Sort of OT, but help with over use injuries, avoid, & care- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sort of OT, but help with over use injuries, avoid, & care

    A little off topic, but being a mid-40 something & returning to MTB's from the road after 20 years, I've jumped in head first. Bought a new MTB joined some people building a great local systems, and volunteer as much as I can. I've seemed to get myself a little injured.

    Our trail building consist of mainly clearing, raking, some light benching, and grooming. Lots of raking/grooming. So working about 10 - 12 hours a week on the trail and riding MTB another 2/3 hours I'm experiencing a fair bit of hand numbness, seems worse in the mornings. And after working three days in a row I have what feels like tennis elbow on the left side.

    I'm still able to road bike for 2/3 hours without much/any issues. And working actually feels good, but then I seem to pay the price a day or two later.

    I'm guessing I just need to rest a week or two (no trail work/maybe no MTB'ing), but really enjoy both. The OCD in my thinks about what I want to do next at the trail - it's bad!

    Any other thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Trail building definitely gave me tennis elbow in my left arm. Something about the pressing down while pulling motion of using a McLeod really messes with my elbow. Now whenever doing trail work I wear a mild constriction band on my forearm just below my elbow, which seems to prevent the problem.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by R900 View Post
    A little off topic, but being a mid-40 something....building a great local systems, and volunteer as much as I can. I've seemed to get myself a little injured......I'm experiencing a fair bit of hand numbness, seems worse in the mornings.

    I'm guessing I just need to rest a week or two (no trail work/maybe no MTB'ing), but really enjoy both.

    Any other thoughts?
    The same happens to me. Rest and recovery between your trail work days. Know that this happens to you, and use your volunteer time wisely (and sparingly between rides). I did 5 hours of work last week on a trail (mowing, brush trimming) and my right hand numbs right up on the mountain bike no matter what I do in the aftermath of that work. It usually goes away after a week or two of not doing trail work. Even with gloves, not gripping the tools too firmly, rest periods while working - the numbness comes.

    I'd be interested in hearing solutions to this problem as well.

  4. #4
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    Perhaps the problem is not the work, but having to do one particular type of work too much?

    I work in a very small group - we alternate tasks and basically do what we want in what may seem random order, but we cover for each other. Swapping tools and downing tools to work together moving rock, dirt, whatever really frequently makes all the difference.

    In a large work group people may be allocated specific tasks for longer periods. You don't want to stop and be a weak link, so you push on despite the warnings from your body bits. Maybe you could suggest a change of tool roster? Obviously some people become specialists and can cope with one tool by becoming seasoned and working symmetrically - left and right, but to me as an older guy, the secrets seem to be caution with what feels risky, alternating tasks and patience to build tolerance over time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Perhaps the problem is not the work, but having to do one particular type of work too much?

    I work in a very small group - we alternate tasks and basically do what we want in what may seem random order, but we cover for each other. Swapping tools and downing tools to work together moving rock, dirt, whatever really frequently makes all the difference.

    In a large work group people may be allocated specific tasks for longer periods. You don't want to stop and be a weak link, so you push on despite the warnings from your body bits. Maybe you could suggest a change of tool roster? Obviously some people become specialists and can cope with one tool by becoming seasoned and working symmetrically - left and right, but to me as an older guy, the secrets seem to be caution with what feels risky, alternating tasks and patience to build tolerance over time.
    That is very good advice! Too often people get hurt doing things they aren't used to doing. Swapping tasks and tools is a good way to prevent injuries and can turn monotonous work into something more interesting.
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT and a Norco Threshold SL with Di2

  6. #6
    saddlemeat
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    Another general tip would be to work in a deliberate and controlled manner at all times, taking care to be in a solid, safe, position from which to perform the range of motion required. Use your whole body to leverage applied force. Most beginners work in spurts, while the experienced work at a sustainable pace.

    Excellent advice here!
    I ride with the best dogs.




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