Can biking cause a sore neck base?

2 October 2015
Comments: 0
2 October 2015, Comments: 0

After prolonged periods of cycling in the outdoors, it is not uncommon for pain to steadily creep in. The pain that occurs in the neck base can be due to poor posture or using a poorly fitting bicycle. Luckily, once the exact source of a sore neck base is identified, the neck pain and discomfort can be readily remedied.

Bike fit

One of the common causes for a sore neck base due to biking is using a poorly fitting bicycle. Once the handlebars are too low or too far away from the individual, he/she is forced to strain the neck to see in front. When the muscles are subjected to a state of constant contraction, they are more likely to end up with trigger points since they are deprived of essential nutrients and oxygen which eventually results to pain.

Sore neck base

After biking, you can apply an ice pack on the painful areas in the neck.

In case the individual is in doubt, it is recommended to see a professional to check on the bike fit. Most bike stores perform a bike fitting or refer a shop that performs one.


When buying a helmet for biking, it is vital to consider how it will be used. Those who enjoy road biking usually stay in a low position on the bike, thus having a visor requires straining of the neck to see beneath the visor which can cause a sore neck base. As for mountain bikers who are seated in an upright position, using a visor will not trigger this issue. Once the individual starts to experience neck pain, the helmet used should be checked. When using one, make sure that it does not tilt too far forward on the head which can increase the strain on the back of the neck.

Regular stretching

Always bear in mind that cycling puts the body in a single position for long periods of time, thus it is vital to move around if possible and stretch out the body. The individual should roll his/her shoulders and execute shoulder shrugs on the bike.

The individual should bring the elbows upwards to the sides and squeeze in toward the upper back muscles. In addition, move the neck to the sides for a mild stretch. While riding a bicycle, make sure that the elbows are relaxed and do not reach up to hug the ears since this can trigger a sore neck base.

Other treatment options

The sore neck base can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. After biking, you can apply an ice pack on the painful areas in the neck. In case the pain radiates from the shoulder, simply roll a ball underneath it to work out the trigger points or even perform self-massage on the neck. If the discomfort persists, the individual should have his/her bike checked and consult a doctor.


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