Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Advice on When to Ride after Concussion

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Advice on When to Ride after Concussion

Old 09-16-17, 02:02 PM
  #1  
HighCountryBike
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Advice on When to Ride after Concussion

I crashed on my road bike about a month ago and sustained a concussion, though no permanent brain damage or bruising according to the scans. The neurologist told me to stay off the bike for two months. But a month out, I'm not feeling symptoms from the concussion anymore - and the cyclists I know who've had concussions did not have to stay off the bike this long.

Asking this feels dumb, since obviously the neurologist is the expert. But what do you all think? I'm itching to get back out there!
HighCountryBike is offline  
Old 09-16-17, 02:05 PM
  #2  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,955

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12808 Post(s)
Liked 1,792 Times in 951 Posts
Ride the trainer for another month. Listen to the neurologist.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 09-16-17, 02:37 PM
  #3  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,172
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1810 Post(s)
Liked 1,182 Times in 672 Posts
Originally Posted by HighCountryBike View Post
Asking this feels dumb, since obviously the neurologist is the expert.
Yes.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 09-16-17, 05:40 PM
  #4  
DXchulo
Upgrading my engine
 
DXchulo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alamogordo
Posts: 6,208
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HighCountryBike View Post
The neurologist told me to stay off the bike for two months. But a month out, I'm not feeling symptoms from the concussion anymore - and the cyclists I know who've had concussions did not have to stay off the bike this long.


First, just because you aren't feeling symptoms may not necessarily mean you're out of the woods. You know all those crappy, bumpy roads out there? Who's to say those won't be an issue for you? What if your decision making is still a little messed up or your reaction time is a little slower? That could lead to a crash. I'm guessing a crash right now would be worse for you than the same crash before the concussion.


Second, it's not always good to compare yourself to others. I'm willing to bet that no 2 concussions are the same. Even if they were and you just have a more conservative doctor or something, it still makes sense to listen. There's just so much we don't know about concussions. It's not like a broken bone where you can kind of feel it out and try to listen to your body. Your mind, even in its most healthy state, can play all kinds of tricks on you.


Trying to save a month now could cost you extra months in the future. That's the way I'd try to look at it. (Easier said than done, I know.)
DXchulo is offline  
Old 09-16-17, 09:32 PM
  #5  
pvillemasher
Senior Member
 
pvillemasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Austin Texas USA
Posts: 343

Bikes: 1989 Trek 400, 2000 Lemond Buenos Aires, 2013 GT Attack, 2017 Lynskey R250

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by HighCountryBike View Post
I crashed on my road bike about a month ago and sustained a concussion, though no permanent brain damage or bruising according to the scans. The neurologist told me to stay off the bike for two months.
I'd probably wait, oh I dunno, maybe a couple of months.
pvillemasher is offline  
Old 09-17-17, 04:59 PM
  #6  
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Posts: 12,737

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1990 Gardin Shred, 2006 Bianchi San Jose

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Ask Saul Raisin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Raisin
__________________
Bicycle Pictures
bbattle is offline  
Old 09-17-17, 05:15 PM
  #7  
seedsbelize 
smelling the roses
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Posts: 14,082

Bikes: 79 Trek 930, 80 Trek 414, 84 Schwinn Letour Luxe (coupled), 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6337 Post(s)
Liked 587 Times in 390 Posts
I stayed off for 5 weeks, after my recent concussion, without advice from the neurologist. It's a tricky thing, and I agree with datlas, do the trainer for awhile. When I first got back on, I couldn't get my heartrate up without getting a headache emanating from the contact point.
__________________
Well look what the cat dragged in. Such a fine addition to the thread





seedsbelize is offline  
Old 09-18-17, 02:26 PM
  #8  
kraftwerk 
my nice bike is at home
 
