Getting in shape

Getting in shape for a big overland bike ride normally involves gym sessions and spending time on the bike. As we found out, it can sometimes also involve MRI scans, hospital admissions and spinal surgeons. ||

I (Frederike) have been suffering from recurrent back pain ever since our Lands End to John O’Groats ride last summer. The problem being that the back pain only shows up after cycling – not a good sign considering our planned trip.

Several months of rest, followed by massages and three months worth of physio sessions didn’t help, so I was finally referred to a sports physician. Being the chief medical officer of the Olympic Association, and a former rowing gold-medallist, he hit the nail on the head with his diagnosis of facet joint inflammation. It’s an inflammation of some joints within the spine, which seems to get more irritated when I cycle.

The diagnosis was confirmed when I saw a spinal surgeon and got an MRI scan. Yesterday, I had to go into hospital to get three cortisone injections in my spine. Now I’m dosed up on pain killers and have to wait for 2 weeks to see if the procedure helped. Fingers crossed it does – as we’re setting off on our big trip in 3 weeks time!

Hospital_1 Hospital_3