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CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS

  Last updated: 1/15/2012

Breaks, Sprains, and Joint Pains


REST VERSUS ACTIVITY

As a general rule, if you can continue your activity of choice without an increase in pain, then continue to be active. However, if you experience increased pain as you return to your workout routine, you are better to leave that activity out. In addition to rest, ice (for up to 20mins) and mild compression (if there is some swelling) can be helpful (RICE).

HEAT VERSUS COLD

In making a decision for heat versus cold, the duration of the injury needs consideration. Was it a sudden injury, something you remember happening (acute) or was it a gradual increase of discomfort over time (chronic).

FIRST AID IDEAS

CLAVICLE

The collarbone is one of the few bones which will fail to heal if not allowed to set properly.

Treatment depends on the type of fracture. With a greenstick or hairline, one can forgo a figure-8 brace as long as the rider is careful not to stress the shoulder. However, any simple or compound fracture needs to be immobilized. Motion in an unset fracture can cause excess calcification with a noticeable bump or an abnormal set angle. These are actually quite common as the brace is uncomfortable and it's even more uncomfortable to sleep on one side only. This can be remedied with a little tape and a couple of thumbtacks. It only takes a couple of nights to get used to it.

Broken collarbones rarely hurt unless reinjured. That's why it's important to understand the seriousness of a second trauma. A wide figure eight brace with padded straps 2 to 3 inches wide and tightened firmly will help prevent reinjuries and bad sets. All it takes is a slight turn or reaching for something at the wrong angle.

A word of warning. If the break is not allowed to sufficiently heal the ends of the bone will calcify preventing a strong bond and probable refracture from normal cycling loads. Also, a crash with an inadequately healed collar bone could sever the innominate or common carotid artery.

One can resume training on a turbo trainer after three or four days. This is best carried out with a road bike with dropped handlebars. Turn the bars upside down. Then take another set of road bars and tape them to the upturned set. This makes a big S giving you a rail to hang onto at a convenient height. This allows you to resume training on a turbo in a more upright position. If you feel any pain or discomfort stop.

Q. Can I ride with a broken clavicle?

A.It's not that unusual to break a collarbone (or clavicle) in a fall. Although it is uncomfortable, you can still get on the bike and train. You will only be limited only by pain and range of motion of your upper body. You will need to be aware of your body position. Because you'll be putting little or no weight on the broken side, you could experience back pain from constantly leaning to the other side during indoor cycling sessions. Being aware of this and doing your best to balance your position on the trainer will help. Another option would be to add some aerobic alternatives into your training program such as walking on a treadmill at 8-10 degrees of incline. The incline will decrease the pounding (and thus pain in the clavicle) while keeping your quads and heart strong.


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Cycling Performance Tips
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