kraftwerk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 843

Bikes: 2011 BMC Race Machine / Trek 2300 / 90's Merlin/ 70's Raleigh 20/ Ti-'swift' folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I suffered a concussion a few years ago. Was knocked out, ALL THE WAY out. I don't remember the accident or several days following. A whole week of my life is gone, besides about five or ten minutes of being in the hospital. I slept a lot. My G/f tells me when I woke up I would ask the Doctors where my bike was and if my dog could come visit me. Since severity of head injuries differ from person to person, (duh) no one can answer this question for you, a good neurologist will usually err on the side of safety. I felt that particular recovery, head injury, comes really slowly, slower even than a broken bone but actually you can't even compare such things. I would rather break ANY bone than break my head I can tell you that. I remember when I drove for the first time 2.5 hrs and it was really difficult to maintain concentration. I Thought I was fully recovered but wasn't. Earlier, on my first bike ride after getting out of the hospital I was punched in the face by an angry driver. ( I am juts lucky that way.)
So, go really easy at first and maybe don't ride where traffic is a concern. That's the best advice I can give you. Oh yeah, and wear a helmet, a brand new one.
__________________
BMC's Race Machine & Team Machine / "White Lable" Rossin Record / 80's Pinarello Traviso / Merlin MTB / Raleigh Folding 20 / Trek's: 2300,1200,800

Last edited by kraftwerk; 09-18-17 at 09:23 PM.
kraftwerk is offline  
Old 09-18-17, 08:30 PM
  #9  
Ramona_W
Casually Deliberate
 
Ramona_W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Should have made a left turn near Albuquerque.
Posts: 4,450

Bikes: 1995 Trek 820, 1994 Trek 930 (project), 1/2 of a 1980s Colin Laing tandem

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1163 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by kraftwerk View Post
I suffered a concussion a few years ago. Was knocked out, ALL THE WAY out. I don't remember the accident or a whole week of my life besides about five or ten minutes of being in the hospital. I slept a lot. My G/f tells me when I woke up I would ask the Doctors where my bike was and if my dog could come visit me. Since severity of head injuries differ from person to person, (duh) no one can answer this question for you, a good neurologist will usually err on the side of safety. I felt that particular recovery, head injury, comes really slowly, slower even than a broken bone but actually you can't even compare such things. I would rather break ANY bone than break my head I can tell you that. I remember when I drove for the first time 2.5 hrs and it was really difficult to maintain concentration. It Thought I was fully recovered but wasn't. Earlier, on my first bike ride after getting out of the hospital I was punched in the face by an angry driver. ( I am juts lucky that way.)
So, go really easy at first and maybe don't ride where traffic is a concern. That's the best advice I can give you. Oh yeah, and wear a helmet, a brand new one.
Holy cow! I hope things went better on your next ride and the ones after that. Did getting punched have to do with riding after your concussion?
Ramona_W is offline  
Old 09-18-17, 09:21 PM
  #10  
kraftwerk 
my nice bike is at home
 
kraftwerk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 843

Bikes: 2011 BMC Race Machine / Trek 2300 / 90's Merlin/ 70's Raleigh 20/ Ti-'swift' folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Ramona. Yeah, ever single ride after that has been great and continues to be, thankfully.

I did make a thread about that incident way back when:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...oing-okay.html
__________________
BMC's Race Machine & Team Machine / "White Lable" Rossin Record / 80's Pinarello Traviso / Merlin MTB / Raleigh Folding 20 / Trek's: 2300,1200,800
kraftwerk is offline  
Old 09-18-17, 11:26 PM
  #11  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 18,922

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 259 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18667 Post(s)
Liked 2,187 Times in 1,609 Posts
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Ride the trainer for another month. Listen to the neurologist.
...pfffft, doctors. What do they know ?
3alarmer is offline  
Old 09-18-17, 11:29 PM
  #12  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 18,922

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 259 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18667 Post(s)
Liked 2,187 Times in 1,609 Posts
Originally Posted by HighCountryBike View Post
But what do you all think? I'm itching to get back out there!
...you need to broaden your exercise options, man. There's a whole world of other aerobic adventure just waiting for you.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 12:30 AM
  #13  
Fox Farm
Senior Member
 
Fox Farm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Posts: 2,652

Bikes: Merlin Extra Light, Orbea Orca, Ritchey Outback,Tomac Revolver Mountain Bike, Cannondale Crit 3.0 now used for time trials.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 16 Posts
I had a very very minor one where I did not hit my head (not a scratch on the helmet) but the side of my chin. Sort of like getting punched in the face hard. Front wheel caught a tram track and I went down fast and hard. Got up, bike was ok and started to ride. About 5 minutes later I was not sure where I was, which direction I was suppose to ride, etc. Got off of the bike and realized that this was new territory! So I started to walk in what I thought was the direction of home with the bike (this was in the city) and within 5 minutes it all came back to me - where and how the crash took place. I had no dizziness or head ache or typical symptoms. I stayed off the bike for about one or two weeks. For the OP, if you close your eyes and shake your head quickly, do you feel at all dizzy? If so, that is a good reason to take as much time as you need to heal.
Fox Farm is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 02:53 AM
  #14  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 12,268

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 142 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5880 Post(s)
Liked 568 Times in 346 Posts
My doctor told me that to test if I had recovered from a concussion I should shake my head as violently and forcefully as possible.

