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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Advice for a cyclist having trouble healing

Hi Gary,
I'm admittedly quite a mediocre cyclist who has only ridden MB, and only now have I decided, 16 years after severe head injuries to take on road-riding. Unfortunately I seem to have a predisposition to minor accidents, the last a fortnight ago when a Taxi-driver 'T-boned' me on my motorcycle. I've managed to get away with only deep bruising in my left hip, but not only does it prevent me from cycling it also prevents me from working! Diet-wise I've always eaten wallaby (v.low fat, great stuff), vegetables, plenty of fruit, non-processed dairy food (cheese too but I don't think I can call it non-processed!). Unfortunately last year I had a bad reaction to liberal quantities of fish oil, which is particularly disappointing since I've never heard of anyone else who has that problem!
... help?!!!
First of all, I wonder a little about the wisdom of your choice of cycling on the road.  Cycling on the road, even for a highly experienced cyclist, is hazardous and further head injuries are near the top of the list of potential injuries - death is another.  You just do not want to risk another hard whack to the head.

If you love cycling, the better option for you may be mountain bike riding; but start very conservatively, concentrating on fitness and skills and keep away from high hurtling out of control down rocky mountain sides or attempting areal flips.  Accidents do happen in mountain biking but I would rather hug a gorse bush than a lamp post.

Many of the lasting after effects of a head injury are remarkably similar to adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue.  These may be characterised in the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis as disturbances between magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc.  There are usually concurrent imbalances between sodium and potassium.

These can be the cause of allergies, food intolerances and poor digestion.

Excess calcium can cause allergies, including dermatitis, constipation, woolly brain, fatigue and may deposit in the joints, tendons, muscles and blood vessels, causing all manner of health problems, including muscle and joint pain.

Poor adrenal function will interfere with healing, due to the inadequate production of any of the 98 different steroidal hormones produced by these hard working little glands.

A low fat diet may mean the body is lacking in one or more essential fatty acids.  The body also needs a dribble of protein through the day, rather than a large dollop in one meal.  A wide range of fats and proteins are needed by the body for the manufacture of hormones, enzymes and every tissue in the body.  A lack of any will result in a weak body and poor response to stress, including injury and infection.

The last 15 years has seen the development of a vitamin D deficiency epidemic.  Nobody nowadays appears to have optimum levels.  All tests that I have reviewed have been either borderline deficient or deficient.  If vitamin D is low, then just about everything that goes on in the body suffers.  It would therefore make sense to take measures to optimise vitamin D.

Healing is expedited with a diet that is rich in plant anti oxidants.  These are found in bright and dark coloured fruits, berries and vegetables.  ICL Algotene is the richest natural source of carotenoids and I use this to enhance healing.  Another product that aids healing after traumatic injury (including head injury btw) is ICL Reparen.

If you have scarring and muscle spasm deep in the hip muscles, then exercise alone is not adequate.  Please get a copy of my book on Back Pain and practice the hip exercises once daily as per the instructions in the book.  You need to arrange a once weekly deep tissue massage of the affected and surrounding regions, as well as the opposite leg.  This may be extremely uncomfortable but there should be significant easing by the 3rd week.

Gradually resume activity, starting each day with something like a walk or swim, plus stretches.  You might set your bike up on a trainer and resume cycling indoors.  I would be inclined to start this immediately using pain to guide your progress.

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