I’m sure i’m not alone amongst unicyclists in suffering a number of injuries from this wonderful sport.
My main riding types are MUni and trials, so you can imagine what type of situations i end up in sometimes. I’ve been lucky in that i haven’t broken any bones or needed any surgery. However, sprains have haunted me.
In my 5 years of riding, i’ve sprained both ankles, my right at least 7 times. The most recent time was 2 months ago, and it still plagues me during practices (either by physically hurting or haunting me with how it might hurt if i try something).
I myself, and i’m sure there are others out there, love riding so much that i don’t take the necessary time for sprains to heal. Sure, i try to take it easy and wrap it up, but i’m still gonna ride. But after doing some internet searching after the last incident, it sounds like what i’ve been doing can lead to permenant joint problems.
I still want to be riding in 20 years, so i’m putting up this post to see how people have dealt with injuries and to hear stories of people who have had injuries that have limited their riding for long periods of times. I know i’m not the only maniac who rides through pain, but is it really a good idea in the end?
The problem with injuries is not IF they heal but HOW they heal. Here’s a quickie… when tissue is damaged, it’s replaced by scar tissue. If that scar tissue is not laid down efficiently… you’re MUCH more prone to reinjury.
Here’s the deal, with out proper rehab and exercises, it’s unlikely that it healed as good as it could.
In my office, I use the Graston Technique on new and old injuries. It breaks down old scar tissue and stimulates new tissue to be laid down. In addition to the technique, exercise, stretching and other rehab procedures are performed to make sure the new scar tissue is as string as it needs to be. You can go to www.Grastontechnique.com for more info and to find a provider in your area… hopefully
Having said that, I too had problems with spraining my ankles. I went to my doctor after 9 months of respraining/related random pain on my right ankle, and having just sprained my left, and she said that we’d start physiotherapy in the Autumn (my girlfriend at the time was going to put me on her work insurance then).
For that summer I bought a pair of hinged ankle braces that prevented my ankles from rolling, and by the time autumn came around, I didn’t need physio. I wore those for about 2 years for all my riding and hiking too, and now I only wear them on really technical muni. I think what happened was they allowed my ankles to restrengthen themselves, but in the even that they were too weak to keep from rolling wouldn’t allow my ankle to roll enough to be injured. Best $40 I ever spent, I believe they were ActiveAnkle brand.
Luckily haven’t broken any bones since I started extreme riding in early 2006, but have had my share of injuries. (Must be all the milk!:)) From hematomas to a major ankle sprain that took a full 3 months to heal (still some residual pain but manageable) to various cuts, lacerations and bruises. I guess it comes with the territory, especially when you’re pushing the limits with big drops, trench gaps and riding steep, loose and rocky terrain.
Do you remember which one you ordered? They have a few hinged braces all for about the same price, including one with carbon fiber (fancy). And you said “best $40 i ever spent”, but you said you got a pair. It looks like it’s $40 for one, $80 for the pair. But hey, FREE SHIPPING! to the continental U.S.
Too bad i’m in Japan
I have posted in another thread a warning for those who often sprain ankles.
statistically 2% of the population is suffering from a strange ailment: the ankle has one articulation out! scientific term (in french sorry: translation could be easy) “synostose talo-chalcaneenne” and “synchondrose talo-chalcaneenne”.
this mean you just don’t have an articulation there! I waited nearly 60 year to discover that because this is very difficult to spot on an Xray image but there are tests to prove it. Since this is inherited the test proved that my daughter has it too!
I met a basketball player that had this constant problem with ankles and the test proved he had it too!
2% are a lot of people so check for that !
I started to use 661 ankle protection, but now I don’t use these any more: I did a lot of training for getting things straight.
ive many scars on my legs from trials and i broke my arm earlier this year …i fell off my muni racing my friend on a bike in the street …told my mum i trapped it in the garage door she would have made me quit
Three months ago I had a quite horrible accident. While riding downhill in the rain and alone I had a UPD, then stumbled and slid on my stomach with head in front and then fell about 1 metre down into a creek with big rocks in it. I thank god that I wore my fullface helmet otherwise I don’t know if I would write this. I landed on all those big rocks with my left shoulder and the chin part of the helmet. I broke my upper arm where it lasts really long until it is healed completely. Today my left shoulder still is quite stiff and hurts under stress. I was really lucky but with that and all those ankle injuries i have suffered I came to the conclusion that it is better for me to stop unicycling (Muni is the one and only style I really enjoy but I don’t want to destroy my ankles completely)
btw. to protect my ankles it helped quite a lot to wear 661 race braces in addition to high top shoes.
I’ve been using these for MUni for a year or so now; I used to use Active Ankles. The Aircast doesn’t provide as much protection against rolling the ankle as the Active Ankles do, but it provides better protection against dorsiflexion (jamming the foot upwards–Active Ankles provide none).
“Wobblng bear”, are you talking about tarsal coalition? It’s definitely something to be concerned with if you’ve had lots of ankle sprains. I have a iroman triathlete right now with one and am co-treating her with a podatrist. Sometimes, corticosteroids can brak up the coalition if it’s cartilage and not bone.
That sounds like a nasty upd. But how about just taking it a little easier instead of quitting it altogether? Just avoid those high risk situations and you’ll be okay. A little more caution might do the trick for you.
Unfortunately it wasn’t really a high risk situation so this can happen everywhere at any time and riding alone all the time makes me feel unsecure now (it’s a “what if…” thing). And like mentioned I am tired of those ankle injuries.
I would hope that this thread will help you find some ways to prevent and possibly correct those ankle problems (part of the reason i started this thread). Also, i’ve made it a point to never ride MUni alone. Like you said, anything can happen out there, but riding with friends is safer and more enjoyable.
It’s a shame to hear you’ve stopped riding, but then I’m curious: Why are you still on the forums?
Thanks for the info, but you and their website left out an important piece of info . . . price.
This thread is a good reminder to me to try and wear protective gear more often. In motorcycling some say ATGATT (all the gear all the time), but it’s so easy to just not wear a helmet when it’s nice out (if your area doesn’t require it). I guess it just takes that one wrong fall, and it might be someone else who causes it.
I was on a 4 mile ride the other day on my 6’ (with clipless pedals), and I had to duck under a bunch of tree limbs and ride in a crouch. It was all good until a branch took the headphones off my head. Well, I continued through the obstacle then spun around to retrieve them when my tugging on the wires caused a UPD. I unclipped before I hit the ground and went into a roll. I luckily wasn’t injured aside from a very light bonk on the head, and a little embarassment from all the cars going by. :o
it looks like something like that (Haven’t checked the name in English). It could be called a “coalition” (ankle bones “welded” together by cartilage or bone).
happily I don’t suffer much from it (few ankle sprains) I used a 661 for a year then now no more… waiting for the next nasty UPD … but for the moment ankles seem ok.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I highly recommend you switch to some grippy pedals before you take out a wrist or elbow. Head would seem to be less of a worry, but I guess if it’s an emergency, the added need to unclip on your way down could end you up in all sorts of positions or rolls.