Injury & recovery is hard

lanternerouge

Veteran
Location
Leafy Cheshire
As a (relatively) keen cyclist the last few months have been tough. Wondering if anyone is/has been in the same boat.

I was in an accident in October - I skidded descending and was hit, pretty hard, by an oncoming car. I banged up my hands (needed an op to refix thumb /finger) and have really struggled with Post-Concussion Syndrome. Only done 2 very short rides since and neither was at all comfortable - nausea, hands too sore etc. My grip pressure is"very poor" (according to Dr's report) so breaking/ turning etc is painful. Riding seems to rattle my brain around. Combined with memories of the hit it's taken away my desire to ride - well not entirely but the way it feels now is not what it was!

I haven't been at work since the accident - hoping to go back soon in phased way - and my lovely Bianchi was totalled 😥 So it's been a tough time. Zwift and a bit of running have been keeping me sane although I went over on my ankle running last week and it has swelled up crazily- FFS!

Sorry, just wanted to post a great big moan really. I miss my bike, I miss riding my bike and I miss wanting to ride my bike!
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
Sad to hear this, unfortunately I cannot offer too much practical advice. You may find a flat bar easier to control and brake, but I don’t know anything about concussion. Chin up and I wish you a speedy recovery.
 

avsd

Veteran
Location
Belfast
Again, sorry to hear about your accident. Have you considered the pace of your recovery - slow and gentle increments would be the only advice I would give. You don't have the support network of a Chris Froome.
 
As a (relatively) keen cyclist the last few months have been tough. Wondering if anyone is/has been in the same boat.

I was in an accident in October - I skidded descending and was hit, pretty hard, by an oncoming car. I banged up my hands (needed an op to refix thumb /finger) and have really struggled with Post-Concussion Syndrome. Only done 2 very short rides since and neither was at all comfortable - nausea, hands too sore etc. My grip pressure is"very poor" (according to Dr's report) so breaking/ turning etc is painful. Riding seems to rattle my brain around. Combined with memories of the hit it's taken away my desire to ride - well not entirely but the way it feels now is not what it was!

I haven't been at work since the accident - hoping to go back soon in phased way - and my lovely Bianchi was totalled 😥 So it's been a tough time. Zwift and a bit of running have been keeping me sane although I went over on my ankle running last week and it has swelled up crazily- FFS!

Sorry, just wanted to post a great big moan really. I miss my bike, I miss riding my bike and I miss wanting to ride my bike!
That’s a bugger. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few accidents / injuries / concussions over the years, and the recovery is always nearly as bad as the initial incident. Rest as much as possible, get decent physio, and keep as active as you can. You’ll also find that your riding fitness / conditioning takes a big hit during your down time, and it’s super frustrating, having to build it back up again. However, muscle memory is a great thing, and if you persevere, you’ll get it back soon enough. In the mean time, try to grin and bear it, as much as possible.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
I'm one of many on here (probably) that have had serious crashes and broken bones. Injuries and recovery will vary, but some of the things I went through are:-
  1. Start slowly on the indoor turbo, until you can do a reasonable time (30mins) without discomfort.
  2. Review riding positions - bars higher, saddle further forward (a fractured pelvis gave me grief)
  3. Worried about going too fast - so bought a fixed wheel bike to slow me down and provide additional stopping power (this is still one of my favourite bikes, but with SS)
  4. Broken collar bones, made turning head painful/difficult - so fitted wing mirror to see traffic behind. Not a 100% solution as it doesn't give full assurance when to pull out, but it does give you a guide as to when you can't pull out.
  5. Painful/aching arms - fitted a pair of clip on tri bars to my training bike (the SS one) and it takes a lot of pressure off the arms and hands. Position is much higher than you would adopt with a TT bike and high enough, so you can look ahead without straining the neck muscles.
The most serious crash I had, have no recollection at all and I regained confidence fairly quickly.
The last one : a front wheel slip on black ice, I remember vividly going down and being unable to stand up. That was two years ago and going round corners I am still very nervous, especially on that bend. Nowadays, will not venture out if the temp drops below 8 degrees or if there is still frost on the car windscreen.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Three months have elapsed and you're fretting about getting back on the bike? I broke my clavicle in August 2018 and had it plated in November then a capsular release op last April and I'm still recovering! Biggest problem now is loss of muscle in the shoulders meaning about 2 hours or 30 miles is my limit before it gets really uncomfortable. I'm 63.
 

Old jon

Guru
Location
Leeds
Ouch!! Swift recovery.

