Avoid Mountain Biking Injuries with the Proper Equipment
by Mark Purnell, MD
(Dr. Purnell is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. He is a team physician for the U.S. Nordic Ski Team, a founding member of the Sports Medicine Program for the National Off-Road Biking Association, and a team physician for the U.S. Mountain Biking Team.)
Mountain biking is relatively safe compared to other activities. Injuries usually are due to falling, and while injuries may be unavoidable, by knowing your limitations and having appropriate equipment, you can significantly reduce your risk of serious injuries.
Once you have the proper equipment, you have to prepare your body. Stretching and warming up are very important to avoid injury, especially if you have back problems. If you notice back, knee or urologic problems after riding, you may want to check the fit of your bike and seat. A bike mechanic, physician, or physical therapist can help determine the correct fit for you and help you get safely on your way.