cycling injury pain

Stiff shoulders, achey legs, tight hips and sore arms - these are all common complaints for cyclists.

5 Ways to Speed up Recovery from Cycling Injuries

Prolonged pain, that prevents you from continuing with normal activities, usually requires a trip to a doctor or physiotherapist.

However, minor aches and pains can be treated at home - here are just a few of the best remedies...

magnesium

A deficiency in magnesium can cause muscles to contract, and modern day diets are much lower in magnesium than those of days gone by.

You can get magnesium from bananas, avocados, and soy to name a few, but if you want to go right to the source, you might get on with a magnesium bath soak or rub.

There are quite a few brands available that you can pick up in a health food store, like Holland and Barrett - BetterYou offer a range of soaks, sprays and body rubs.

Tiger balm

Muscle rubs usually work through delivering the active ingredients directly to the muscles, and using gentle massage to encourage blood flow to the affected area.

Tiger Balm is based on Chinese wisdom, and its active ingredients are Natural Camphor and Menthol. Camphor is used to treat pain, itching and some infections - and it works by encouraging blood flow to the area. Menthol does this too, and also provides a cooling feeling of relief.

If the 'natural' element is less important to you, then Voltatol is a common medicated version which contains Diclofenac Diethylammonium.

hottie

There is quite a lot of confusion over what's better: heat or icing for sore muscles.

The rule of thumb is that ice is best for an new injury - a freshly sprained ankle, for example. The cold relieves the effect of inflammation.

After around three days, alternating hot and cold will encourage blood flow to the area - so swapping between 20 minutes of ice and 20 minutes of heat is your best bet.

For an ongoing ache, heat will sooth the muscles, aiding relaxation - so hot water bottles and warm baths are on the menu.

And yes, the hot water bottle and cover pictured is still for sale...

devils claw

Despite its slightly disconcerting name, Devil's Claw is used for pain and inflammation.

Common Cycling Niggles and Bike Fit Fixes

A natural herb, whose botanical name is "Harpagophytum", it contains chemicals which have been used to treat back pain and tendonitis.

Experts at WebMD recommend 50-100mg a day for back pain, based on dosages used in studies.

cherry

Studies have shown Tart Cherry Juice to be effective in reducing inflammation in athletes following exercise.

It's believed Tart Cherry Juice can be as effective as ibprofen - thanks to the antioxidants - check out our selection of inflammation fighting food here.

ginger_000013398712_Small

Several studies have show ginger to reduce aching and inflammation in athletes.

It's the 'gingerols' in the root that help relieve the pain - though you'll need to consume around 2-4g a day to have an effect. Alternatively, you can pick up Ginger rubs or pastes which will take the healing ingredient straight to the pain.

Or, you could try our Baked Ginger Crunch....

foam roller

We're not going to lie - foam rolling hurts.

However, the short term discomfort involved in rolling over the hard foam cylinder of pain results in long term relief.

Foam rolling breaks down the small 'myofascial adhesions' that are created when you put stress on muscles. It also increases blood flow to the area and can lengthens muscles, decreasing the risk of future injuries.

DSC01450

Obviously, we all like the idea of muscle rubs and bath salts - combine those with a hot water bottle in front of the TV and you've got a blissful pamper night shorted.

Stretching requires a bit of work from yourself, but it's well worth it. Dynamic stretching after a workout increases circulation, limiting the chances of you developing sore, achy muscles.

Sore, achey muscles often appear when other areas become tight - a sore knee, for example, is almost always caused by tightness in the lower legs or around the hips. Stretching regularly will keep ache inducing tightness at bay. So yes, it requires effort - but it's well worth it.

You can even do it in bed (like all the best things) - check out these duvet friendly stretches, and make it a routine.