Returning to cycling after a crash can be challenging both physically and mentally. Even if you weren't injured significantly in the crash, the trauma associated with it can make it difficult to get back on your bike.
When you are involved in a bike accident, your body releases adrenaline to help you make quick decisions. It's part of our innate fight-or-flight response. This response can help you rapidly and aggressively maneuver your bicycle and tend to your injuries. But many cyclists find that, when they return to the bike after a crash, their heightened adrenaline level returns with them. Experiencing a major trauma, like a bicycle crash, can cause post-traumatic stress and can make it hard to resume normal life after you recover.
Post-traumatic anxiety can make it difficult to return to cycling. Your have experienced a major trauma and your body does not want to have that happen again! You may feel a panic response just approaching your bike or putting on your cycling gear. It's important to take things slow. Allow yourself to address your feelings of anxiety, and slowly return to cycling.
Where is the easiest, most stress-free place that you ride? Ride there for a while, and start with just a few miles. Allow yourself to gradually rebuild your confidence. Understand that an emotional response is normal when you return to cycling after a crash.
If you continue to experience panic when you ride, consider seeing a therapist. They can help you work through the experience of the crash and use cognitive behavioral therapy to look at it in a more positive way.
Physical Injuries in a Cycling Crash
After a bike crash, it is important to address your injuries. Many cyclists try to go without a visit to the doctor, feeling they can "tough out" their injuries. Unfortunately, this can do more harm than good. Without proper medical care, injuries fail to heal or, sometimes, heal incorrectly. And some injuries may be masked by that same rush of adrenaline we've already learned about.
You may not know the full extent of your injuries for a day or two, so it is important to see a doctor right away if you have been involved in any type of crash.
As your road rash, broken bones, strains, and bruises gradually heal, you may find you are feeling much better and ready to ride again. But it's important that your adhere to your physician's recommendations. You may feel discouraged to spend six weeks or more off your bike, but you must take the time to allow your body to heal.
Even after your doctor has released you to ride again, you should be alert for any indication of pain. If something does not feel good when you return to the bike, stop! If you continue to experience discomfort when you ride, consider asking your physician about a course of physical therapy. Ongoing pain can be addressed through strengthening the muscles and stretching exercises.
Returning to Cycling After a Crash
One great tip for returning to cycling is to participate in a group ride. Whether you ride with a partner, or part of a small group, or even in a cycling event, sharing the road with other cyclists can be comforting. Your mental state is important, and being part of a group allows you to focus on those around you instead of worrying about what might happen if you crash.
As you can tell, the damage caused by a cycling crash is both physical and emotional, and can make returning to cycling difficult. Bicycle crashes can change your life- and injuries can take time to heal. Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering all are detrimental to your life, and make recovery difficult.
At the Law Firm of Kass & Moses, we are here to help! We will work with you to help you receive a just settlement for your injuries. We believe that you should be allowed to focus on your recovery, not have to battle with an insurance company. We'll fight for you to get you what you deserve - and give you the time to heal. Contact us today to learn more!