If afterwards I felt a lot of pain and nausea and a desire to sleep, I still had a concussion
Maelochs is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 03:46 AM
  #15  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Because most of us are qualified doctors on the internet, my advice is...if seeing more than double, either cover one eye or stay on the sidewalk. Keep in mind, many believe bicycles are toys and shouldn't be on the road with cars.
Feel better soon.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 05:30 AM
  #16  
ReneV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 201

Bikes: FM098-V2, '16 Synapse

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It may be worth mentioning that the possible effects of overdoing it before your brain has recovered include life-long headaches and a chronic inability to concentrate fully.
ReneV is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 05:45 AM
  #17  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post
It may be worth mentioning that the possible effects of overdoing it before your brain has recovered include life-long headaches and a chronic inability to concentrate fully.
True which plays into my advice about covering one eye if seeing double. Instinctively we ride slower and exert ourselves less if we don't see fully. Win/win.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 06:27 AM
  #18  
Jakedatc
Senior Member
 
Jakedatc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 3,054
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Going back to activity can definitely cause symptoms to return.. you need to ramp up slow.

When I was an athletic trainer this is the protocol we would follow from the NCAA:

" Once a concussed student-athlete has returned to baseline level of symptoms, cognitive function and balance, then the return-to-play progression can be initiated, as follows in this general outline:

Light aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming or riding a stationary bike. No resistance training.

If asymptomatic with light aerobic exercise, then;
Sport-specific activity with no head impact.

If asymptomatic with sport-specific activity, then;
Non-contact sport drills and resumption of progressive resistance training.

If asymptomatic with non-contact drills and resistance training, then;
Unrestricted training.

If asymptomatic with unrestricted training, then;
Return-to-competition. Medical clearance will be determined by the team physician/physician designee, or athletic trainer in consultation with a team physician.

At any point, if the student-athlete becomes symptomatic (i.e., more symptomatic than baseline), or scores on clinical/cognitive measures decline, the team physician should be notified and the student-athlete should be returned to the previous level of activity. "

Concussion Diagnosis and Management Best Practices | NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA
Jakedatc is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 06:35 AM
  #19  
motosonic
Senior Member
 
motosonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 630
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Having been in this position before, I know what you're going through. I worked with my PcP to ensure I was ready to even attempt to ride again. Luckily my crash happened at the end of the riding season here, so it gave me time to recover and get well. It was only a couple of months, but the doc ran some simple tests on me and then told me to start slowly and move up from there. The important thing was for my PcP to be sure there were no lingering symptoms, so if you go this route, be honest with your PcP about anything you're feeling, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, etc.
motosonic is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 07:01 AM
  #20  
Ilbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Small town Illinois
Posts: 138

Bikes: 2016 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport 2021 Trek Domane SL6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 10 Posts
Listen to your neurologist, he's the expert. Still baffled why folks continue to seek medical advice online from a bunch of strangers. Doesn't matter what I or anyone would do, this is all about what's best for you. Plus, you answered your own question. I have back problems and follow my orthopedist's course of treatment, not what anyone else thinks I should do.
Ilbiker is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 09:09 AM
  #21  
seedsbelize 
smelling the roses
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Posts: 14,082

Bikes: 79 Trek 930, 80 Trek 414, 84 Schwinn Letour Luxe (coupled), 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6337 Post(s)
Liked 587 Times in 390 Posts
Originally Posted by HighCountryBike View Post
I crashed on my road bike about a month ago and sustained a concussion, though no permanent brain damage or bruising according to the scans. The neurologist told me to stay off the bike for two months. But a month out, I'm not feeling symptoms from the concussion anymore - and the cyclists I know who've had concussions did not have to stay off the bike this long.

