There’s nothing more refreshing, and exciting, than taking your motorbike out for a ride over the weekend. The cool wind on your face as your Suzuki pushes its way down the mountain ranges; the feel of the ocean breeze on your skin as you roar down the local esplanade; experiencing nature at its finest as your Yamaha speeds across the desert plains.
Regardless of where you live in Australia, there is some amazing scenery to explore on your motorcycle and no doubt some days, you could spend hours traversing across this great land. In fact, we have more than 356,000km of paved roads and over 466,000km of unpaved roads.
The only problem with that is the effect it has on your body. From your head, down to your toes, motorcycling can be physically draining – and if you don’t take care of yourself properly, it could also lead to long-term health problems.
Here are some of our top tips for taking care of motorcycle pain:
- Stretch before you go and whenever you stop along the way.
- Drink plenty of water!
- Eat plenty of carbohydrates and fruit, filled with magnesium, potassium and calcium.
- Use cruise control where possible. It’s easier on the joints and muscles.
- Don’t ride tense. Take deep breaths and try to relax.
- Dress for the ride. That means investing in the right motorcycle adventure products to suit your local weather and terrain.
- Check your seat and handlebars. Ensure they are at the right height, that you aren’t hunched over and that your wrists are at a comfortable angle.
If you’re after a more specific solution, check out these options for pain below:
Whether your pain is from the wind, your helmet or because you have been clenching your jaw throughout the ride, it’s easy to get neck pain when you’re riding. If you start to feel pain while riding, pull over and stretch your neck.
You can do this by tilting your head from left to right, rubbing your hand up your neck while you do so. Do this a few times and see if you can feel a difference. You might also try some Deep Heat cream or Tiger Balm, or similar, as it can help to increase the amount of blood flowing through the area.
THROTTLE HAND PAIN
Because your hands are in the same position for so long, throttle hand pain is common on long rides. Try not to hold the handlebars too tightly, and if your hands are starting to ache or feel stiff, stretch them every time you stop along the way. You can also do this before you leave.
Pull on your fingers so they stretch well, and give yourself a hand massage (or have your partner or friend do it for you). If you do start to get achy along the way, shake your hands down by your side. It helps get the blood flowing again. Specialty gloves with quality padding are a great option.
Because your arms are in the same spot so long, shoulder and upper back pain is another common problem when riding motorcycles. If the pain is sharp, apply ice first. Then after a couple of hours of ice, put heat onto it. If it’s a dull pain, you might find that a hot bath or shower helps. If the pain remains, take some ibuprofen and book yourself in for a massage!
Invest in a good helmet that doesn’t weigh you down too much, and where possible, allow your arms and shoulders to rest during the ride (even if that means stopping more often than usual and having a good stretch). If you carry a backpack, consider investing in a saddlebag instead.
STIFF ARMS / FROZEN SHOULDER
A familiar problem with motorbike riders is frozen shoulder, or stiff arms. If you have trouble taking off your helmet without having pain, or if you can’t reach behind you all of a sudden, you could be facing inflammation of the tendons or what’s known as frozen shoulder.
Best solution for this is ice – get an ice pack or frozen vegetable bag. Check that the handlebar is in a good position and you might even consider moving it next time you get on your bike.
LOWER BACK PAIN
If you’re sitting for a long time, you’re bound to get lower back pain – though you might not realise it until you’re already home! It’s so common that almost every rider experiences it at some point, which is why there is plenty of advice for how to help alleviate it (and even prevent it).
Check the seat of the bike is at a good level, and quality material. While riding, make sure you stop regularly and take a short walk around. Check the suspension on your bike to make sure it is tuned to the region where you’re riding; and finally stretch your back.
If you’re riding over uneven terrain, it’s likely you’re going to experience some pain in the buttocks, particularly if your seat isn’t cushioned enough, or your suspension isn’t set to the right conditions.
Your best bet is to make sure you stop regularly and take a walk around; but you can also invest in comfort pads that go on top of your seat. If you get off the bike and your tailbone is hurting, apply ice. And finally, take some ibuprofen. It’s a great anti-inflammatory.
LEG PAIN & NUMBNESS
Numbness and pins and needles in the leg are common with long rides, but be wary of something more painful – including sciatica, which can send pain from your buttocks right down your legs. Book yourself in for a massage; take some ibuprofen and stock up on your vitamin B and B12.
Regardless of the pain you experience, it’s important that you rest after a long ride so you can recuperate before you get back on your bike.
And remember, we care about your health and offer a range of motorcycle adventure products to help take the edge of your next ride! Check out our website for purchase and delivery of motorcycle accessories Australia wide.