Things I never knew: Pitfalls for cyclists

Posted on 10 February 2019

After years of watching athletes walk in and out of our race hospitals, there are always a few common issues that new riders (and sometimes more experienced riders) do not always consider. Dr Green breaks these down for us.

  1. Training on antibiotics:

Since antibiotics are created to work again bacterial infections, they can affect your overall performance while they battle against the bacteria and prevent it from multiplying. According to Dr Darren Green possible symptoms that may occur should you be taking antibiotics just prior to an event include:

* increased sensitivity to heat
* decrease in pace
* dizziness or stomach upset

A sensible recommendation for athletes on antibiotics is a reduced amount of intensity and volume of exercise as well as increased fluid intake and sun protection.

  1. Riding with an Epipen

If you have a known sensitivity to insect bites or stings, it is advisable to travel with an Epipen. The most serious allergic reactions cause anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly allergic reaction. An Epipen is the most common way to treat a severe allergic reaction in an emergency situation as you may not always have quick and easy access to a medic on route. Please take note of the expiry dates on the medication – as with all medication it has a set lifespan after which the ingredients can break down.

  1. Anti-inflammatories and kidney failure

Pain medicines, help relieve pain, fever, and even inflammation. These medicines may help with arthritis, colds, headache (including migraine), muscle aches, menstrual cramps, sinusitis and toothache. However, when used improperly, pain medicines can cause problems in the body, including the kidneys. Riders should not use non-prescription pain medicines without their doctor’s permission, especially if you are aware that you have low kidney function. Even if your kidney function is good, long–term use with high doses of these pain drugs may harm the kidneys. Kidney damage occurs because high doses of the drugs have a negative effect on kidney tissue and structures, as well as potentially reducing the blood flow to the kidney.

  1. Poor bike set up

Quite often minor strains and pains are caused by incorrect bike set-up. This is an extreme multistage event and the continued strain on one particular area of your body could have a dramatic impact on your race. While you know your machine and you know your body, it may be that external assistance can provide positive input on your seating position as well as potential improvements to your set-up. As with all sports, we do not always go back and check the basics when we consider ourselves experienced. Consider approaching an expert if you have not done so recently.

Published in Cape Epic

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.