I broke my collar bone on the 11th May 2018, five weeks before my 68th birthday. A bit of a sanddrift on a bend in the road in Brazil. We don't see sand on the roads in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Local A and E looked after me very well, we had to use Google Translate to talk to each other! The following September, back here, physiotherapy started, and I was back riding the bike on the 24th of that month. The bike suffered no damage at all.
 
Sorry to hear about your accident and I hope you keep recovering, I had a bad accident in Dec 18 broken tibia, fibula and a shatterd knee.
Was off work for nearly a year and off the bike for just over a year ,it can be slow long boring process and frustrating too.
My only advice would be stick with any physio exercises you have been given, and accept there will be setbacks I'm still not quite back to cycling everyday but I am sure I will be soon.
So goodluck keep recovering and i really hope you get back to where you want to be , all the best
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
Its frustrating not being able to ride as you used to, but time is a healer, don't rush, short rides to begin with, only going further when its comfortable not because you want to get the miles in, I also tried running (have done a lot in the past) but my right knee was damaged in the accident and they are both getting a bit worn through years of abuse, so that was a big disappointment.
Its four years since my accident, I am back cycling decent mileage but I am very wary of traffic, I do more off road now, I am very intolerant of bad driving so try to avoid busy roads as well so as not to spoil the ride.
 

ExpatTyke

Yorkshireman in Deepest Somerset
Sorry to hear about your accident @lanternerouge

I had an off while mountain biking a couple of years ago which resulted in a shattered ankle, broken foot, and a bang on the head.

It takes time, patience, and adjustment to get back to riding. I was off the bike completely for nearly six months, and I've had to accept that while I'm lucky enough to be cycling again I won't get back to the level of fitness and mobility I had.

If possible, once your consultant has given you the ok to start cycling again, go out with a friend or two who are happy to ride at your pace and just ride a distance you're happy with, on quiet roads. Take your time, and don't overdo things.

Very best wishes for your recovery - remember that it does take time, and there will be bad days, but it's worth it. Good luck!
 
Sorry to hear about your accident. Why don't you take a brake from cycling and do other things ? - Get a dog if u don't already have one - just use a turbo to keep some fitness , or do some limited pilates/yoga.
Finding another interest may help as distraction therapy .
Frustrating I know.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Ouch! Glad to hear youre on the mend though.

I don't have a lot going for me (other than my muscular body and good looks) but one thing in my favour is that I was born with an enormous dose of positive mental attitude - when a challenge like this rears its head for me then I relish digging in my heels and facing the challenge down.

Sit down with a cuppa, a paper pocket diary, and a pen. Decide where you want to be, what your health and recovery end game is, and what date you can reasonably achieve it. Then select a date 10% closer to today than that date. Set milestones, the date you want to achieve them by, and what needs to be done to achieve it. You've no excuse not to prevail, and if you do lose your way or miss a bit through catching a cold or a domestic emergency etc, then you can see where you need to be to get back on track.

The tendency for normally fit and healthy people is just to drift through recovery with no plan, which is inefficient and demoralising. Professional athletes have coaches and doctors to push them just that bit harder than they would go of they were left to their own devices - you don't have that luxury, but with planning, a modicum of effort, and some discipline you really can accelerate your recovery.

Best of luck.
 

Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Location
Land of Lincoln
Offs and accidents, you'd think I should not still be on the bike. I must have been shite at it in my racing days. O.K. I was shite at it in my racing days. Add to that a job in journalism, at the time. Scars and concussion to prove it, from the old days of medicine. We know so much more and can do such things nowadays. It still doesn't help much when you are recovering. Because in recovery, you do have to focus on the daily tasks of healing. That makes it hard to see the great gains you will make in the future. It seems we always want to heal faster than the body will mend. A little mountain biking was always a welcome change, with fatter tires and now with suspension. I have a recumbent tricycle as well for riding trails. It works a whole different set of muscles.I wish you a great recovery.
Lotsa luck, as well.
 
I often think that even we cyclists sometimes forget the long term impact of serious injuries -psychological as well as physical. Even if one recovers well in the short term, serious injuries can often flare up again and almost always make themselves felt again in older age. As the OP tells us, the mental health implications are often serious too. Often I think cheery replies, given for all the best reasons, to people posting about their ‘offs’, minimise the true long term burden of injury. When caused by drivers, it’s a burden we should not have to be carrying in the first place, and for which motorists should be held much more responsible through the courts. It should be a campaigning issue for cycling organisations.
 
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