not feel confident enough to pedal again. Common sense comes into play back. Please do not force yourself, start by setting yourself small goals, and gradually expanding them.

Remember that you cannot have everything under control and do not let the fear of “and if dominates yourself…”, and above all, get on the bike because you really want to do it, not because someone tells you or because you are forced to do so. At the end of the matter is to enjoy on two wheels, and if when you are on the bike, you do not feel comfortable, it is that something is failing.

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