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Osteoarthritis and Road Bikes

doomanicdoomanic Posts: 246
I suffer from OA, the worst affected area being my right shoulder and elbow. It’s not really a problem on my MTB but I noticed tonight that my riding position on the road bike was causing my elbow to lock up. Not only is this painful, it restricts my use of the brakes and gears. Apart from sticking riser bars on it, does anyone have any ideas of how to alleviate it?

Posts

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    Sorry but I have no idea. When you do find a way to deal with this, then please share it on the Forum as I'm sure others would like to know how to deal with it.

    I have knee problems, so I have some sympathy with your plight.

    PS: It has just occurred to me that I might have a suggestion!

    Go see a physio and see what he/she has to say. If he/she doesn't suggest KT tape (Kineasiology Therapeutic) as part of their proposed solution, then ask about it. KT tape is what you see athletes on the TV wearing plastered all over their bodies. It helped with my knee joints. It provides support and constrains movement. It may be just the ticket!

    It is cheap and easy to apply and you can leave it on for several days. It is waterproof, breathable, cuts easily with scissors, but does not tear. But just because it works for major athletes (and me), does not mean that it will work for you of course. :roll:
  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 246
    Thanks Steve.

    Not sure if it will help in this instance as it's prolonged lack of movement that causes the problem. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so will see what she has to say about it (apart from lose weight, the standard doctor's response to any fat bloke with a physical ailment).
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,859
    edited June 2018
    I get aches on my road bike if I've been in the same position for a long time, especially if it's just constant pedalling. I guess you've tried swapping positions during rides?
    Adding TT bars gives another position which I find helps (and good for races...)

    Or a shorter stem/wider bars so it's a bit more like the MTB position?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    doomanic wrote:
    Thanks Steve.

    Not sure if it will help in this instance as it's prolonged lack of movement that causes the problem. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so will see what she has to say about it (apart from lose weight, the standard doctor's response to any fat bloke with a physical ailment).

    When it comes to problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints; then I don't bother with my GP. I get less than ten mins and no quality advice other then painkillers, stop riding your bike etc. If I was overweight I'm sure I'd be told to lose weight as well!

    Instead I go to see a physio (I can now say "my physio"). For £35 I get 50 mins of quality diagnosis and treatment, with an exercise and movement program focused on the problem at hand. They restore pain free movement pdq. :)

    Depending upon where you live, the physio may be more than that, but I doubt it will be any less.

    But having said all that osteo-arthritis (ie wear and tear) is pretty much a one way trip until surgery. I use Ibuleve gel (Ibuprofen) on my knees 40 mins before riding. I also take a 400mg Brufen tablet about 20 mins before riding too. With the drugs and the KT tape, I have pretty much trouble free riding for 4 hours.
  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 246
    I get aches on my road bike if I've been in the same position for a long time, especially if it's just constant pedalling. I guess you've tried swapping positions during rides?
    Adding TT bars gives another position which I find helps (and good for races...)

    Or a shorter stem/wider bars so it's a bit more like the MTB position?

    That's pretty much what happens. Hands on top of levers is the most comfortable position, giving me virtually no pain in my shoulder but causing severe pain in my right elbow when I shift position. I'm not really built for a racing crouch, hmm, perhaps the doc has a point after all... :D

    The obvious, free, solution is a set of riser bars that just happen to be sat in my garage going nothing.
  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 246
    doomanic wrote:
    Thanks Steve.

    Not sure if it will help in this instance as it's prolonged lack of movement that causes the problem. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so will see what she has to say about it (apart from lose weight, the standard doctor's response to any fat bloke with a physical ailment).

    When it comes to problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints; then I don't bother with my GP. I get less than ten mins and no quality advice other then painkillers, stop riding your bike etc. If I was overweight I'm sure I'd be told to lose weight as well!

    Instead I go to see a physio (I can now say "my physio"). For £35 I get 50 mins of quality diagnosis and treatment, with an exercise and movement program focused on the problem at hand. They restore pain free movement pdq. :)

    Depending upon where you live, the physio may be more than that, but I doubt it will be any less.

    But having said all that osteo-arthritis (ie wear and tear) is pretty much a one way trip until surgery. I use Ibuleve gel (Ibuprofen) on my knees 40 mins before riding. I also take a 400mg Brufen tablet about 20 mins before riding too. With the drugs and the KT tape, I have pretty much trouble free riding for 4 hours.

    Hopefully I'll get the physio treatment through my work BUPA.

    I'am already taking 800mg Ibruprofen and 2 30/500 Co-Codamol just to function in the morning...

    Remarkably, I don't get any issues when I'm on my MTB, perhaps it's the endorphins kicking in.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,982
    doomanic wrote:
    ..........................

    I'am already taking 800mg Ibruprofen and 2 30/500 Co-Codamol just to function in the morning...

    Remarkably, I don't get any issues when I'm on my MTB, perhaps it's the endorphins kicking in.

    On the drugs: Wow! I thought I was going a bit over the top! I can see I still have a long road to go down! By the way, I assume you have worked out by now that Co-Codamol gives you constipation, in fact anything with Codeine in it. Frequent doses can cause severe constipation. (With painful and life threatening consequences).

    On the lack of issues on the MTB: The message is clear! Sell the road bike, spend more time on the MTB! :D
  • Stuart46Stuart46 Posts: 26
    Me too in my knees.
    Why not convert your road bike into hybrid with straight bars and a smaller stem. (I did)
    Also what helps me is a teaspoon of unflavored gelatine (the bone type) in 3 cups of daily coffee,
  • Wily-QuixoteWily-Quixote Posts: 269
    I have hip osteoarthritis that restricts me on the road bike and, just recently, the MTB as well. Treatment is a long, slow process and it is about improving function and increasing time to surgery, it is not a restorative process as OA is progressive.
    Physiotherapy has definitely helped me, in terms of mobilising the stiff joint and increasing strength in postural muscles. My physio also runs an evidence based OA program called GLA:D which is really just postural strength training but statistically increases time to surgery.
    I got back on the MTB yesterday after a month and a half off to find that my hip felt much more mobile and I had no pain afterwards. A short term win but I now realise that I have to be dedicated with stretching and strength training if I want to keep cycling.
    I would recommend seeing a reputable sports physiotherapist over a GP for assistance with function. When it is time to discuss surgical options the physio and GP together will provide the best advice.
    Surgery seems like a quick fix but has a range of potential complications. As a RN I have seen a few of them.
    I am comfortable now in accepting my limitations and the potential that I may have to give up road cycling or buy a bike that has the same geometry as my MTB.... which sort of defeats the purpose. I also ride less and walk and kayak more. Keeping active is imperative for OA treatment and pain control.
    I also recommend not using regular opiate drugs to control pain for a number of reasons - not least that they are ineffective in the long run.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Are you over-stretching on the road bike so your arms are straight? You should always have a slight bend in the arm when riding on the hoods.
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