Common Bike Injuries and How to Treat Them
Unfortunately, biking is also a common source of injuries. Assuming you or your children always wear a helmet when biking, the most common injuries you are likely to suffer are minor lacerations, bruises, possible fractures, abdominal injuries, or other “musculoskeletal traumas” from falls or collisions.
Statistics suggest that male bikers traveling at high speeds are the riders most likely to suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, fatal collisions with automobiles are not entirely uncommon, even among experienced riders wearing properly fitted helmets. Abdominal injuries suffered during a biking accident can be extremely serious. If a patient experiences abdominal pain or vomiting after an accident, he or she should seek emergency medical treatment in the ER immediately.
Other common injuries fall under the category of overuse injuries. These may include injuries to the groin caused by continual pressure exerted by the bicycle seat on nerves in the area. This type of injury, called a compression neuropathy, is caused by direct, prolonged compression of a nerve, and may involve tingling, pain, numbness, or muscle weakness. Highly dedicated male bikers may suffer damage to nerves in the genitals, for example, possibly resulting in erectile dysfunction.
According to a report published in American Family Physician, in 2001, bicycling injuries accounted for more than 1.2 million physician visits annually. The same report noted that bicycle-related injuries most often involve the arms or legs, followed by the head, face, belly or chest, and finally, the neck. Superficial trauma, including abrasions (road rash), contusions (bruises), or lacerations (cuts), are the most common injuries to these areas of the body.
A recent study of bicycle-related injuries among children, as documented in U.S. emergency departments, concluded that more than 600 such injuries occurred every day, on average, during the 10-year study period. One key finding: Helmet use has significantly reduced the incidence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and other head and neck injuries among children riding bikes.
From “Road Rash” to Traumatic Brain Injury
It should be noted that even seemingly minor “road rash” can be serious if not treated promptly and appropriately. Road rash refers to the grit, sand, and dirt that gets ground into abraded skin when skin meets pavement at speed. Infection and even scarring could result from improperly treated injuries of this nature.
Of course, serious falls at high speeds can lead to skull fractures, concussions, lacerations, or broken bones. If you are involved in a serious fall or collision, it is crucial that you be evaluated by a medical professional as quickly as possible. The team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care can evaluate non-life threatening bike injuries 7 days per week.
Bicycling injuries run the gamut from minor cuts and scrapes, to broken bones, to life-threatening head injuries. If you are involved in a biking accident, it is important to seek prompt medical attention, even if you have doubts regarding the seriousness of the incident. Head trauma, for example, is not always obvious initially but it warrants evaluation by a professional.
When Is the Right Time to Seek Help at PhysicianOne Urgent Care?
Whether it’s a twisted ankle, a bad case of road rash, or a troubling laceration suffered while biking, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here 7 days per week for high-quality urgent care, at a fraction of the cost of the Emergency Room. Contact us at 1.855.349.2828, or stop in today for a convenient, walk-in visit. If you’re looking to save time, find a location near you and check in online today!
McAdams RJ, Swidarski K, Clark RM, Roberts KJ, Yang J, Mckenzie LB. Bicycle-related injuries among children treated in US emergency departments, 2006-2015. Accid Anal Prev. 2018 Sep;118:11-17. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.05.019. Epub 2018 May 26. Accessed Jul 12, 2018: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29843009
Sanford T, McCulloch CE, Callcut RA, Carroll PR, Breyer BN. Bicycle Trauma Injuries and Hospital Admissions in the United States, 1998–2013. JAMA. 2015;314(9):947-949. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8295.
Thompson MJ, Rivara FP. Bicycle-related injuries. Am Fam Physician. 2001 May 15;63(10):2007-14. Accessed July 3, 2018: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0515/p2007.html