How to relieve cervical spine pain during cycling?

do exercises

In an ultra-long-distance endurance cycling event in the United States called the Ride Across America (RAAM, with a total distance of approximately 4848km), many players have suffered from Shermer`s Neck syndrome, which is caused by neck muscle fatigue. This phenomenon cannot be avoided in the most of long-term high intensity cycling. So that, how to relieve cervical pain caused by cycling?


To make sense, neck muscle soreness means that the tightness of the muscles compresses the (capillary) blood vessels, causing the muscles to be deprived of oxygen, thereby producing lactic acid. The trapezius muscle in the red area in the picture is the part where we often feel soreness. Once we understand the cause of pain, it’s easier to know how to relieve it.

Adjust your riding habits: shorten the seat stem, raise the handlebar height, reduce the distance from the saddle to the handlebar, adjust the position of the handlebars, wear the helmet correctly and standardize our riding posture, which can alleviate the discomfort after cycling. an important part of symptoms. (How to maintain the correct riding posture can refer to the “First Issue Article Link”)

Daily neck strengthening exercises: Increasing the flexibility, stability and strength of the entire cervical spine is very important. A flexible cervical spine will put less pressure on the muscles and bones of the neck. The following exercises to relieve the cervical spine may be helpful to you:

1. Rub the neck with both palms: First, use the left hand to continuously pinch your neck from top to bottom. Each pinch is 3 times and the pinch is 8 times in a row. The movement should be gentle and gentle with moderate force. The left hand is used to pinch 8 times. Later, the right hand is the same as above. Improve blood circulation in the neck and prevent other injuries during neck exercises.

2. Rotate head left and right: turn your head to the left to the extreme position for 3 seconds, then turn your head to the right to the extreme position for 3 seconds, do this 8 times in a row and rotate at a constant speed to exercise the rotation function of our cervical spine.

3. Nod forward and backward: extend the head forward to the extreme position, hold for 3 seconds and then tilt back to the extreme position also hold for 3 seconds, do this 8 times in a row. During the nodding process, the head will be evenly and gently to exercise the flexion and extension function of the cervical spine and help us recover physiological curvature of the cervical spine

4. Swing your neck left and right: bend your head to the left to the extreme position for 3 seconds and then bend to the right to the extreme position also hold for 3 seconds, 8 times in a row. If there is a clicking sound in the joints, it is a normal phenomenon which improve the lateral flexion function.

5. Shoulder rotation and neck relief: place hands in front of shoulders, palms facing down, and rotate arms from back to front and then from front to back, 8 times in a row. By mobilizing the soft tissues related to the shoulders and cervical spine, the cervical spine pressure can be released.

6. Head-hand resistance: cross hands and place them behind neck. Push hands forward at mean time push head backward for 3 seconds, 8 times in a row, This can help to restore the physiological curvature of the cervical spine and relieve the fatigue of the neck muscles.

7. Neck competition: place left hand behind back and keep right hand on chest, push palms parallel to the left and rotate head to the right to the extreme position for 3 seconds. Then switch to right hand. This can effectively exercise the coordination of shoulder muscles.

8. Look up and look at your palms: interlace the fingers of both hands, raise them above head, palms facing up and tilt head back, hold for 3 seconds, 8 times in a row. Use deep abdominal breathing to strengthen the stretching and relaxing effect of the neck and back muscles.

Life needs persistent passion, so that we can conquer the challenge. In contrast, we must learn how to protect ourselves in order to keep healthy so that we can ride further to gain the scenery.

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