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  1. #1
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    Recovery after severe OTB crash?

    So, Ive hit someone at 35km/h, OTB'd, Injured my right leg, foot, head/neck and arm, Only pain ive got now is my feet, and my neck is still quite stiff and hurts when turning, Is it safe to get back on the bike or do I have to wait till im completely back to normal?

  2. #2
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    I'm not a doctor, but I say get back on the bike and ride. Your body will tell you if you need to wait longer and heal up some more.
    Cholla cactus=nature's guard rail.

  3. #3
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    Did you go to the doc after the crash? If not, since you state your neck is stiff and hurts to turn, may be a good idea to go get examined just to make sure things are fine even if it is just for peace of mind. The last thing you want to do is go out and make whatever you have worse.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasmachineman NL View Post
    So, Ive hit someone at 35km/h, OTB'd, Injured my right leg, foot, head/neck and arm, Only pain ive got now is my feet, and my neck is still quite stiff and hurts when turning, Is it safe to get back on the bike or do I have to wait till im completely back to normal?
    Good chance your neck injury is what one calls 'whiplash' and is similar to falling off a horse, an American Football injury, falling off a bike (obviously), and of course - car wreck. It takes time for such an injury to heal (and patience).

    I did the same OTB (although not as a result of hitting somebody) 9 weeks ago during a race at full speed.

    My result of going OTB: Separated right shoulder, cracked ribs, hit my head - and tore the muscles in my neck.

    The neck continues to bother me 9 weeks out. I took 1 week off the bike following the OTB, then got back on to slowly build up my neck muscles and posture again for riding. I kept riding to pavement/road riding, or gravel riding for the first 2 weeks - taking great care not to fall again and worsen the injury. I couldn't turn my head from side to side to look what was coming at intersections, so I had to dismount and turn my entire upper body to see. A lot of the regrowth felt like I would take 2 steps forward, then a step or two back with neck pain, stiffness. But I kept at it. And I used a heating pad morning, noon and night.

    Slowly, with stretching and riding my neck muscles have rebuilt and are probably back to about 80 - 85% of normalcy at this point (9 weeks out). I mountain bike raced again at 4 weeks out from the OTB accident - again taking great care to not fall which probably tempered my riding style, but no way I was going to hurt it again. And I've raced about every weekend since.

    Stiffness is still there. Mobility issues remain, but it is all much better than 9 weeks ago. Most things I read about whiplash (torn muscles and soft tissue in the neck) leads me to believe recovery returns within a few weeks to a few months. So my recovery is trending normal where I am back on the bike, functioning, but not 100% as of yet.

    So - that long answer from me is "no, you don't have to wait until your neck is 100% normal to get back on the bike". But you do have to expect to start easily realizing your neck and upper body muscles will fatigue much quicker - so plan shorter rides and allow more recovery time. Use heat therapy (warm showers, heating pad). Don't lead with your head and neck when you get in and out of bed or a chair. (If you knew Alexander technique - that would help). Build it up slowly and be patient - a few weeks to months and things will be much better. Step by step...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardluckhero View Post
    I'm not a doctor, but I say get back on the bike and ride. Your body will tell you if you need to wait longer and heal up some more.
    Uh, I think it is telling him,

    Only pain ive got now is my feet, and my neck is still quite stiff and hurts when turning..


    It'd be a safe bet to get checked out by a doctor.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasmachineman NL View Post
    So, Ive hit someone at 35km/h, OTB'd, Injured my right leg, foot, head/neck and arm, Only pain ive got now is my feet, and my neck is still quite stiff and hurts when turning, Is it safe to get back on the bike or do I have to wait till im completely back to normal?
    Best make sure you have not gotten any fractures in your neck, hairline or otherwise. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I OTB'd three weeks ago as of Sunday, at the same speed you were going. I didn't hit anybody, but rocks really don't give too much.....so, at the insistence of the nurse-practitioner that sewed my face up, I got a C-spine X-ray. Aside from evidence of all my prior neck traumas, there was nothing new.
    I was back out riding the same trail 2 days after the crash, which of course is not the smartest thing to do.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

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