Across the country, people take to their motorcycles to feel the wind on their face and the freedom of peeling across the asphalt under the warmth of the sun. For many people, riding their motorcycle is a much anticipated activity that is rivaled by nothing else. But for others, it’s a pain in the neck.
Do you experience neck pain when out on your motorcycle? Whether caused by everyday riding or an unfortunate accident while on the road, neck pain can be keeping you from enjoying your ride or living comfortably. But, there’s no need to suffer through neck pain. Our article explains proper posture for riding as well as how to treat neck pain holistically.
How Can I Prevent Neck Pain While Riding A Motorcycle?
You may experience neck pain while riding your motorcycle, whether you ride daily or just occasionally. You may also notice neck pain following an accident. If you’ve been in an accident, even if it’s minor, you should see your doctor for a possible diagnosis of whiplash. Your chiropractor can help you relieve neck pain following an accident or after an everyday ride around town.
When you’re out riding your motorcycle, there are certain things you need to do before or during your ride that will help prevent neck pain. Consider these tips for avoiding neck pain.
Riding a motorcycle can be tough on the body, and it’s best to loosen your muscles before climbing onto your bike. Stretching improves mobility and flexibility, allowing you to stay loose and avoid injury.
While on your motorcycle, you may experience sudden movements and, on the contrary, you may have to sit still for long rides, where your body may become stiff. In both instances, being loose from stretching helps. Simple stretches like neck circles, touching your toes, and arm swings can do wonders for relieving tension and improving flexibility in your neck and shoulders.
Always hydrate well before you ride, particularly for long distances. Proper hydration improves performance, as dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and slower reaction times.
Water hydrates your body, preventing your ligaments, tendons, and muscles from becoming tight and stiff. Drinking plenty of water can protect your joints and muscles by keeping the cartilage soft and pliable.
Check Your Gear
Investing in the best – and the right – gear prevents injuries and can reduce the amount of neck strain that riders feel. Consider the right helmet, which is essential with today’s helmet laws.
The average human head weighs between ten and eleven pounds. The wrong helmet can increase the weight that the neck must support. So, when looking for a helmet, choose a light-weight, but strong one, such as one made out of carbon fiber. While it may be more expensive, it’s worth it. At almost 2 pounds lighter than other helmets, you’ll be giving your neck a break without breaking your neck.
Be sure that you choose a well-fitting helmet, as well. One that doesn’t quite fit right may bob up and down with the movement and the wind, causing strain and discomfort on the neck. Plus, you risk the possibility that it may simply fly off your head in an accident, offering no protection at all.
Use Proper Posture
You may not realize that you’re sitting incorrectly while riding and that could make a big impact on your neck pain. A simple adjustment – such as changing the height of your seat or moving your hands to a different position on the handlebars – can make all the difference to your posture while riding your motorcycle.
When riding, take into account the following tips for proper posture:
- Keep your wrists straight and extended when your hands are on the handlebars with your elbows slightly bent.
- Your knees and hips should be comfortable, so adjust your seat accordingly. Typically, you’ll have less than a 90-degree angle with your feet on the footrests.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position. It should be relaxed and comfortable.
- Don’t hunch over the handlebars. Keep your shoulders back and away from your ears.
See a Motorcycle Accident Chiropractor
Most people don’t consider riding a motorcycle to be a physical activity, but it can be incredibly strenuous and cause a lot of stress on the body if not done properly. Therefore, to take appropriate care of your body, you should see a professional.
A chiropractor can work with your individual needs to develop a personalized treatment plan specifically for you and your circumstances. They’ll help your posture, your body’s alignment, and can help provide stretching and strengthening exercises to prepare your body for occasional or regular rides on your motorcycle.
Chiropractic treatment will not only get the body into the proper position for riding, it can alleviate neck pain while improving your overall health and well-being with regular visits.