Bent Back



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Danny Colyer

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Without wishing to appear as a recumbent evangelist, I thought I'd relate how riding a bent seems to
have greatly aided my recovery from a back injury over the last few days.

First, some history. I first became interested in recumbents around the same time as I injured my
back playing judo (I can't remember whether it was before or after, but 1994 anyway). Because the
injury manifested itself as sciatica, and because neither I nor my GP was aware at the time that a
pain at the back of the leg could indicate a back injury, it didn't get appropriate treatment until
the GP went on maternity leave and I saw a locum.

I was unable to ride an upright bike for some time, though unicycling helped. Eventually I managed
to build up to a 28 mile bike ride (coincidentally that was to Future Cycles and back, to look at
recumbents). Following that ride (18 months after the original injury) I woke up unable to move -
suspected prolapsed disk in the lumbar region.

After 5 weeks of physiotherapy, I was grudgingly allowed back on the bike. I also took up
gymnastics, which worked wonders for the strength and flexibility of my back. Eventually I was able
to go on long rides again, though I have never since been able to ride much more than 60 miles on an
upright bike without discomfort.

Anyway, thanks to care and exercise I have had no significant back pain since 1996. I've had the odd
twinge, but those have been much less frequent since I started riding the Street Machine 2 1/2 years
ago. Until Thursday evening.

On Thursday evening I found myself in great pain. On Friday morning it was touch and go whether I'd
be able to get my socks on. If I hadn't had a recumbent available, I wouldn't have been able to get
to work. But actually riding the recumbent made my back feel better by the time I got to work than
it probably would have done otherwise. Riding home improved my back further still.

We had planned a family ride on Saturday, but I wasn't sure on Friday evening whether I'd be up to
towing a trailer. Saturday morning I was still very stiff, but decided I could do it as long as I
didn't have to lift anything. Although I wouldn't have been able to ride an upright, every mile on
the bent seemed to improve my back. 24 miles later I arrived home with no back pain, although still
stiffer than usual.

And this morning I didn't even have any difficulty getting out of bed. I'm still not back to full
flexibility, but I feel a lot better than I think I'd have felt if I hadn't ridden the Street
Machine over the last couple of days.

OTOH, I'm still not sure what I did to my back on Thursday but my best guess is that I picked my
bike up badly after fixing a puncture. So it's quite possible that the latest injury might never
have happened if I'd been riding a lighter upright bike :-/

--
Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
Thomas Paine
 
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Dave Larrington

Guest
I put mine out last September and was off work for a week, but found that the seat of Cosimo the
Stealth Baron did wonders for the pain. I even managed a race when scarcely capable of lifting the
bike into the car...

Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
===========================================================
Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
===========================================================
 
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Kit Wolf

Guest
I hit a mega-pothole cycling round a park last year, and was deposited on my backside. I couldn't
sit down comfortably for a week... except on the recumbent.

Kit

On Mon, 09 Jun 2003 12:13:54 +0100, Dave Larrington wrote:

> I put mine out last September and was off work for a week, but found that the seat of Cosimo the
> Stealth Baron did wonders for the pain. I even managed a race when scarcely capable of lifting the
> bike into the car...
>
> Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
> ===========================================================
> Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
> http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
> ===========================================================
 

Seamus

New Member
Mar 24, 2003
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I normally ride a Challenge Mistral but at the weekend went out on my Moulton APB, riding on bridleways and a canal towpath and before I got home both my arms were aching, presumably from having to support a share of my upper body weight, not an issue on a recumbent.
 
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