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  1. #1
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Shoulder/Neck/Back Pain

    I've dealt with arthritis in my right shoulder for a while. It occasionally bothers me on long rides with drop bars.

    On the 21st I rode 94 miles. My shoulder started acting up. On the 22nd I rode another 42 miles. Again, my shoulder didn't like it. Throughout the workweek following that I rode my short commute every day and a few errands. My neck was stiff, and my shoulder hurt, but it was bearable.

    I had looked forward to putting some miles in over the holiday weekend. That didn't happen.

    I woke up Saturday (the 28th), and was very stiff and sore. I took a shower, and had breakfast. Before I could finish eating, sitting up was torture. Holding my head up was difficult.

    I spend my three-day weekend laying on my side in bed reading. It was glorious weather, yet I was stuck inside in pain.

    It was a little better last night, so I dragged the recumbent out of the basement (I haven't been riding it) and prepared it for today's commute.

    I rode to work today, but it still hurts to sit and hold my head up. I rode one-handed most of the time. I kept my right arm tucked up against my belly.

    I made an appointment with a chiropractor. I have a doctor's appointment next week (already scheduled for something else).

    I'm not asking for medical advice, just complaining. I'm good at complaining - just ask my wife.
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  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, we're not as good at listening as your wife is.

    Just kidding. Sorry to hear about your situation, and I hope you find relief soon.
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Wait till you get to be 69 years old.
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  4. #4
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Unfortunately, we're not as good at listening as your wife is.
    I never said she was good at listening either.
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  5. #5
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Wait till you get to be 69 years old.
    I definitely can wait. I'm sure it'll be here soon enough... if I make it that far.
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  6. #6
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I don't want to feel your pain. I got it in my right wrist but i wouldn't trade you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn't let a chiropractor mess with any neck stuff.

    Down some Ibuprofen and see your doc.

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    I've dealt with arthritis in my right shoulder for a while. It occasionally bothers me on long rides with drop bars.

    On the 21st I rode 94 miles. My shoulder started acting up. On the 22nd I rode another 42 miles. Again, my shoulder didn't like it. Throughout the workweek following that I rode my short commute every day and a few errands. My neck was stiff, and my shoulder hurt, but it was bearable.

    I had looked forward to putting some miles in over the holiday weekend. That didn't happen.

    I woke up Saturday (the 28th), and was very stiff and sore. I took a shower, and had breakfast. Before I could finish eating, sitting up was torture. Holding my head up was difficult.

    I spend my three-day weekend laying on my side in bed reading. It was glorious weather, yet I was stuck inside in pain.

    It was a little better last night, so I dragged the recumbent out of the basement (I haven't been riding it) and prepared it for today's commute.

    I rode to work today, but it still hurts to sit and hold my head up. I rode one-handed most of the time. I kept my right arm tucked up against my belly.

    I made an appointment with a chiropractor. I have a doctor's appointment next week (already scheduled for something else).

    I'm not asking for medical advice, just complaining. I'm good at complaining - just ask my wife.
    There comes a time in every cyclist riding life when those damn drop bars gotta go.

    Me thinks your time is here !!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    how long are you riding in the drops? i prefer to ride the hoods most of the time. i'd get into the drops riding into the wind but not for a whole ride.

  10. #10
    Am I evil? I am Man!!! Mr Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tortugaflats View Post
    how long are you riding in the drops? i prefer to ride the hoods most of the time. i'd get into the drops riding into the wind but not for a whole ride.

    I road in my drops for about 10 straight miles Monday, and well my neck is still a little stiff. I've just never used my drops like that before. Maybe its the same with what tortugaflats says for you too.
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
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  11. #11
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tortugaflats View Post
    how long are you riding in the drops? i prefer to ride the hoods most of the time. i'd get into the drops riding into the wind but not for a whole ride.
    I often ride on the hoods or the tops. I switch it around to avoid hand pain. I ride in the drops into headwinds or when I want to go faster.

    I bought my first drop-bar bike (LHT) in January 2010 and really didn't feel comfortable with drop bars until a few months ago. I do keep the bars at about saddle height.

    I may have to put trekking bars on the LHT and some upright city bars on my single-speed, but at this point, that won't help much. Riding the recumbent is killing me. Gotta get the shoulder working better first.

    I DROVE today, and it still killed me. Sitting in this office chair hurts. Standing hurts. Blah.
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  12. #12
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't let a chiropractor mess with any neck stuff.

    Down some Ibuprofen and see your doc.
    I've been using Ibuprofen, aspirin, and Aleve. It's not helping much. I've never been to a chiropractor before, but I'm considering it a calculated risk. I do have a doctor appointment next week, but can't wait that long for some relief.

    If this pain were in my hand, I would have cut it off already.
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  13. #13
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    The neck cracking is the most beneficial thing my chiropractor does for me. Just make sure you're thorough and honest with him/her about the degree of pain you're currently in, and its nature. They'll know what to stay away from.
    Craig in Indy

  14. #14
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Chiropractors have always been hit-or-miss with me.

    Seems about half of them that I've seen think that they're going to adjust my back 3x a week and cure stuff like gastric reflux, colitis, or asthma. Or that if I just follow their 10-step program (that includes 3x/week visits to them, their nutritionist, and massage therapist) of health-and-wellness laid out in their own personal book (that I can buy for just $19.95), that it'll open up a whole new life full of energy, vigor and vim.

