Ebiking and chronic pain

DocSmith

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I'm a 66 you retired physician and I'm disabled with a life-long chronic pain disease. I went through 2 ebikes that didn't fit me well, causing more pain, before learning to fit a bike and purchasing my current ride.

I tell every chronic pain patient I meet to consider an ebike. Riding the throttle is very easy on the body, and it let me get up to 10 miles day, 3-4 days a week, w/o the throttle, slowly, a bit at a time. I expect to be riding as long as I can walk. Just wanted to say hello and to recommend ebiking to anyone who can sit in a saddle

All the best to each of you!
 
I'm a 66 you retired physician and I'm disabled with a life-long chronic pain disease. I went through 2 ebikes that didn't fit me well, causing more pain, before learning to fit a bike and purchasing my current ride.

I tell every chronic pain patient I meet to consider an ebike. Riding the throttle is very easy on the body, and it let me get up to 10 miles day, 3-4 days a week, w/o the throttle, slowly, a bit at a time. I expect to be riding as long as I can walk. Just wanted to say hello and to recommend ebiking to anyone who can sit in a saddle

All the best to each of you!
Glad you found something that fits you. I think proper fit is much more important than amount of power, type of motor, and all the other stuff discussed in these forums. You might be interested in this thread ...
 
Rides like an eTrike are an excellent choice too. Tadpole style 2 front wheels, 1 rear, basically have a lawn chair for a seat. Never saddle pain with those! But I don't think many folks here need encouragement to ride. We are enthusiasts after all. LOL
 
I gave up on cycling, because of my disability. Then I found out about e-bikes!

I’m on SSDI, so it took a long time before I could get one. Now, I’ve sold my car, and my Rad Wagon 4 is my sole vehicle. Riding it is like injecting joy, and my physical therapist is astonished at how quickly my strength and balance are improving every week.

No one within shouting distance of me will give up cycling solely because of disability again, if I can help it! 😊
 
<< Riding the throttle is very easy on the body >>
Well, that's true... for almost everyone.

Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder here, pain can be anywhere, but seems to mainly rotate through a few different spots.

One of those spots is my hands, and my thumbs specifically.

I have two e-bikes, I do have a throttle on my hub drive... and I find that it's a little hard on my thumb!

Your general point is really well taken. 64 here, I seem to have given up skiing in 2019, though I still plot a possible return, I'm not sure I'll follow through... I've been on blood thinners since about 2005, and am thinking about quitting while I'm ahead on that one. I can still bodyboard 5 or 10 days a year, but I may have to stop that in a year or two as well. I think the eMTB will be in my future for a long time.

I agree on fit... I do have an old road bike back in NYC, and I do ride it whenever I am back there. But it is SO much harder on my back and shoulders than either my kit-bike hub drive or my eMTB. The eMTB's riding position may be considered 'aggressive,' but compared to the road bike, it's absolutely comfy-- I know that's not the primary purpose of suspension and I appreciate the extra traction from suspension greatly-- I would have dumped any bike without suspension three times on my ride yesterday. But it also reduces wear and tear on my joints.

Riding the kit bike, I find that technique is very important-- it has stem and seat post suspension which helps, but only if I remind myself to hold the bars a bit more loosely while I'm going over cracked pavement or roots.

I ride a very similar distance to you. Eight to 13 miles is my usual ride, three to five times a week when I'm not flaring, with 600 to 1300 feet of vertical. During a flare, I'll only ride three or four miles on the kit bike, avoiding bumps and using as little motor as possible so I get 20 minutes of decent cardio covering a much shorter distance. Flares are weird-- on rare occasions, I find that the conventional wisdom to avoid exercise can make symptoms worse. More commonly, however, it's better for me to play hurt and fight it even if I have to dip down to 90 minutes a week of cardio. And occasionally, I can 'work through' a flare-- if I time it just right, I can shut down the flare faster with moderate exercise. Tricky business, but much better riding vs. not riding!
 
Glad you found something that fits you. I think proper fit is much more important than amount of power, type of motor, and all the other stuff discussed in these forums. You might be interested in this thread ...
 
Thanks! Yes, great thread. I'm very impressed with the power (no pun intended) of ebikes as a tool for health development and maintenance. if you can sit on a bike, you can ride an ebike. You wind up pedaling as much or as little as you want and you get the health benefits of an extremely enjoyable experience as well as the sunshine and the physical aspects of riding. Just a great tool!
 

