Across the nation, cycling continues to grow in popularity as a favorite form of exercise and transportation. And while bicycling is easy, fun, and good for you, the downside of the bicycling craze is that there has been a surge in bicycle accidents and injuries.
Much of the accident trauma that occurs in a bike accident affects the cyclists’ lower extremities. However, the most severe bicycle injuries occur to the upper extremities. While cyclists can suffer any number of injuries in a bicycle accident, ranging from road rash to facial injuries to abdominal injuries, some of the most common bicycle-related injuries occur to the arms and hands.
How it Happens
Bicyclists suffer arm injuries as a result of:
- Bracing for a crash. When a cyclist does this, his wrists and hands are compressed against the handlebars, and the energy of the crash is transferred to the hands, wrists, and forearms.
- Breaking a fall. When bicyclists are ejected from their bikes or fall after a crash, they may attempt to break their falls by stretching out their arms. When this happens, a wrist fracture or collarbone fracture typically occurs.
- Being crushed. When bicyclists are thrown on top of the hood of a car or tossed on the hard ground, their arms may be crushed by their bodies or the objects they hit.
No matter what type of injury occurs as a result of a bike accident, injured bicyclists should get immediate medical help. Many times, bicyclists will know to go to the hospital after a crash because they will be in immediate pain and have swelling in the affected area. However, sometimes cyclists decide to ice their injuries and take anti-inflammatory medications to self-treat, hoping their injuries will improve on their own.
What You Should Do
Don’t assume for one moment that ibuprofen and ice will heal your serious hand and arm injuries following a bike accident. It is critical to your health and your potential personal injury claim that you seek medical treatment immediately.
Have you been hurt in a bicycle accident? Learn what to do right now by requesting a free copy of our book The Florida Accident Handbook: What You Need to Know After an Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.