Asking this feels dumb, since obviously the neurologist is the expert. But what do you all think? I'm itching to get back out there!
After reading the rest of the thread....I took me quite a while to realize I couldn't treat the concussion like just another injury--a minor inconvenience. It is a long, slow healing process.
__________________
Well look what the cat dragged in. Such a fine addition to the thread





seedsbelize is offline  
Old 09-21-17, 12:11 AM
  #22  
a1penguin
Senior Member
 
a1penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 3,186
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
After reading the rest of the thread....I took me quite a while to realize I couldn't treat the concussion like just another injury--a minor inconvenience. It is a long, slow healing process.
^^^ This. A coworker had a bad motorcyle accident. He didn't remember anything and the police report was terrifying. He was lucky and only got a broken wrist and a concussion. It was 2-3 months before he got the nod to exercise again, but he can't have alcohol for a year!

Given all the recent news about concussions and how little is known, I would err on the side of caution to avoid any lifelong issues. Penny wise, pound foolish!
a1penguin is offline  
Old 09-21-17, 12:54 AM
  #23  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,692

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 184 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3712 Post(s)
Liked 1,316 Times in 866 Posts
This -- what @Jakedatc wrote.

My primary sports experience was boxing and I've seen a lot of concussions. There are telltale signs, but it helps to have an independent, preferably object and independent observer.

If you decide to ride sooner than recommended stick to smooth pavement and avoid rough stuff like chipseal and striated concrete that jostle the head and neck. Watch for little things like losing concentration, missing turns on familiar routes, forgetting to set your phone or bike computer if you usually use cycling apps/devices, etc.

Those seemingly little things can too-easily lead to near misses or collisions in traffic. If your concentration and focus aren't 100%, take more time to recover. Train at home or in the gym.

Also watch for dizziness, unusual drowsiness, nausea, headaches, etc. All the same stuff your medical pros already mentioned. Ditto, even if this occurs during indoor training at home or in the gym. If these symptoms persist get to an ER ASAP. Don't shrug it off claiming "I'm okay, I'll be fine" etc. If you're irritable or unreasonable, your family/friends show know that's a sure sign of risk and should override your protestations. That's what happened after actress Natasha Richardson (wife of actor Liam Neeson) had a seemingly minor fall and head impact while skiing. She died of epidural hematoma at age 45.

Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
Going back to activity can definitely cause symptoms to return.. you need to ramp up slow.

When I was an athletic trainer this is the protocol we would follow from the NCAA:

" Once a concussed student-athlete has returned to baseline level of symptoms, cognitive function and balance, then the return-to-play progression can be initiated, as follows in this general outline:

Light aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming or riding a stationary bike. No resistance training.

If asymptomatic with light aerobic exercise, then;
Sport-specific activity with no head impact.

If asymptomatic with sport-specific activity, then;
Non-contact sport drills and resumption of progressive resistance training.

If asymptomatic with non-contact drills and resistance training, then;
Unrestricted training.

If asymptomatic with unrestricted training, then;
Return-to-competition. Medical clearance will be determined by the team physician/physician designee, or athletic trainer in consultation with a team physician.

At any point, if the student-athlete becomes symptomatic (i.e., more symptomatic than baseline), or scores on clinical/cognitive measures decline, the team physician should be notified and the student-athlete should be returned to the previous level of activity. "

Concussion Diagnosis and Management Best Practices | NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA
canklecat is online now  
Old 09-21-17, 01:24 AM
  #24  
ooga-booga
lead on, macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: san diego (uni/normal heights), california
Posts: 5,349

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 734 Post(s)
Liked 591 Times in 327 Posts
concussions are like children. they're all a little different. if i had listened to
my neurologist 10 years ago, i'd be sitting on the couch watching netflix or the like the rest of my life. some people just aren't geared towards/don't understand active vs a passive life. both have their risk/reward. what's your choice? mine is an active life.
ooga-booga is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HollowZer0
Mountain Biking
11
04-17-18 02:09 PM
jdcowboy
General Cycling Discussion
7
10-30-17 07:18 PM
floridamtb
Road Cycling
20
08-21-15 02:18 PM
Yankeetowner
Road Cycling
23
08-09-15 07:49 AM
spessx
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
17
04-28-11 07:29 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.