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Don't forget the endomorphin benefit of cardio health. See Ken Cooper Aerobics for that theory. My knees were so damaged by the US Army that I wouldn't be able to walk without endomorphin to kill the pain. When I twist a knee, which makes pain horrid for a week, I can use the throttle on the bike to get home and get off it. When I'm fine, I pedal without power as much as the wind will allow me. Pulse usually 120. No 6 hour trips into a headwind at 4.5 mph on an e-bike.
 
Welcome aboard!

And as an aside to you comment about a properly fitted bike. If anyone needs some anecdotal evidence of the value of a professional (or even just educated) fitting, watch this video link below. This Youtuber (Mary Spender) is a popular musician, but loves biking and made a parallel channel for it. This is her experience getting a pro bike fit, and her impressions and results.

Mary Spender - Proof of Sweat

TLDR - She raves about it... Literal "Holy S#!t" moment at 12:50.
 
I'm a 66 you retired physician and I'm disabled with a life-long chronic pain disease. I went through 2 ebikes that didn't fit me well, causing more pain, before learning to fit a bike and purchasing my current ride.

I tell every chronic pain patient I meet to consider an ebike. Riding the throttle is very easy on the body, and it let me get up to 10 miles day, 3-4 days a week, w/o the throttle, slowly, a bit at a time. I expect to be riding as long as I can walk. Just wanted to say hello and to recommend ebiking to anyone who can sit in a saddle

All the best to each of you!
I feel ya doc! Little by slow arthritis that I had since I was 14, that was misdiagnosed three times, finally got the best of me. A musician for 50 years I finally lost a professional use of my hands. After chemo save my life it destroyed my central nervous system in my feet. I can barely walk and I spent three years laying in bed reading books about how to kill myself. I’m not kidding. One of the things that help me was a series of E bikes and E scooters. Back in the year 2000 I bought a tidal force, which was from a company led by Leah coca. Then I bought an ego scooter from a company that was started in Cambridge and then eventually the Copenhagen wheel via Superpedestrian . Well, you live in learn. I guess. But I’m very disappointed that Superpedestrian has stopped making a Copenhagen Wheel Anna switched over to 500 scooter large fleets. In other words unless you order 500 of those scooters you can’t buy singles. But getting out there with a little help from a throttle and some electricity has really been one of the joys of my life. So good luck to you and me and all the people that suffer from chronic daily pain. Very few people understand what we know. And that is it’s only gonna get worse, never better.
 
Great thread.

I am using the eBike to reverse a very sedentary existence the past few years. I'm 60.

I Am worried about pain I am experiencing from riding. I thought it was all my butt, but after breaking a good seat in and covering it, I realize the remainder of the pain is really in my tailbone. Aerobically, I feel like I could ride some longer rides, but from the pain, I can only do about 5 to 7 miles at this point. Concerned that the pain will interfere with this otherwise great, healthy hobby.
 
Great thread.

I am using the eBike to reverse a very sedentary existence the past few years. I'm 60.

I Am worried about pain I am experiencing from riding. I thought it was all my butt, but after breaking a good seat in and covering it, I realize the remainder of the pain is really in my tailbone. Aerobically, I feel like I could ride some longer rides, but from the pain, I can only do about 5 to 7 miles at this point. Concerned that the pain will interfere with this otherwise great, healthy hobby.
I bought a Trek Allant+ 9.9S ebike about 2 years ago. It has no suspension, and passes every bit of vibration and hard jolts through to the rider. As a result, it was causing terrible lower back pain, and aggravating my sciatica. I purchased a Redshift suspension seatpost, and found total relief. My back still hurts at times, but not from riding. I really recommend trying a suspension seatpost. 😊
 
Great thread.

I am using the eBike to reverse a very sedentary existence the past few years. I'm 60.

I Am worried about pain I am experiencing from riding. I thought it was all my butt, but after breaking a good seat in and covering it, I realize the remainder of the pain is really in my tailbone. Aerobically, I feel like I could ride some longer rides, but from the pain, I can only do about 5 to 7 miles at this point. Concerned that the pain will interfere with this otherwise great, healthy hobby.

Like RayRay said, try a suspension seat post. Many brands available. I have Cirrus Kinekt and love’em. A little pricey but so worth it. Smooths out all the bumps, large & small.
 
