New member with a broken arm

by lisa76uk   January 5, 2014  

Hi everyone,

I've recently got back into cycling after a break. I used to do a lot of mountain biking and some bmx. Anyway, sorry for a question on my first post, but...

I managed to slip over at home yesterday and break my right arm (radius, just above the wrist) so I'm in a cast now for 6 weeks. I wondered if anyone has any tips re: nutrition (I'm vegan) or physio to help speed up the healing process and get me riding again quicker.

Needless to say I'm feeling pretty gutted at the moment and a bit of an idiot.

Thanks in advance and good to meet you all!
Lisa

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Why is it that despite doing a fair amount of risky stuff I always seem to injure myself doing something stupid or mundane?
Broken toe = I kicked a fridge (because someone nicked my cheese!)
Collar bone= fell out of a sand-pit
As for speeding up the heeling process.... good luck with that! If you can come up with a plan that works I will be interested; I suspect it would be worth a few quid!
I suspect that you could maintain some of your fitness using a turbo-trainer and the increase in blood flow to the injury would help the healing process, this is what I would do, but it has to be done pain free!
Have you heard of the vegan ultra-runner Scott Jurek? He has written an auto-biography (Eat and Run) with lots of vegan thoughts and recipes that I think would be of interest to any sportsperson but in particular vegans!
But.... injuries are s**t; you just have to be (a) patient!

posted by SideBurn [732 posts]
6th January 2014 - 10:30

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From my experience of breaking my wrist last year - you can't rush it. Definitely a case of resting it. Eat lots of calcium-rich foods (dark green veg like watercress, nuts etc) and get lots of vitamin D (synthetically or by sunshine) as that helps your body absorb it.

And get a knitting needle or similar for those annoying itches.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [646 posts]
6th January 2014 - 14:05

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I broke a thumb a couple of years back and ended up with a comically large plaster up to my wrist (no doubt to teach me to be more carfel in future).

Anyway, i was recklessly impatient and went out on my bike again almost immediately - i didn't come off or anything, but the sweat that was generated in the plaster made for a pretty unpleasant and very itchy 4 weeks in the cast.

Not recommended!

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posted by ragtimecyclist [115 posts]
6th January 2014 - 14:09

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Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone!

Sadly, I don't have a turbo trainer at the moment. I do have gym membership so I do have the option of static exercise bikes and exercising legs on weight machines, but I'm thinking it might be better to let my body rest up and heal as Gizmo suggests. Also the sweat issue that ragtimecyclist raised is a good point.

I've not heard of Scott Jurek, Sideburn, but I will certainly look him up as it sounds interesting not only from a recovery point of view, but in also in terms of general vegan nutrition for fitness.

I do eat a healthy, balanced, varied diet so I 'should' have most of the bases covered, but I do use supplements to ensure I get everything I need on a daily basis. I picked up vegan-friendly calcium/magnesium/zinc today just to help boost my calcium intake. I also found a .pdf online recommending extra protein in the diet and a higher daily calorific intake to help the body produce the materials needed and have enough energy to heal properly. How true it is? I don't know, but it can't hurt trying.

I'm also considering gently stretching daily after a few more days just to make sure I don't start tightening up.

The biggest challenge is that I'm right-handed and it's my right arm that's broken, so there's been some problem solving going on! Ha! Smile

Thanks again! Lisa

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
6th January 2014 - 16:34

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Don't consume more calories than you need, your energy expenditure has reduced so any excess will be stored as fat, and will not increase your healing ability, if anything it will slow it down as the body wastes its resources trying to digest food it doesn't need and then converting excess to fat.
Keep exercising, you have only broken your arm. Get a hair dryer for drying inside the cast after you have finished. If your eating a balanced nutritionally sound diet anyway then don't change it other than taking into account your energy expenditure.

The trouble with real life is that there is no danger music.

The Cable Guy

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posted by Cyclist [100 posts]
6th January 2014 - 19:59

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The, "can a serious athlete be a vegan" question is what 'Eat and Run' is all about! Either Scott is full of s**t or a vegan diet provides all the nutrition you need! He even seems to suggest that a vegan diet is better for you and one of the secrets of his success!
But this is heresy in my house (but I now eat less meat as a result of reading the book!)
Good luck and be patient!

posted by SideBurn [732 posts]
6th January 2014 - 20:00

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Sounds every cyclist has the experience of serious or not serious accidents. It is lucky to me that didn't have the bad experience. Hope my lucky can cover other forum members.

posted by Clay Stevens (not verified) [21 posts]
9th January 2014 - 9:16

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Probably a mute point but avoiding tobacco is important for bone recovery. Smoking reduces calcium absorbtion so is bad news for fixing broken bones and can contribute to breaking them in the first place.

