That long-awaited trip, that Odyssey you planned for so long, is finally over and you are back home. The days of great riding, the bends, the parties and the adventures are now fading from reality to memory, and it feels like it’s all over. For now.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is the backache that came back with you, the pain in your arms, that strange tension on your legs, or that numbness in the finger that you can’t manage to ‘wake up.’
Here are some tips for a speedy recovery.
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor or physician before doing these stretches.
Wind pressure on your helmet, tension and grinding your teeth while you ride can cause cervicals. This pain comes and goes in the base of your neck, preventing you from moving it from side to side. It can be mitigated with some simple stretching exercises plus heat or heating cream containing ibuprofen, as they increase blood flow in the area and dilate the muscle, helping it heal.
This pain generally means you have been too stiff while riding. To prevent it in the future, move your head around while you’re riding.
Move your head towards your shoulder, smoothly but continuously. Breathe out along the movement and exhale completely as you finish it. You should notice how your neck muscles stretch and strengthen.
It is typical to hear your cervical vertebrae adjusting themselves along with the movement which can be a signal that you are producing the desired result. Repeat this exercise several times while still.
Should you feel a pain that stops you from moving or raising your arm, and you can’t even take your helmet off after getting off your bike, you could be facing tendonitis in your shoulder – an inflammation in one of your tendons.
As soon as you get off your bike grab something cold – a frozen bottle or a pack of frozen peas. Put it on the area, and the inflammation will go down immediately. After the first few hours applying cold, if it improves, apply heat and go to a professional for an evaluation.
You should review your Harley® motorcycle’s handlebar position. Adjusting the position or changing your existing bars for ones more suited to your height and riding position can help to stop this annoying sharp pain from returning.
Gently swing your elbow, supported by your right hand, in order to strengthen your shoulder. Repeat on the other arm. Put both hands behind and stretch gently. Repeat several times.
You’ve just stopped on your way home, parked and then realized you can’t get off your bike! Don’t worry – you are one of 99% of riders who suffer lower back pain (lumbalgia).
If you have a sharp pain in your upper back and shoulder blades, you may face a trapeze contracture.
If the pain has just begun, apply cold for the first hours, applying heat afterward. Do it this way, not the other way around. If there is inflammation and the pain doesn’t go away, call your therapist for a massage.
Constant pressure on handlebar grips, as well as on clutch and brake levers, is our enemy – Harley-Davidson has solved this problem in newer models by using lighter clutches and has even developed an affordable reduced effort clutch kit for older models.
Be careful if you notice that the low back pain (lumbalgia) mentioned before is going down your leg (left or right), either through the front or the back side. If there’s a pain that stops you from moving, as well as a numbness in that leg, you are facing sciatica (neuralgia along the sciatic nerve).
It is a vague constant pain that will bother you more if you’re still or standing up. If you rode for many miles, your position was rigid and you had to fight against wind, your lower back will be affected.
Tiredness after tons of miles? Don’t play down the importance of it, even if it seems obvious. The symptoms are blood pressure fall, extreme tiredness, lack of appetite and even fever. Here, we are facing a tiredness syndrome due to the excess miles.
Having rest is mandatory, as well as good hydration. Watch alcohol. It’s not recommended – I would like to emphasize this. Alcohol causes dehydration. It steals our water so it can be metabolized, so it’s not just our enemy when riding.
If you are tired after a long route, have some rest, drink fruit juices to top up your vitamins and minerals, water, and, of course, more fruit.