Cycling and Concussions: Getting Back in the Saddle

Cycling rapidly increased in popularity during the pandemic, and as a result, so have cycling-related concussions. Cycling accidents are one of the most common causes of concussions with contributing factors such as high speeds, vulnerability (e.g., cars for road cyclists), terrain and weather conditions, etc. 

Concussion Prevention Strategies

At CAP Health we offer our RAM4 Concussion Prevention program designed to test concussion risk with our clinically validated technology and then provide specific training exercises proven by international research to reduce risk.  

However, if you do sustain a concussion, we take a unique and highly effective approach to testing and recovery. Our Brain Repair Protocol program includes state-of-the art sensorimotor testing technology originally designed for NASA and widely used by the US military.

Prior to giving the green light to Return to Sport is the RAM4 Test to ensure your neck is fully recovered. While neck strength is important it is the deep neck flexors (the prevertebral cervical muscles) that we test to assess neck function. Despite their small size they are the critical antagonists of the large cervical spine extensors. They play an enormous role in the connection and stabilization of the cervical column and your skull when sustaining an impact. If these muscles are not functioning it doesn’t matter how strong your neck is and we believe why there is such an exorbitantly high rate of secondary concussions shortly after returning to sport.

Concussion Symptoms

A concussion is commonly associated with direct trauma to the head; however, the reality is only 10% of concussions result in a loss of consciousness. Any force to the body can also cause a concussion, and while there is a definite concern for a cyclist who has lost consciousness following head trauma, this is not a prerequisite for sustaining a concussion.

Common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
  • Confusion or feeling dazed
  • Memory problems or difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or anxiety
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of consciousness (although this may not always occur) 

It’s important to note that some symptoms of a concussion may not appear until several hours or even days after the injury.

Road to Recovery

Recovery from a concussion and the return to sport needs to be progressive, planned, and individualized. CAP Health was born out of the necessity to deliver objective, measurable, science-based interventions and treatments to concussion patients and athletes. The Brain Repair Protocol includes evidence-based research and technology to create a personalized plan for patients’ return to sport. 

CAP Health also offers highly effective treatments that may be right for you including HBOT, FSM, Photobiomodulation, RAPID NeuroFascial Reset, and our one-of-a-kind climbing rehab wall.  

[Read more here about the Brain Repair Protocol and Return to Sport]

At the core of everything we do is educating athletes about concussion prevention, protective training protocols, advanced rehabilitation strategies, and other facets of cognitive and physical health to help cyclists stay riding safely in the saddle!

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