Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips to prevent injuries while biking

Deb Balzer, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Bicycling is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you're a recreational rider or a daily commuter, it's important to protect your hands and wrists. Dr. Sanj Kakar, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands and wrists, shares practical tips to prevent injuries while biking.

Whether you're a pro or biking for fun, there are common injuries all cyclists might experience.

"The first one is a traumatic injury if somebody falls off a bike," says Dr. Kakar.

Common breaks from traumatic injury include wrist fractures.

"We also see overuse-type injuries. So, for example, we see patients where they're pressing on the brakes for too long, squeezing hard, putting pressure on their palm, and their hands sometimes fall asleep — called numbness and tingling," Dr. Kakar says.

He says it could be carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition you don't want to ignore.


"If you have numbness and tingling in the fingers, it is something I wouldn't ignore because if you have carpal tunnel, we worry about that," Dr. Kakar explains.

The numbness and tingling can become permanent and result in the loss of muscle strength

Prevent bike injuries

"There are simple preventive measures you can take," says Dr. Kakar. "Having thicker grips so you're not squeezing as hard can also help. Bike gloves help as well and sometimes puts your wrist in a better position than putting pressure on your palm. "

You can't always avoid an accident, but you can make your ride safer by always wearing a bike helmet.

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