On a properly fitted ebike - I had a Pedego Boomerang I loved, but it had 2 problems: Too little weight up front caused the front wheel to shimmy on steeper hills, and neck pain due to it having a poor fit (too long a reach). I had to argue with the owner, but I got a steep discount on the new bike, which had the adjustable stem that would have solved the fit problem on the other (all their rides were soon fitted with adjustable stems, and yet they continued to refuse to fit bikes to new owners. Happily, I, too, watched a lot of videos on the topic and got the right ride for me - made up of parts from 3 bikes, it has the hydraulic brakes I need, a very fine suspension seat post (the fellow with tailbone issues might benefit from one), ergonomic grips, a frame from one model, the upgraded components from another and a twist throttle, since I can't bear the thumb throttles. I hope to ride it into the pavement. My thanks to everyone for such a great thread! :D
 

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Great thread.

I am using the eBike to reverse a very sedentary existence the past few years. I'm 60.

I Am worried about pain I am experiencing from riding. I thought it was all my butt, but after breaking a good seat in and covering it, I realize the remainder of the pain is really in my tailbone. Aerobically, I feel like I could ride some longer rides, but from the pain, I can only do about 5 to 7 miles at this point. Concerned that the pain will interfere with this otherwise great, healthy hobby.
 
You might benefit from a good-quality suspension seat post
Well, that's true... for almost everyone.

Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder here, pain can be anywhere, but seems to mainly rotate through a few different spots.

One of those spots is my hands, and my thumbs specifically.

I have two e-bikes, I do have a throttle on my hub drive... and I find that it's a little hard on my thumb!

Your general point is really well taken. 64 here, I seem to have given up skiing in 2019, though I still plot a possible return, I'm not sure I'll follow through... I've been on blood thinners since about 2005, and am thinking about quitting while I'm ahead on that one. I can still bodyboard 5 or 10 days a year, but I may have to stop that in a year or two as well. I think the eMTB will be in my future for a long time.

I agree on fit... I do have an old road bike back in NYC, and I do ride it whenever I am back there. But it is SO much harder on my back and shoulders than either my kit-bike hub drive or my eMTB. The eMTB's riding position may be considered 'aggressive,' but compared to the road bike, it's absolutely comfy-- I know that's not the primary purpose of suspension and I appreciate the extra traction from suspension greatly-- I would have dumped any bike without suspension three times on my ride yesterday. But it also reduces wear and tear on my joints.

Riding the kit bike, I find that technique is very important-- it has stem and seat post suspension which helps, but only if I remind myself to hold the bars a bit more loosely while I'm going over cracked pavement or roots.

I ride a very similar distance to you. Eight to 13 miles is my usual ride, three to five times a week when I'm not flaring, with 600 to 1300 feet of vertical. During a flare, I'll only ride three or four miles on the kit bike, avoiding bumps and using as little motor as possible so I get 20 minutes of decent cardio covering a much shorter distance. Flares are weird-- on rare occasions, I find that the conventional wisdom to avoid exercise can make symptoms worse. More commonly, however, it's better for me to play hurt and fight it even if I have to dip down to 90 minutes a week of cardio. And occasionally, I can 'work through' a flare-- if I time it just right, I can shut down the flare faster with moderate exercise. Tricky business, but much better riding vsI

- it saved my tail!
 
I hear ya - I have central sensitization syndrome, and the pain can be nearly incapacitating (and anywhere in the body). On the throttle - I mentioned this below, but I had to move to a twist throttle - the thumb throttle was heck on my hand. But I've heard the opposite from one dedicated ebike lady, so it's pretty personal. Good riding to you, and all the best!
 
Suspension seat post is not enough for me, full suspension is my choice for biking. I too landed on my tail bone hard off of a flatbed trailer, no surgery required but long rides I can feel the dull pain. With full suspension I'm comfortable riding 20 to 30 miles daily. Sometimes I wear padded shorts. I'm 57 yo, ebiking has kept me active. It feels like luxury exercise.
@DocSmith are you still with us enjoying the luxury of ebiking?
Yes, I'm very much still riding - 30 miles, most weeks! I'm currently recovering from a foot surgery but should be back riding in another month. I also went with a suspension seat post AND a front suspension w/ ergonomic grips, It's made a world of difference. Thanks for asking!
 
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