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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 10-24-12, 08:51 AM   #1
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Cervical Spine Injury

Good morning all!

I'm hoping someone can help me with suggestions for a bicycle type for my wife. There seems to be good and bad with every option, so I'm hoping that someone has some real world experience and can shed some light on what has worked for them.

First off... her injury: She had 2 herniated discs at C4-C5-C6. They were treated with rest, muscle relaxers, pain killers, and epidural steroid injections... no surgery. Prior to the injury, she was VERY active. She taught yoga, pilates, and kickboxing... and she was a runner.

Bicycling will be new for her. She needs low-impact exercise.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Road bike: The more "horizontal" position of the spine would lessen compression of the discs, and would help strengthen the upper back. But it might be painful, as the neck would spend a lot of time flexed back.

2. Hybrid: More upright, less flexing of the neck, but possibly more compression of the spine.

3. Recumbent: Most relaxed back position, but also most upright as well. Also least likely to develop the shoulder/upper back muscles.

Am I missing any other options? Anyone with this experience that can shed some light on my choices?

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