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Thread: Spine injuries

  1. #1
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    Spine injuries

    Hey guys! These last four weeks I had a quite bad stress attack about spine injuries and maybe not being able to ride in the future if ever I had one of those, which is really mucking up my brain and stressing me out about riding and learning new stuff and going big. I wanted to know if they are that easy to have or if it really requires a big crash or screw up. I personaly ride with a neckbrace and chest protector and I like learning progressively, mastering the techniques before going big! Thanks

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    Nobody has a crystal ball. Everyone has a different reaction to impact and there are too many variables coupled with the low incidence of their occurrence in cycling to extrapolate any valuable information. That is my out of my behind answer based on no searching, just common sense and my knowledge of injuries. If you are referring to spinal cord injuries I always err on the side of, well common sense. The spine protectors are good for piece of mind and reducing impact, but the spine itself is mechanically designed to be very protective. The muscles that run parallel act in a deflecting fashion with direct impact, and the spinous process of the vertebra itself is buttressed by very strong and dense bone. The force necessary to damage that structure will make most viable cycling specific spine protectors turn to butter. The neck on the other hand is fairly susceptible to stresses, but the modern neck braces are great designs. I have seen people crash hard with them on and walk away with only some scratches and dust. But I also know what a complete spinal cord injury does to the human body and the human mind. All that being said, there are never guarantees in cycling. Going big is risky, that's why its fun. But it is not for everyone, myself included. I choose to ride like a pansy because I hate pain and am a cheapskate.

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    HAHA, thanks! So yeah, its not that easy to break I guess right? Because I'm seing kind of alot of stories on them, but it seems that the impacts mostly happen when the rider is not feeling good or paying attention and takes the hit straight to the head without having time to soften down the crash with his or her arms. The thing I don't get is that most of the really bad spinal cord injuries that happen seem to occur on really stupid crashes not at high speed or anything. Because I'm watching vids of guys taking massive spill on crabapples hits in whistler for example head first and they don't seem to have anything, why would that be that way??

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    Probably just bad luck really, but when you're going fast you have adrenalin which could speed up your reactions and protect you from bad injuries. I crashed badly at the end of the day going slowly when I was tired and had no adrenalin, that's my theory anyway.

    I'm like you, terrified of a spinal injury. Neck braces help a lot I've heard, also being light weight and short makes you less likely to break neck...

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    Yeah bro, finaly getting out of the crisis. I can tell you, from what I've learned, to severely break your back you must take Ah huge spill, but in a very very akward position, like landing straight down upside down folded in half or in a scorpion position. and the impact must be either high speed or straight down, so its actually really hard to do. If you have good technique, its almost impossible to land that way. crashing habits help also. Me since I pilled up vertebraes in my neck doing judo, I have to reflex to fall on my side. So yeah, its kind of almost impossible, you really need to do something stupid or really really not have luck, because landing like you would have to land to severely break it, its just ****ed up, like already landing on back in DH is hard, try doing half a front flip, its really just not happening if you know what your doing. neckbrace help, protects your upper spine also and helps with scorpioning. If your smaller, logically your vertebraes will also be smaller, so in fact I think they would break easier. but yeah, if you don't ride like an idiot chances of severely breaking your spine is REALLY slim, like, probably never going to happen, but theres always a risk, but at that point you shouldn't even think of it

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    I've broken my back once and tried really hard another time. Keeping your core strong is the best defense for your back, your neck is more fragile.

    The most common way to break your back is a compression fracture, landing straight down on your azz. No spine protector will help there.

    Wear gear, don't act like you're immortal and live to ride another day.
    Last edited by Harryman; 05-09-2014 at 11:54 AM.

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    Good tip Harry to keep core strength up. And yeah I've heard about martial arts helping your reflex which can save you big time in some situations. Building neck and shoulder muscles is also a good way to prevent neck injuries apparently
    Neck brace back brace, good reflexes and high core strength to weight ratio should keep the risks very low. Time to order a neck brace I think!

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    I had a bad car crash and ultimately had a 4 level ACDF from C3-C7.
    Stuff happens and life goes on.
    That crash was in 08 and my surgery was in 12.
    I am back riding again and have done many single speed marathon races on my hard tail.
    I have good and bad days. That is what pain management is for.

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    Haha, yeah! Neckbrace and core do help Harry and rdy357, hope you're both feeling better Like you say man, **** happens, but its sweet you're riding again marathons but yeah, the important thing I think when riding is really gear up, know your limits and refine your technique. Chances of landing the wrong way by doing that will be really really low! Harry, compression fractures are the "least" severe, talked to the guys at leatt, they told me the ones that end up the most in paralysis are hyperflexion of your back by landing head first in basiquely a scorpion position, and fold in half. Or landing abit like the guy that crashed in cairns, but more upside down (watching him I think the only way you would land like that is if your feet go off before your hands, or try to flip over when crashing in mid air and not fully rotate). Compression one like you say though happen the most often. Landing on your ass will most likely break your lumbar vertebraes, landing like cam cole on the top of your head will probably compress your middle spine. Core strenght will also save you ^^ do you think riding alot will automaticly build it up or you must hit the gym to do so? for the neckbrace, I've read in a forum on pinkbike, a guy broke his neck in whistler, when he arrived in the clinic, the docs told him that they didn't see for years a guy with a broken neck that was wearing a neckbrace, probably shows it works

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike25 View Post
    Core strenght will also save you ^^ do you think riding alot will automaticly build it up or you must hit the gym to do so?
    Hit the gym and do specific work for proper results and fitness in those areas


    You shouldn't be so scared. Hell my dad got hit by cars 5 times already (hes a road guy) and nothing serious happening to him. I fell down doing 10 kph doing MTB and broke 2 ribs on a "stone"...**** my luck.
    I've ridden on a sportive with my dad and a 45yo guy had a heart attack and died on the spot. RIP to him.

    Want an example of a crappy fall turning into nightmare? search youtube for "cedric garcia bleeding crash" (beware it might be sensitive) and yet last month we where watching movies of him manualing a Nomad like the boss he is!!!!

    Summing it up.
    You can't prevent **** from happening.
    If you are alive you can die at any instant.
    If you keep thinking about it you won't live.

    Just do this:
    Get good protection
    Learn from the ground up
    Know your place but also know where you want to be and work for it
    You won't be a pro from night to day, it requires work and work and work

    Enjoy your life, you only have this one!

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