D.C. Fiore1, K. M. Fellows1, T. A. Henner2
1 School of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
2 Savitt Medical Library, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
Introduction. Mountain biking is a popular recreational activity that has a significant potential for injury.
Methods. This review paper integrates research studies and expert opinion. It exam- ines the various types of mountain biking, associated patterns of injury, trends in the sport, impact on medical services, and expanded roles for health professionals in promoting preventive care and counseling on safe riding practices. Results. Multiple studies on the frequency of mountain biking injuries suggests that findings may not be reflective of actual injury rates due to under-reporting, as well as inconsistencies in how injuries and injury severity are defined. Given these limitations, it appears that injury rates in mountain biking are on the high end of outdoor sports and that riding downhill is where most serious injuries occur. Injuries occur most frequently to the upper and lower extremities, with fractures trend- ing towards the upper extremities. Traumatic head injuries and cervical spine injuries are among the most severe injuries, and mountain biking accounts for a significant portion of activity related TBI and spinal injuries. The emergence of e-bikes contrib- utes is attracting older riders to the sport, with potential consequences for increased injury. Conclusions. The health care community can help in reducing injuries through avenues such as counseling patients and community members about safe riding prac- tices, discussing appropriate gear, working with mountain bike parks to design safer trails and consulting with bicycle manufacturers to design safer bikes.
KEY WORDS: Mountain bike, mountain biking, cycling, wilderness, injuries, prevention, adventure