I don't want to assume but I would guess that Lisa is a non-smoker anyway but its worth noting.

posted by Matt eaton [0 posts]
9th January 2014 - 11:45

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SideBurn wrote:
Have you heard of the vegan ultra-runner Scott Jurek? He has written an auto-biography (Eat and Run) with lots of vegan thoughts and recipes that I think would be of interest to any sportsperson but in particular vegans!

I've ordered the book you mentioned SideBurn. Thanks for pointing it out! Smile

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
9th January 2014 - 21:48

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Matt eaton wrote:
Probably a mute point but avoiding tobacco is important for bone recovery. Smoking reduces calcium absorbtion so is bad news for fixing broken bones and can contribute to breaking them in the first place.

I don't want to assume but I would guess that Lisa is a non-smoker anyway but its worth noting.

You're right that I don't smoke Matt, but it's good to point it out for anyone reading the thread! Thanks. The consultant asked me the same thing and also raised his eyebrows when I said he was vegan. He couldn't get his head around someone finding enough nutrition and energy for exercise/competing from a vegan diet.

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
9th January 2014 - 21:52

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lisa76uk wrote:
SideBurn wrote:
Have you heard of the vegan ultra-runner Scott Jurek? He has written an auto-biography (Eat and Run) with lots of vegan thoughts and recipes that I think would be of interest to any sportsperson but in particular vegans!

I've ordered the book you mentioned SideBurn. Thanks for pointing it out! Smile

Cool; let me know what you think but do not take up running, it hurts too much!

posted by SideBurn [732 posts]
10th January 2014 - 17:09

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SideBurn wrote:
Cool; let me know what you think but do not take up running, it hurts too much!

I've now read 'Eat and Run' by Scott Jurek and what a great book! I'm not going to be entering any ultras soon (read that as at all), but his mindset and approach to endurance events is fantastic! Thanks for the recommendation! I'm currently reading 'Core Advantage' by Tom Danielson/Allison Westfahl about building core strength to reduce injury and improve performance on the bike which should be handy given the problems I've had in the past.

I had the cast removed yesterday after 5 weeks and my right wrist, unsurprisingly, is weak as a kitten. I'm trying out KT tape to see if it works (probably not) and using a wrist splint thingy at night. Should be fine in a few days. I am having to run to keep up my fitness though! Rolling Eyes

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
11th February 2014 - 20:56

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Since your out of the cast now why not learn to juggle with soft balls. Years ago I broke my elbow in bike accident and as part of my recuperation I taught myself to juggle. It help with getting movement back and also helped build strength up too. Just an idea.

[URL=http://veloviewer.com/athlete/3303236/][/URL

posted by Nat Jas Moe [19 posts]
11th February 2014 - 21:59

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I've found KT tape to be helpful with sprains. It provides some gentle tension and reminds me to try to keep in a neutral position. Congrats on getting the cast off. Did your doc recommend any physio exercises for range of motion and strength?

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [101 posts]
11th February 2014 - 22:03

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Nat Jas Moe wrote:
Since your out of the cast now why not learn to juggle with soft balls. Years ago I broke my elbow in bike accident and as part of my recuperation I taught myself to juggle. It help with getting movement back and also helped build strength up too. Just an idea.

What a great idea! I can juggle 3 balls already, although craply, but I will definitely give this a go, thanks!

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
11th February 2014 - 23:02

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movingtarget wrote:
I've found KT tape to be helpful with sprains. It provides some gentle tension and reminds me to try to keep in a neutral position. Congrats on getting the cast off. Did your doc recommend any physio exercises for range of motion and strength?

Thanks! I think I've followed the instructions properly on The KT YouTube channel for wrist injuries. It seems to be supporting my wrist a bit so far, so here's hoping. I'm trying to push myself to use the wrist as much as possible and get the tendons, muscles and the joint itself moving as much as possible. I can see some improvement even just from yesterday. I was told originally that the cast would be on for 6 weeks, but, thankfully, it came off after 5 weeks. The doctor said I shouldn't need any physio and to be honest I think he was right. I think I got off lightly, the bone didn't displace and the break was about 10mm from the end of the radius.

I pushed myself to finish off adjusting my new seatpost and saddle today and torquing them up, the new parts I was in the middle of adjusting when I slipped and have yet to test out! My wrist seemed fine with it. And tomorrow I'm looking at fitting a new set of bars that a friend gave me to try out, new cables and bar tape (never wrapped bar tape before but looks easy enough).

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posted by lisa76uk [20 posts]
11th February 2014 - 23:13

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Good to hear that you are on the road to full recovery; I am glad you enjoyed the book Smile

posted by SideBurn [732 posts]
12th February 2014 - 19:18

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I am just coming back from a fracture in my arm.

Painful and frustrating.

Good luck.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1186 posts]
13th February 2014 - 13:11

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I too am crapy at juggling but certainly helped me along.

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posted by Nat Jas Moe [19 posts]
14th February 2014 - 22:29

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