To exercise safely while getting some sun, many area residents have taken to cycling and mountain biking during the current pandemic. As a sports medicine specialist, Dr. K. Scott Malone of Middle Georgia Orthopaedics supports this trend for community health, and he is also offering some stand-by guidance for cycling injury prevention. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (478) 953-4563 to be seen by Dr. Malone in Warner Robins at 3051 Watson Blvd., Suite 525. For urgent needs, same-day appointments are also available at the practice’s Warner Robin location as well orthopaedic telemedicine appointments for remote consultations.
“All of us at Middle Georgia Orthopaedics are dedicated to our community's well-being, so seeing more people working to stay active is truly fantastic,” says Dr. Malone of Middle Georgia Orthopaedics. “Biking, like so many recreational sports, is great for the health of the mind and body, but there are still injury risks at play, so we wanted to offer advice on staying safe on the roads and trails.”
Middle Georgia Orthopaedics offers bike riders of all ages and levels the following guidance:
- Wear safety gear and dress safely. Keep your helmet on and keep straps secured. This applies to any children on bikes that you are supervising. Helmets should be approved by the American National Standards Institute. If mountain biking, wear the other required gear, including padding, specialized shoes and gloves. Avoid loose, baggy or bulky clothing.
- Use the right bike and use it properly. Your bike should fit your body size properly and have properly maintained gears, lights, brakes and tires. You also should not wear headphones or be actively handling electronic devices, like phones or MP3 players while you are riding.
- Only choose trails suited to you. Don't choose a trail or bike course that is too difficult for you, especially when starting out. For trails with steep areas, sharp and winding paths or visual obstructions and obstacles along the path, even experienced riders should walk alongside their bikes for those stretches if the trail is new to them.
- Ride defensively on roads and streets. Follow all municipal laws for cyclists, ride in bike lanes where available, follow the direction of traffic as you ride, follow traffic lights and signs, use signaling as you take any turn and be on the lookout near parked cars for those opening doors or leaving their parking space.
- Use caution on longer bike rides. Wear sun protection and drink at least eight ounces of water for every hour on your bike ride. Riding while exhausted is dangerous and may lead to a fall, so take breaks as needed. Change your position as needed to relieve or remove stresses in certain joints and muscles.
“Like other sports, biking can pose a risk of injury, especially for those new to the sport or those who are increasing their level of activity in the sport,” says Dr. Malone. “If you think you’ve suffered a fracture, have muscular pain or experience joint instability after a fall, see an orthopaedic specialist as soon as possible — if you hit your head or have bleeding that won’t stop after a few minutes, go to an emergency room or urgent care immediately.”
Dr. Malone is a board-certified physiatrist, also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, who specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of sports-related acute and chronic injuries and conditions. Dr. Malone is available to see patients at Middle Georgia Orthopaedics’ main office in Warner Robins.
To learn more about orthopaedic safety or to schedule a safe appointment with Dr. Malone, call (478) 953-4563.