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Old 06-02-11, 08:01 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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Off the bike for a while. Again.

My doctor called me back in because I'm still having issues from my fall 5 weeks ago.
He felt it needed a more expert eye and sent me to an orthopedist. Saw him today
Pretty cool guy and he specializes in sports medicine.
Maybe because my doc knows I'm an avid cyclist?
Got some xrays took [sic]... I'm looking at them as he walks in for the consultation.
"My spine's got quite a curve, there", I say
He replies, "Yes... and you weren't born with that curve. That's from your fall"

Yikes!

Well, it's not all bad... muscle spasms. Serious enough to pull my spine in an "S"
The other news is a little more worrisome. I'm developing a touch of arthritis in my right hip and I have compressed L5-S1 disk. Because of that, it would have a bulge anyway but now it's inflamed enough to press on my sciatic nerve. All of it should be treatable. Took a freakin' HUGE needle ful of 'roids in my back plus got a week's worth to take home with me. AND... some Flexiril; basically, Valum.

I told him I wanted back on my now, like, now and asked if it was ruled out.
Really, I pretty good stretched out on a ride. Sure hurts after I get home, though.

He doesn't think I can do any damage and it probably does feel good so, sure, go ahead and ride... but not while I'm taking the Flexiril Seriously, that means another 3 or 4 or 5 days off the bike and that's on top of the week I've already laid off <sigh>. I'll never find a rhythm this year.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:19 PM   #2
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SKT, get well soon and don't rush to get on the bike, despite the urge. You don't want to make it worse. But then, you know that.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:54 PM   #3
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Curved? Which direction, to the side like scoliosis or front to back?
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Old 06-02-11, 09:41 PM   #4
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SKT, get well soon and don't rush to get on the bike, despite the urge. You don't want to make it worse. But then, you know that.
I do, yes, and this is still excellent advice.
Remember though, he just said to lay off until I'm finished with the Flexiril, other than that, there's no real harm. I'm still in no real hurry.

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Curved? Which direction, to the side like scoliosis or front to back?
Scoliosis. Curving to the right. And rather dramatically. It's kind of a scary thought.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:03 PM   #5
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Curving to the right. And rather dramatically. It's kind of a scary thought.
So you vote Tea Party? That's not so scary.
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Old 06-03-11, 03:11 AM   #6
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So you vote Tea Party? That's not so scary.
Oh, believe me, that'll never happen.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:33 AM   #7
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Sorry for your setbacks, but at least you now have a better idea what's going on and the outlook is good. Patience is hard, but it is what it takes. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:29 AM   #8
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Good luck man.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:41 AM   #9
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That bike riding (after the Flexaril) will be good for your back - stretch it out, especially if you are on a road bike.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:58 AM   #10
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Maybe a little yoga or some other stretching routine?
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Old 06-03-11, 08:05 AM   #11
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My wife suffers from the same issue of muscle spasms playing havoc with her spine. She's not one who does well on medications that would help. So, the weekly massages and long, long hot showers tend to provide the most relief.

Good luck with your efforts to get things under control.
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Old 06-03-11, 01:34 PM   #12
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Setbacks are there to slow you down. You have a problem and you now know what it is. Take the enforced rest and as the doc has said it is OK- get back on the bike asap. Much as it may dismay you- get the bike loaded into the car and get some "Flat(ter)" miles in for your first few rides. I know they are boring but come back gently.
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Old 06-03-11, 03:30 PM   #13
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It seems like we have one setback after another, as we age. Good luck on your recovery.
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Old 06-03-11, 03:35 PM   #14
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It seems like we have one setback after another, as we age. Good luck on your recovery.
Isn't that the truth!! It seems I am always one thing or something other.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:31 PM   #15
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SKT,

Focus on the good news. Your doc said you can ride once you finish the medication. That's great! Follow his advice and come back slowly and gradually. Don't take chances with your spine. I have a sister who severely injured a number of disks in her back a few years ago, and it has greatly diminished her quality of life. Good luck!
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Old 06-03-11, 06:56 PM   #16
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Thanks all and I hear you. I rode a bit after the bruising was gone and as the warpage set in. This, I'm guessing, is the root of the discomfort I felt on the recovery ride after my "failed" climb. So, until the sciatica is gone, I'm staying put. This weekend is out; it's supposed to pour on Saturday (in freakin' JUNE?) and that's fine. When I can walk my pace at comfort, I'll know it's time to ride. The doctor advised that, once I'm off the Flexiril, I can decide when I'm ready and the stretching would be a good thing. I can confirm that. I've felt pretty good on the bike the last couple of times out but really ached when I got back home.
Denver says, ride on the Flexiril... good advice, no question, but I'm pretty wobbly on this stuff and I know my limits.
I'm motivated but I am not stupid. Well, not usually... I mean, I *did* slip and fall on the stairs, now, didn't I?

I've been living with this disk since, at least my teen years and it's most likely congenital (as opposed to my temporary scoliosis, which is not).
Just right now, it's getting squeezed and so am I. This is not my first bout of sciatica but they are few and far between.
Man, aren't we complicated pieces of machinery?
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Old 06-03-11, 07:21 PM   #17
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I think you misread my post. I said "ride after the Flexaril" - I meant after you finished the Flexaril treatment, period, and were no longer taking it. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 06-03-11, 09:51 PM   #18
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It is frustrating. But I have found when I have had (occasional) back issues, that riding a bicycle is almost pain-free when walking is agony. So your metric of walking at your usual pace may not be the best measure in this case.

I am not sure why riding a bike should present less pain, but I am not the only one to feel this. patentcad's story is much like this, too, plus others I have talked to in person.
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Old 06-04-11, 12:21 AM   #19
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I am not sure why riding a bike should present less pain, but I am not the only one to feel this. patentcad's story is much like this, too, plus others I have talked to in person.
Does depend on the bike but when standing- walking or riding in an upright position- Weight is put onto the vertebrae and discs so if there is a problem then it will be aggravated. Road bikes and you have a longer lower position of the spine and any weight bearing is NOT vertical. For some of us that longer lower position has to be found but I know in my case I set my first road bike up to be with the bars level with the saddle. That coupled with a shorter reach than I required did cause some back pain. This was rectified on the next bike with a longer reach to the bars and the saddle 4" higher than the bars. Works for me.
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Old 06-04-11, 07:07 AM   #20
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It's always a huge help to have a doctor that understands the need to exercise, whether it's cycling, running, swimming, aerobics, etc. I've heard of too many people in our age group, with primary care doctors who seem to enjoy saying "At your age, you shouldn't be doing...." Time for a new doc if I hear that.
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