Thursday, February 19

My Back is WACK!!

I found the missing link. I "get" nutrition, I flog myself with intervals, I will myself to sleep at early hours. But I have missed proper recovery.

Look no further! Jason Ravel from Ravel Therapy here in Redlands has given me a new lease on training. The best way I can describe it is that my legs feel OPEN and can endure much more during training and sooner after training, than prior years this time of year.

Basically, this therapy can make you cry (if you are weak of mind) or yell (if you are agro), or vomit. I think I yelled at him "are you SERIOUS?!?!" once, but the rest I kept to myself. He refered to my spine as an S and my back as a Rubik's Cube.
This is Massage at a whole new level. Soft tissue, muscle therapy, I am not sure exactly what to call it. But, There is nothing relaxing or pleasant about it except that the days and weeks following: YOUR LEGS WILL FEEL DIALED, TUNED, AND STRONG. I'm just saying...

Plus, he clocks in at $65 an can get one of those Sissy-Lala Swedish massages for maybe that price, for 30 minutes. (sign up online, $45 the first hour!)

I think any of us that spends large chunks of the day in the saddle, at a desk, or in a car have some serious back issues. I thought mine were just because i rode my bikes a lot and maybe didn't stretch enough and certainly had not consumed enough recovery drinks.

Oh contrare!

Come to find out I have some serious....real serious, Lordosis and Kyphosis. Do not fret, I won't get all techno on you, but I believe a TON of cyclists suffer one if not both of these!

It probably does not help that I spent a large amount of my younger years standing like this. No wonder my booty appears large, and my belly a bit round!

But seriously, for Lordosis, most of us have heard of it as swayback. Over the years it has put my pelvis way out of line because of excessive curvature of the lumbar spine, which in turn makes my muscle utilization sub-par and inefficiant. Basically a percent of the muscles become dormant and unused while over-taxing others such as my quads.

Kyphosis, when very pronounced, greats that hump on the upper back, one you may see a Grandma with. A lot of us tend to develop this curve of the back due to the relaxed upper body posture while in the saddle.

The cross section to the left is normal, the right has Lordosis, and is pretty much exactly what mine looked like! That's a lot of pressure on the lower spine!

After four weeks of intensive work, i am WAY better! Perhaps i will post some before and after pictures!!!

My suggestion to you is this: Before you go buy the newest energy drink, recovery potion, light bike part or what have you, figure out how to take care of the one part of your equipment you can not replace: YOUR BODY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love IT!

And my female cycling friends - read this and the link she has. Especially during base mile time, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!


Julene said...

wow joy, that is nuts. i feel extremely informed - maybe a bit more than I bargained for - but i really appreciate the info. I'll make sure gwen has a girls bike for sure!


JESSE said...

hey joy, i would never have guessed you had bck problems, it hasn't slowed you down any thats for sure! I think I saw u on the road today, wasn't sure it was u. Do you know when the tuesday night rides will start up again? Or the thurs crit? any way hope things are good! you should come hang with us at stells!

take care,

JOY said...

Jesse: chances are you may have seen me,.perhaps. The tues/thurs rides seem to begin when the sun stays out later, but I am not sure. I tend to start them when it is 95 degrees at 8pm. There are also many things about me that many people would never guess.

And i do most of my life within a 4 mile radius of stells, just at very odd times.