Living with Chronic Pain and Staying Active with an Electric Bike
Some of us live with chronic pain but yet we want to maintain an active lifestyle. My name is Amberlee and I’m a customer service representative with Leeds. I was diagnosed in 2014 with a neurological disorder called spasmodic torticollis. To make a long story short it put me on the couch for a few months and I was fortunate enough to find quick relief through a very good neurologist at the University of Utah.
This disorder made it so my head would want to stay turned to the left along with constant spasms and chronic pain in my neck. I have always been an avid biker and runner. I was unable to participate in these activities for several months with my condition. I speak with many customers on the phone that have various forms of health issues. I understand where they are coming from. Many of our customers express chronic conditions with knees and hips.
One of my favorites was a sweet lady that needed her electric bike to get her into town. She never mentioned one health issue, just that she was aging and wanted to be able to hop on her bicycle to visit the grocery store. She was a bit nervous at first to get on an electric bike, but after one ride she was hooked.
This sweet lady was an inspiration to me to get back out on my bike too. In my case, I was very fortunate to get a quick diagnosis. I now get botox injections in my neck every three months. This relaxes the muscles and gives me the relief I need to live a normal lifestyle. It is just temporary relief that enables me to ride my bike and go for a run. However, these small activities and direction from my doctor enable me to live an active and normal life.
Yes, I still have pain and it will bother me from time to time, but I am so much happier staying active and keeping up with life. Now when I see my neurologist every three months we talk about my cycling and all the fun adventures of living an active lifestyle.
Through this battle and the months I laid on my couch, I realized that staying active was much more about my mental well-being and not so much about the next race or my physical shape. It was simply about getting outside being with my friends and family and being able to clear my head by remaining active.
"Anyone who thinks an electric bike doesn't provide health or fitness benefits has never ridden an electric bike" http://t.co/LRdcHB2hb4
— Biking Health (@bikinghealth) November 19, 2014
When I began working at Leeds Bicycle Solutions, I had the opportunity to convert my bicycle to electric. I quickly realized my condition was diminished by riding an electric bike. I understood the enormous benefits of using an electric bike. I was able to return to road biking and mountain biking. It wasn’t long before I was able to participate in a mountain bike race. I had promised my kids I would race in one of the summer series races and the last one of the season was my last shot at it.
Lucky for me no one else showed up in my class so I took first place and had the podium to myself. Taking the podium is not what mattered, what did matter was I did it for my kids and I did it for me despite my health condition. I’ve realized I am an overall happier person when I am physically active.
I am currently on a social media site that has a support group with others that have my same condition. Just recently one of the ladies on the support group was raving about her electric bike conversion system, she installed on a recumbent trike. The recumbent trikes are perfect to use with a rear wheel electric bike system.
This particular trike has two front wheels and one back wheel. She posted a picture and stated:
I’ve mentioned my recumbent trike in a few previous posts, so I wanted to post a photo for those who may not be familiar with them. I’d highly recommend it as a form of exercise and a way to get out and about comfortably. Also, it’s just plain fun! I was introduced to recumbent trikes about 8 years ago by a recreation specialist (the rehabilitation centre actually had a couple in their gym that I could try out). All I needed to do to adapt it to my needs was add a headrest and a rear-view mirror. Words can’t describe how much enjoyment it has brought to my life. The one I have now is an E-trike. Like you say, it’s great to have the option of electric assist for hills and longer rides. Yeah, that’s me. I cycle more now than I did when I was younger. It’s a very freeing feeling to get out on a bike/trike. -Kaia Sherritt
If you are on the fence about converting your bicycle or trike, then I recommend you read electric bike kit reviews that discuss bicycling and staying active:
Cycling is the one form of exercise I have left that gives me the least amount of grief for Dystonia. I hope you continue to find ways to just do things, though sometimes that’s challenging. – Amy Herrington
It’s great to get back on the road again 3 weeks after being diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia. There were parts of the ride that were a bit challenging (due to the tilting of my neck to the left), but overall it was still manageable. Have a great Sunday everyone! I have my fair share of bad and irritable days as well. But I’m trying my best not to be beaten by CD. Continuing my sports activities really helps. I also noticed that during the 3 weeks I stopped my running and biking activities, my CD symptoms got worse.. that’s why I started to be active again.. but extra careful this time.. -Jirome De Castro
I biked all my life and never stopped because of Cervical Dystonia, just got myself a new bike cause I am getting older and prefer the comfort, but keep on biking cause its better to be active then not. -Jeanette Ykema
It is great that you have found something that gives you exercise, & brings you joy while enjoying the outdoors! -Jan Richter Neutz
@BrightonHoveCC looking for a way to convert my old bike to electric power, Fibromyalgia means i cant even ride up even gradual hill :/
— SUB XERO (@SubXeroMusic) March 24, 2011
I do realize each of us has different and unique health issues that hold us back from staying active. Some are temporary health conditions and some are with us throughout life. I hope to inspire any number of you to get out there and get back on that bike. We’re always here to help when you need it. Here’s to good health and happy biking!