    I'm not saying that all chiropractors are snake oil salesmen; but it's distressing how many snake oil salesmen become chiropractors.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/...sk-vs-benefit/

    If you pain is keeping you up and making it hard to do much of anything I'd call the doctor's office today and see what they can do to help you now, rather than next week.

  16. #16
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    My chiropractor visit went well. She uses a technique that is gentle and results in few cracks and pops. There is little risk of injury that way. I slept well. This morning was rough though. I'm still not back on the bike.

    The good news: It doesn't appear to be a spine/neck issue, but more of a shoulder issue. I need to strengthen my upper body and do a lot of stretching. I'm also going to start seeing a massage therapist again.

    The bad news: There was a bike ride I wanted to do on Sunday, a 60-mile gravel ride, and I'm not going to attempt it. I'm still in pain, and I don't want to aggravate things. I'll tool around town a little tomorrow though.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    I know you said it was arthritis, but you might ask your dock if you may have a trigger point. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point)

    I've had shoulder pain since I was in college (and I"m 37 now) that was progressively getting worse as I aged. It took me awhile to find a doctor who didn't immediately try to prescribe muscle relaxers without actually feeling around. (I didn't want meds, a 12hr Aleve would knock it back sufficiently...). I finally ended up at an Internal Medicine doc who took the time to diagnose me properly.

    Biking actually helps me though ... get on my road bike and I go all snap crackle pop within 1/10 mi.

    It still hurts, but now I know what to call it.

  18. #18
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I rode a few miles on Friday night. OUCH! I'm not doing that again for a while.

    I've had a few more visits with my chiro. It's marginally useful. I'm still in too much pain to ride or exercise. I can sleep now, that's an improvement. Also, sitting at my desk at work is less painful.

    I had a doctor appointment this morning. I've been referred to a Orthopedic doctor. I'll do that tomorrow. He may suggest a huge needle in my shoulder. I'm not looking forward to that.

    I still have a massage appointment tomorrow afternoon. At least I've got that to look forward to.
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  19. #19
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoxe View Post
    Biking actually helps me though ... get on my road bike and I go all snap crackle pop within 1/10 mi.

    It still hurts, but now I know what to call it.
    Bicycling helps me with lower back pain. It just kills my shoulder though.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Have you tried a recumbent yet? If there is that much pain during your normal ride, maybe it would be worth a try.

  21. #21
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
    Have you tried a recumbent yet? If there is that much pain during your normal ride, maybe it would be worth a try.
    Yep. I've owned a recumbent (Bacchetta Agio) for almost three years. I rode it once last week. It still hurts. Driving a car hurts.

    Once things improve a bit, I'll be riding the 'bent for a while before risking the upright bikes again.
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  22. #22
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    The ortho appointment went well. No needles

    I had an MRI and "nerve test" this morning. It was a great way to spend a morning... and $1100.

    Strangely, I was feeling better this evening, so I put in about 13.5 miles on the 'bent. It still hurt, but was bearable.
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  23. #23
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I dropped the 'bent off at the shop for some brake work, so I don't have it to ride currently.

    I mowed the lawn yesterday (push mower), ugh, it hurt. I rode to work today on the single-speed. That was horrible. I'll have my wife pick me up after work.

    Hopefully I'll hear back from the ortho today about my test results.
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  24. #24
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I saw my ortho yesterday. I have a bone spur and a disc issue. The doctor was less than helpful in telling me exactly what was wrong, but that's okay, I'm not going back to him.

    He was clear with where I'm going from here.

    Short-term, I'm getting a epidural in the neck. That doesn't even sound fun. It could temporarily provide relief.

    In about a month, I'll have an appointment with a neurosurgeon. Yes, I'm heading toward surgery.

    I'm glad that I'm a year-round bike rider, otherwise I'd be done for the "season". With luck I'll be gearing up for longer rides again in the fall. In the mean time, I'm riding very little. I think I can ride the 'bent on my good days. On my bad days I stay in bed.
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  25. #25
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    What's your specific disc issue?

    About three years ago I had excruciating pain in my right arm, accompanied by numb spots on the skin near the elbow and at a couple of places on my hand. The pain was awful, and there was literally no posture - sitting, standing or lying down - that helped. I lost a lot of sleep. After X-rays and an MRI it was determined I had a cervical disc "protrusion," which they told me was the precursor to a herniation. No one knows why it happened the first time, but it came back a year or so later when I was installing a tile backsplash in our kitchen, craning my neck upwards to work under the wall cabinets. In both cases, it subsided on its own, though it took a good 6-8 weeks or so each time. Now I'm real careful about putting my head in that posture for long periods, which is why I'm buying my new bike from a shop that does ultra-thorough fitting. FWIW, the neurosurgeon I saw said they could operate (going in from the front, oddly enough) but he prefers that as a last resort. He said if it happens again, we'll try some traction devices, and failing that they'll go in. Luckily, it hasn't happened again in over 2 years now.

    BTW, if anyone from the health insurance industry is reading this thread, the preceding paragraph is entirely fictional.
    Craig in Indy

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