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Road to recovery - how long?

blainablaina Posts: 4
Morning all. So turns out after 8 weeks of hobbling around in agony (and not riding at all)that I have two herniated discs in my lower back. The consultant tells me it will heal with time and reckons I need another 2-3 months of taking it easy (and not riding).

Before this happened I had been riding 75-100 miles a week for pretty much the last 3 years (more in the summer months) and planning to have an epic summer of cycling this year (Paris to London on the road, mountain biking in the Alps etc). My fitness was pretty good and I am sligtly concerned about how long it's going to take to get my fitness back after 5-6 months off the bike. Any of you have any experience of being off the bike for a long period of time? How long did it take you to get back to the level you were at before? I'm 35 by the way! Any advice on how to approach recovery would be greatly received - i.e. I presume I shouldn't (and probably won't be able to) try and ride the distances I was riding before immedietely.



  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I did my L4-5 disc in my late 30's. Recovery was very gradual. All I can reccommend is that you move around as much as you can.

    Now over a decade later I find that walking and cycling are the best things for my back; it only gives me discomfort if I'm inactive for too long (sitting or standing)

    Regarding loss of cycling fitness, my only recent experience was 6 weeks off for knee surgery, which seemed to take another 6 weeks to regain afterwards. But then again I'm now the wrong side of 50 and at best described as a leisure cyclist.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    We had an endurance sports physio in to see us. His take on it was that your rate of "loss" of fitness was proprtional to how quickly you got fit. ie if you got fit quickly, you were more likely to lose that fitness quickly. Given it's been 3 years, I'm guessing you'll lose it less fast than someone who had been riding for only 6 months.

    I have nothing more than his word to substantiate that though.

    Good luck
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Keith1983Keith1983 Posts: 575
    I think the trick will be to make sure you adjust your diet accordingly. That way you will still need to work on your fitness to regain your previous levels but you won't have an extra 3 stone to get rid of first!
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