injuries and recovery

I named this thread after the “rider down, injuries and recovery” forum on MTBR. I’m sure there is an old thread like this one (I search before I start a new one) where people gather to discuss the unthinkable (hate to be a downer) injury. Unless someone can provide a better one, let this thread be the place where we unfortunates discuss our common issues.

I’ll start. My injury is an avulsion (when tendon rips bone) fracture of the lateral (outside of calf so I can’t turn my toes in) gastrocnemius (not to be confused with soleus) muscle that meets the fibula up high near the knee. It happened three weeks ago Tuesday. Looking at the X-ray (skipped the more expensive MRI, I’m not Peyton Manning) my ortho estimated 3 to 6 weeks. I will be needing to plant that right foot to throw a disc golf driver before I will need to be riding again but regardless the sport, I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize the rest of my summer by turning a grade 2 strain into a grade 3 tear of the “calf” muscle.

I’m fortunate to have my physical therapist as my next door neighbor but she still won’t touch it until I can jog without limping. She kneads to get in there to break up the scar tissue so it won’t heal shorter than the other leg. I say knead because she lays into it with her elbow (ouch!). Evidently, timing is everything. They say with a calf, wait until it gets better THEN give it another week.

Treatment started with R.I.C.E. now I only R.E. but am considering Kinesiology tape to C. when starting over.

Prevention plan is to learn how to stretch or at least don’t try crazy stuff in the first minutes of a ride. As I age, (5 minutes spent on a pre-ride stretch might save you weeks of downtime) I can begin to see the logic of full on yoga.

What to do in the meantime? Build up my unicycling FaceBook friends, post random thoughts in RSU (guess I’ll always call it that), tinker with my unicycles current set-ups, and shop online! Between medical bills and PayPal receipts, this calf is going to cost me plenty.

Sorry to hear about your injury

when I was out with my shoulder I tried to learn guitar and responded to Billy’s posts. Combined with schooling it pretty much kept me busy.

Ive had a few injuries, only one bad one so far and it still hasnt gone away 100%

To start it all off I hurt my family jewels by landing on a square park rail. It wasnt so bad but I ripped through my pants and ripped up some of the skin. Made walking kind of tough so i had to sit it out until everything scabbed over pretty thick. Overall time off of uni was about two weeks for that one.

My second one was when I sprained my wrist and bruised my feet all in the same day. That took about a half month until I was totally healed up and could ride again.

Third one was I thought I hurt my back. I had a hard time sitting down for more than an hour so I went to the doctor. They said I crushed the disk in my back and sent me to physical therapy. Luckily they said it wasnt my back but it was my shoulder. I really stretched out the muscles big time and it was going to my neck. It took about two months of constant therapy for me to get back 100% but luckily I could still ride in those two months.

Fourth one was when I actually crushed a disk in my back. It honestly doesnt bother me too much. I have a hard time sleeping but you get use to it after a while. The only part that is weird is when you bend over and your fingers tingle or when it feels like you have bugs all over your back.

The most current one is my ankle. I hurt it in august from going to big on a drop and it has been weak since then. It took three months for me to ride on it again and since then I can not do near as big as drops as i could before. My health insurance is very poor at the moment so there is not much I can do except work out my ankle and pray for it to get back to normal again.

What I usually do while im injured is to just catch up with friends or make things. I also really enjoy fishing! You get to be outside and still feel like you are doing something active without having to be to hard on your body. I am very lucky not to break any bones or have any injuries that are to serious.

Best of luck for you on recovery!

Injuries suck balls. Hope you guys recover well.

My biggest injury I have had/have is my herniated disc. I think I intialy damaged it doing 1.5metre drops to nearly flat ground… it was pretty stupid of me considering the landing and my in-experience with big drops… I didn’t actualy have back pain whilst doing the drops but latter it got very sore in sports science at school. I was sitting stretching my hamstrings/back with my fingers partly past my feet and then suddenly my back got very painful jab of pain and very sore. The disc herniated downwards into the bone bellow luckily, as if it had herinated out sideways thats when you have more problems/more accute pain because of the heap of nerves. So I had a period of about 7months where I wasn’t unicycling because of my stupid back, it was tough, I really don’t know how I didn’t go absulently crazy haha.

It was about 3 years ago now that the injury occured and since then I have been to a heap of physio sessions, tried strengthening work at a gym and yoga. Thankfully lately from a calf injury (from running) I went to phsio and she is looking at my back a bit and I’m doing stretching reguraly and using a back roll which is definatly helping :smiley: My back still limits the amount of riding/physical activity I do and gets pretty sore sometimes. I wish I had been more sensible and done the drop at a place with a better landing/practised more but I can’t change what I did, unfortunatly this injury isn’t going away. I love muni and push myself hard, I’m also tall 6’ 1.5’’ so that doesn’t help haha :slight_smile:

I’m still recovering from a tear in the muscle of my ankle, I couldn’t unicycle for about 2 weeks. this is actually my first bad injury with my unicycle.
In meantime I ‘played’ with my rubik’s cube and stuff like that.

