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  1. #1
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    Injuries and the decision to tour

    I'm guessing there are quite a few people here who have put a big tour on the calendar months ahead of time, then experienced some sort of injury in the days/weeks prior to the tour start.

    We've been planning a Northern Tier tour for several months. Within the past few weeks, I've had trouble with my knee. Went to an orthopedic doc to make sure it's not anything structural. (It's not...he says Iliotibial band syndrome.)

    The question is how do you make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the tour? Or is it even possible for the decision to be informed? Play it safe and cancel/postpone the trip of a lifetime, or take the risk that you'll start the tour and have to stop?

    Any experiences to share?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I think in your case that your doctor should be able to tell you if cycling will aggravate your condition. If not, then you need to get cycling both to get fit and to see if you really will be OK on tour.

    A back injury I sustained falling on the GDMBR last summer dogged me from Yellowstone to Antelope Wells, and an injured achilles heel continued to pester me for 6 months after the tour was over. Injuries, sustained either before or during one's trip can definitely affect the level of one's comfort.

    This year I had to postphone my trip (San Diego - Vancouver - San Diego) due to surgery (and the Gordo slide), but I have the flexibility to wait: conditions will be better later anyway. But I'm anxious to get going. My doctor knows my plans and used thicker sutures when he sewed me up. I'll be back on the bike tomorrow, seven days after surgery.

  3. #3
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    With ITBS take at least 2 weeks of not even thinking about getting on your bike, and stretch it out a lot. Get physical therapy if you can, it will help. ITBS is a repetitive use injury so you really have to just stop using it. Also, when you start going again, don't hop right in to long days in the saddle, start slowly and build up the miles. I've found that for me it is really aggravated if I point my toes too far inwards when I'm on the bike, but obviously this might be different for you.

  4. #4
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    @pardonme- may I ask what symptoms you've experienced with your ITBS?

  5. #5
    Here's a Quarter... trafficcasauras's Avatar
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    i let pain go until i hurt my wrists and basically couldn't do anything. now i got rid of my sporty stuff and got a cruiser with easy gear(s). now i've decided to let my knees and some other muscles heal, cuz my wrist won't be back to normal for a year probably.

  6. #6
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    Taking proteolytic enzymes on an empty stomach 3 times a day will heal you up very fast. I use Nature's Plus "Ultra InflamActin". Personal experience, here. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Two days before my recent tour to the UK, I heard a pop in my right elbow and felt pain. There wasn't time to see a doc and get treated and too late to call off so much planning. I went anyway.

    The main pain came when I tried to lift things with my right elbow bent but didn't seem to affect brake squeezing. I tried hard not to do much lifting with my right arm but every day felt the searing pain from doing something my elbow didn't like.

    I'm now back home and have seen an orthopedist. He quickly diagnosed Tennis Elbow and gave me some directions to be followed for three weeks. After that, we'll see if it has healed or if other steps need to be done. He said I could still ride a bike but that going on tour should wait. Luckily, I don't have another tour planned in the near future.

    Would my elbow have been healed by now if I'd not gone on tour? I don't know. Was I able to tour with the injury? Yes. Did I do further damage to it by touring? I don't know, but while it isn't better; it isn't worse, either.

    YMMV,

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    chrisenter, Somewhere I read of a rider with ITBS and that cyclist was advised to raise his/her saddle to lesson the knee's angle at TDC of the pedal stroke. Maybe total BS, I don't know.

    Brad

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisenter View Post
    @pardonme- may I ask what symptoms you've experienced with your ITBS?
    I get mine as an acute pain on the outside of my knee where the band inserts. The doctors seem to tell me its partially b/c of my tight hamstrings and not having enough strength in my hip abductors and adductors so I try to stretch out my hips too when it starts coming back or I'm training hard.

  10. #10
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisenter View Post
    take the risk that you'll start the tour and have to stop?
    take the risk - have a 2nd plan.

    I had to use the 2nd plan quite often (but only once there I took the risk)
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

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