Sometimes your pain is clear, and so is its cause. Maybe you wiped out. Maybe your foot slipped and you jammed your knee. Maybe you moved your core too quickly. Other times, while you may be in pain, you may not be able to pinpoint what happened – and how to avoid it from happening again. Many times the source of cycling pain is something that you do on routine, and that makes it surprising.

Sad Face

We know that stress and sadness an affect many things in our life – but did you know that these emotions can also cause physical pain? It may not be anything you did physically to cause your pain, but rather your mental and emotional state. Check out yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises to help calm your stress.

Scar Tissue Issue

If you have surgical repairs and old injuries, your scar tissue may be a source of pain. Scar tissue can lead to a reduced range of motion, tension on your nerves, and constant inflammation. This can be surgically repaired – or you can use a topical reliever like Arnica to help calm the inflammation.

Total Imbalance

Are your quads doing all the pedaling while your glutes are just along for the ride? Are your chest muscles so shortened and your back so weak that you’re in a perpetual aerodynamic tuck, even when you’re walking down the street? It’s easy to develop muscular and postural imbalances in a sport like cycling, where you’re holding one position and calling on just a few primary movers for prolonged periods of time. Strain can be placed on your spine, upper, and lower body, depending on your stance. If this is your issue, check with your cycle shop to see who they recommend as a coach – and if they recommend a chiropractor – to get you back in balance.

Your Balance Bites

If you have balance issues, you will be thrown off (not literally, of course) balance. Inner ear issues, or bouts of vertigo can keep you in pain, and out of whack when you are trying to cycle – even when you are feeling better. Inner ear issues are tricky, and sometimes you have have them and not feel anything physically. If you are noticing an issue with your balance on your bike, consult with your doctor to check out any issues.

Sleep Deprived

A lack of sleep can also cause you physical pain.  One Norwegian study of more than 10,400 adults found that people who had insomnia just once a month had rates of reduced pain tolerance 24-percent higher than their soundly sleeping peers. Weekly insomnia more than doubled the rate of reduced pain tolerance to 52 percent. What could have been a little injury with a good nights’ sleep could end up being a big issue with lessened pain tolerance.