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cycling related overuse injuries question

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cycling related overuse injuries question

Old 11-05-18, 05:51 PM
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pistach.io
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cycling related overuse injuries question

Hi, I'm new here and if this is not the right forum feel free to (re)move. I couldn't find a health related forum here.

I'm currently suffering with some long term shoulder/arm pain and neck strain. All the referred pain seems to be coming from the scalenes. I suspect cycling on a touring bike and commuter that are too long for me is partly to blame. I have a team of "specialists" working on this, all telling me slightly different things (from the massage the******, to the chiro, to the physio), regarding the exact origin of the pain. I've had xrays done without really giving any indication what could be wrong structurally so I'm resigned to think it's myofascial pain. Massage and chiro haven't helped much so far.

I had a bike fit done recently on my touring bike and it did turn out that I was pretty stretched over it in order to sit on my hoods.Should have done it a lot sooner. I'm 5'3, so I should have been more vigilant. Despite riding a small japanese touring bike I think it's still made for someone with a longer torso.

I'm currently taking it easy as per my physio recommendation and just doing range of motion movements after my chiro's exercises left me in more pain. I'm not in a position yet to start strength training but if folks have some insight there that would be appreciated as well.

Anybody have similar experiences on and off the bike? I'm wondering how common this is, and I'm dying to get back on my bike, but whenever I do I'm in more pain after. I can tolerate less and less time riding.
Any advice, experiences, recommendations would be greatly appreciated
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Old 11-05-18, 06:40 PM
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I wish I could help but I am in much the same situation as you. About 12 months ago had numbness in my shoulder when riding or just looking upwards, went to my doctor and got a CT scan and he said my only option was surgery. I didn't think neck surgery at my age(42) was a good idea so went to a physiothe****** to get his opinion. He said that I didn't need surgery and proceeded to try and loosen my neck and upper traps with massage and dry needling. After two months the numbness had gone away but I was left with a slight burning sensation along my upper trap into my shoulder. The pain seemed to me be nerve related but he assured me it was entirely muscular so I continued with his treatment. After another six months of fluctuating symptoms and no improvement I decided to see a different physio.

The new physio immediately said my problem was a neural impingement and gave me exercises to increase thoracic mobility and improve posture. After some initial improvement symptoms worsened and she referred me to a sports doctor. The sports doctor looked at the CT scan and said there is nothing structurally wrong with my neck! Although I was relieved to hear this it didn't really help me with the problems i was experiencing. So I'm working with the new physio now and treating this as a muscular problem again. I really hope it improves soon as I've been off the bike for 12 months now and lost a lot of strength/fitness.

I'm sorry I can't be of much help but just thought I would relay my experiences. Get well soon.
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Old 11-06-18, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for sharing! Jaysus, that sounds like some journey. I honestly don't want to let it get to that. An MRI would have located the neural impingement, if there is one in the thoracic outlet. Keep digging for sure. It's one of the most annoying things that's ever happened to me. It's not completely debilitating but it's bad enough to stop activity, like riding, because said activity also aggravates it, without really knowing if that was the original cause. Posturally and ergonomically a lot of things were not right in my life, from my bike to my desk at work, which I've also finally been fitted to.My doctor is referring me to a nerve conduction studies to find a potential impingement. He won't send me to an MRI before that. He only did xrays which obviously don't show anything wrong bone wise, other than calcification in the shoulder joint. What my chiro and the physio have in common is that both think the neck is the culprit. How to fix myofascial pain in the neck I haven't heard any consensus on yet. I'm doing exercises erring on the side of caution after things got really messed up a couple of weeks ago.

Have you done nerve gliders? They helped alleviate the symptoms in my arm (tingling, burning, shooting pain between elbow and wrist), if you're getting referred pain that looks like it's from a neural impingement.
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Old 11-08-18, 06:10 AM
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I'm no doctor by any means but have had shoulder problems on and off for quite a while and have learnt to try and analyse what's aggravating it rather than just looking for a fix.

Has the issue only been since you started cycling or were you cycling for many years without any problems before it started ... what happens if you take a break from cycling for a few weeks does it settle down or is it still bad ... if it settles down I'm not sure how much adjustment they made at your bike fit and if they believe it's now "perfect" or if you should really have a size smaller.

If it is the cycling that's causing it are you riding a drop bar bike, if so would you consider a flat bar bike rather than suffering the pain if it helped but meant you could continue cycling painfree.

I found 2 things really aggravate mine ....one is drumming and I haven't been able to find a way to stop it so have to severely limit how much I play and the other I believe is how I sleep on the shoulder and have changed where I put my right arm and always make sure I have adequate cushioning between the side of my head resting on my arm / shoulder when sleeping or try and avoid it altogether.
Many years ago I had an absolutely terrible wrist to the extent I was struggling to pick things up and couldn't work out what was causing it was for ages (nor could the doctors), eventually I realised I used to bend my hand over and put it under my chin / head when in bed / asleep and relax onto it applying pressure to bend it beyond it's natural stopping point ... the minute I worked it out it went away within 2 weeks ... it returned several years later but I realised I'd subconsciously gone back to my old sleeping habits ... As soon as I became conscious of this it went within days.
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