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Can I Cycle With a Rotator Cuff Injury?

Can I Cycle With a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The rotator cuff is the bunch of muscles and tendons around the shoulders. They are responsible for keeping your arm firmly attached to your shoulder. One is said to have a rotator cuff injury when one of these muscles or tendons gets torn. This could result from several factors, the most common of which are accidents during physical activities.

Falling off your bike during cycling can lead to the tearing of one of the muscles in your rotator cuff, especially if you fly off over the handlebars. Rotator cuff injuries also happen to athletes who have to do a lot of arm rotation. The muscles in their rotator cuff degenerate over time, leading to a rotator cuff injury.

Rotator cuff injury is often fixed and allows the injured person to return to their physical activities. Over 90 percent of people who undergo surgery due to rotator cuff injuries regain full use of their arms. Surgery for rotator cuff injury is completed in a day. However, you have to wait a period of six months to a year for the tear to heal completely.

Can I Cycle With a Rotator Cuff Injury

So you have just had your rotator cuff muscles repaired and want to know if you can continue riding your bike immediately.

The answer to this is that you have to wait. While it is possible for you to ride your bike anytime before or after a rotator cuff surgery, you’ll be subjecting yourself to a lot of pain and possibly permanent damage. The amount of time you’ll have to wait before you can get back on your bike largely depends on the kind of bike riding you do.

You’ll be allowed to ride a stationary reclining bike as early as a couple of weeks after your surgery. However, if you want to use a stationary upright bike, you will have to wait up to two months.

If you’d like to get back on a road bike, though, it will be at least six months before you are allowed to get back on the road. This is to prevent you from falling off your bike again and worsening your injury. Mountain bikers should, however, expect to wait up to a year before it is safe for them to get back on the trail.

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How to avoid experiencing a rotator cuff injury while cycling

Rotator cuff injury could occur as a result of bike accidents, so to avoid injury, you have to avoid accidents.

  • Be sure your bike tire is of the correct size.

A bicycle of the wrong tire size will be more difficult for you to control and maneuver. Loss of control while riding such a bike can lead to accidents and a torn rotator cuff muscle.

  • Check on your brakes before you ride.

Faulty brakes will prevent you from stopping in time to avert dangers when you ride. You should never ride a bike with faulty brakes if you want to avoid accidents and injuries.

  • Do not speed.

Yes, we know how exhilarating riding on a bike at top speed is. You should, however, limit your speed to what you can realistically handle. Ideally, you should not be moving so fast that you would be unable to respond to sudden changes in road conditions.


Our advice is that you attend to any pain you notice on your shoulder as soon as possible. If it turns out to be a rotator cuff injury, the earlier you get it repaired, the better. Try to lay off any intense bike riding for as long as it takes for your muscles to heal completely, and listen to the advice of your therapist.

Note: This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice. When in doubt, consult your physician or therapist.