Hey David, was this unicycling injury?

Yeah, injuries suck, I’ve had more than my share, but they do heal, unfortunately they tend to haunt you as the years pile on :frowning:

Seriously, take care of the leg, hopefully you’ll be back riding shortly.

I guess this means you ain’t coming down for the munifest…

Hey folks, it’s the season for injuries, put on the protection even if it’s hot, scout your lines, drop your seat, get a spotter, be careful.

I cant tell you how many times ive been hurt because of this one

Thanks for all the well wishes! Yes Ben, it was a unicycling injury. I came off the front of my 36er, planted my right foot, and instantly felt a sharp pain (like I got hit with a baseball bat) in my right calf. I went straight home to ice and elevate which kept the swelling in check. Ortho said it was a grade 2 strain. 3 to 6 weeks estimated recovery. Lesson learned, stretch your calf muscles before you mount up. I didn’t and it has cost me the better portion of the spring riding season. Sadly, no I will not be able to come down for the SouthEast MUni Gathering. Too bad, I was really looking forward to it. Was planning on bringing King (KH36g) for the road and my Oracle for the MUni. I hope you get a nice turn out so that you do it again. I will be there next time. As for protection, you know I was wearing all that hot gear same as always. Should have spent less time suiting up and more time stretching before my ride.

unicycling-induced hernias

I’ve had some hernias slowly developing, but they really became painful during one recent ride on my 36er where I ascended an approximately 20% grade. I then went to the doctor who diagnosed hernias, and had laparoscopic surgery last week.

I’ll be off the unicycle for a few months, but during my recovery I’ll practice the banjo. (attached photo is John Drummond who started both and


Jrapp, I like your Avatar!
Banjo’s and unicycles, now that’s serious :smiley:
I dabble with a guitar myself. But not where anyone can hear me :stuck_out_tongue:

Just a question.
Shouldn’t we be warming up before we start? Everyone seems to be stretching, and that’s not the same thing to me at all.

I read an article a year or two ago about the Kenyan runners, and they don’t apparently do any stretching before they go for training runs, but they do start off very slowly. However they do according to the article I read do a fairly extensive stretching workout after training.

What do others think? I know the only time I have ever pulled a muscle (very minor) was 10 or 15 minutes into a run. That was years ago. Nowadays I always do a fairly basic set of stretches after running or riding. Mainly for achilles and calf protection. I have to do heel drops for the achilles too. :frowning:

Get well soon David.


I just had my second surgery on my broken leg, this one to take out a broken screw. Doc assures me that I’ll be nearly 100% fairly soon. I just need to let the hole through my bone :astonished: fill in a bit.

Breaking a leg makes a Schlumpf hub seem cheap both in terms of money and time. :o

Stretching is a personal thing, there are many, many, many opinions :roll_eyes:

I don’t stretch much now, having stretched for years for distance running and martial arts, I finally tore something while stretching, so I took some time to consider what and why I stretch.

I decided that the real purpose of stretching is to warm up, so now I warm up before riding, this usually involves easy riding to start and when I take a prolonged break.

I can tell that I’m warmed up when I have a good sweat going and my legs are hurting less :stuck_out_tongue:

I am of the opinion that stretching AFTER a ride is the way to go. It might not prevent you from getting hurt during that ride but may help for future rides. stretching cold doesn’t really accomplish anything other than unnecessarily stressing your muscles/ligaments before you are warmed up.

I guess I use stretching as my “cool down” but don’t do it religiously, only when I think I am going to be hurting in the morning.

If I’m going for a longer or more difficult ride, usually in excess of 25-30 miles, I make sure to warm up for a few minutes with easy spinning, then I dismount and stretch a bit. I stretch after my rides, too. If it’s particularly long (60-70+ miles), like I will be doing weekly this summer, I stretch every 10-15 miles. If I don’t, my quads get very tight, start to cramp, and hurt, regardless of what and how much I’m eating.

Warranty? Not! How did you manage to break a screw?

Having broken both - I’ll opt for the Schlumpf…

I have achilles and foot problems from running, which mean I tend to do some stretching every time I run, as tight muscles are one contributory factor. However I only stretch after running when the muscles are warm - as mentioned, stretching cold muscles can itself cause injury (I do do some foot exercises when cold, but that’s somewhat different to stretching big muscles). Sometimes stretch after uni riding, but only because it helps with the running injuries - though admittedly they were bad enough a few months ago to mean that I couldn’t do any hopping on the uni, and for a short while kept me off it altogether.

Mostly do some sort of warmup when exercising, but it depends what sort of exercise - often I’ll just set off steady, which is fine as a warm-up. Have never felt the need to warm-up doing something other than the activity I’m doing (for example when on xc ski courses there have been group warm up sessions involving stretching and stuff - I’ve always gone for a gentle ski instead, maybe catching the end of the group session). Would always warm up properly if doing a hard interval session or a race though. Certainly before uni riding I don’t really bother with a warm up as such, though I’ll not go straight into hopping before I’ve ridden around a bit.