Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

arnsider
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Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by arnsider »

I appreciate I'm on the wrong site, but I am sure that many cyclists are Hill Walkers, at least in my stretch of the woods they are and they may have come across my problem.
I cycle regularly and over hilly terrain on both my E bike and lightweight day tourers.
I don't get on the Fells as much as I used to, but I'm no stranger to the occassional steep rocky ascent.
Mid last week, I met some old friends and we walked to the top of Coniston Old Man from the village.
We went up Church Beck and across the flanks of Below Beck Fells, then the zig zags up from Lowes water to the top.
My two pals are both pretty fit and quicker than me. One of them is a time trial veteran.
I found it hard going, even using two poles.
Going down was very hard work, slow, tedious and worrying because of the strain I had put my thigh muscles under.
Four days on and I am in a lot of discomfort and unless I can lock my legs at the knee, I am hard pressed to take my weight.
I am having to use a stick and crutches to get up from a chair and walk safely.
I'd welcome any advice from people facing similar muscle strain, in particular the best way to recover and get back on the bike.
I have had similar strains from steep road ascents, but none as sore and painfull as this.
Jdsk
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Jdsk »

No local joint pain... all in the thigh muscles?

Usual advice: stay mobile but don't push through pain.

NHS Advice: "Sprains and strains":
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sprains-and-strains/
... includes recommendations on analgesics and typical recovery times.

Jonathan

PS: We're missing the Lakes enormously. Maybe next year...
Pebble
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Pebble »

Obviously your injury could be something completely different so you should see a doctor first.

But for me, when I havn't been in the hill walking for a while I can get this pain in the quads, I believe downhill walking sort of uses the muscles the wrong way and when you are not used to it I think you get a build up of lactic acid in the muscle, hence the pain and discomfort. can take days to wear off - massaging the muscles upwards seems to speed up recovery for me.

(when I say a muscles working the wrong way, I think they work best and most efficiently when the fibres are shortening during effort, walking downhill the fibres are lengthening during effort and this causes micro tears?)
Jdsk
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Jdsk »

Pebble wrote: 3 Oct 2021, 10:01am But for me, when I havn't been in the hill walking for a while I can get this pain in the quads, I believe downhill walking sort of uses the muscles the wrong way and when you are not used to it I think you get a build up of lactic acid in the muscle, hence the pain and discomfort. can take days to wear off - massaging the muscles upwards seems to speed up recovery for me.

(when I say a muscles working the wrong way, I think they work best and most efficiently when the fibres are shortening during effort, walking downhill the fibres are lengthening during effort and this causes micro tears?)
I think that that unfamiliar reverse loading on the downhill bits is what causes this rather than local hypoxia or accumulation of lactate.

Jonathan
boblo
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by boblo »

One for a bit of Google self diagnosis, search for 'exercise induced rhabdomyolysis'...

Might be you, definitely me.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by NATURAL ANKLING »

Hi,
If we're simply talking about muscles then they repair themselves very quickly.
If the pain is lasting more than a week? Then there is something else going on.
I would've thought the first thing then would be physiotherapy?

I've done a lot of hillwalking and I would say that cycling certainly aids that.
One in a cardiovascular way and two with better quads.
The reverse loading you're talking about where you load the muscles and stretch it, it's something I do on my bike for short periods, but it's not something that you want to be doing for minutes at a time.

Of course the problem probably gets worse with age, going downhill especially if you have any weight on your back is really going to tell on those Those muscles.
Is there any pain above and below the knee too?

nothing might of changed in your exercise, but as we get older I've found that you have to work harder to maintain fitness, especially muscle suppleness and strength including trying to remain injury free or pain-free let's say.

I am 62 and sticks or not something that I need unless I am negotiating tricky rocky ground/streams to steady, Not that I've ever had to use them up to now.

I just like to add that I have a very low cadence (50 avg) and I do a lot of standing in my training, this is slow deliberate standing not necessarily sprinting.

age and trying to maintain strength, if you have no other conditions I would still say then it's going to have to be physiotherapy/muscle strength exercises.

Micro muscle tears?
That's a new favourite saying I think, but I think that's just normal through training and doing long rides.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Pebble
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Pebble »

I wondered if the 'micro muscle tears ' was a bit of a buzz word too hence my question mark

There was also the thing about 'ice baths' I did on a few occasions immerse my lower half in a cold stream after a long and punishing day in the hills, it did sort of work in reducing stiffness in the following days, but it is such an unpleasant and unwelcome thing to do I think I would rather put up with the stiffness. A cold beer is far more important.
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simonineaston
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by simonineaston »

Quick Q for OP - how old? (You don't have to answer, of course) Now over the hill, I'm getting all sorts of pains, aches and so-on, which I never had before... one example was a brief dose of plantar fasciitis, which came and went, last month. Why? No idea !! Solution: simple - do not grow old !
I'm now doing a total of an hour a day of exercises, just to keep sundry aches & pains at bay - running to stand still as it were.
(rides: Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)
Tangled Metal
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Tangled Metal »

Cross training helps but doing the activity a lot is the best way to prevent issues doing it. You do need to keep muscles trained for the activity by doing it. Hill walking didn't make me perform well when I tried running or got back into cycling. Both of those exercises I found hard despite being very hill fit. I couldn't run for half hour straight only a few minutes then walk. My cycling pace was pretty poor too at first too.

Having said that it does sound like the OP needs medical help for his injury. Without meaning offence, I think the OP is a very keen cyclist and retires too. A regular cyclist. Not someone you'd think would be on crutches after a nice walk in the hills. Perhaps physiotherapist visit but you need to get your gp to refer you to the community physiotherapy department. Every area has them so you don't necessarily need a hospital visit. Would ultrasound help to see damage there?

Whatever the damage I hope you get better arnsider and you get out cycling around the village you got your username from soon.
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Paulatic
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by Paulatic »

I’ve been up The Old Man twice and on each occasion I took a MtB with me for the journey back down. Reading the OP confirms it was the right decision.
I’m sure you’ll mend up and maybe some Pilates might help.
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arnsider
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by arnsider »

Well, firsty, many thanks to all for replying with advice.
I am 71 years old, six feeet tall and weigh 105 kilograms, which I appreciate is too heavy.
I was formerly very good on steep gradients, but noticed deterioration a year or two back, coming off Harter Fell.
It's six days since my injury and I have;
Swam lengths and used the jacuzzi, showering my legs under very cold water.
Rested using Ice packs.
Used my TENS unit on both thighs.
I've had to use a walking stick out and about and have had most pain sitting down and standing from chairs and the loo.
The worst effect has been an alarming, involuntary sudden weakening in the thigh muscle as I move my leg forward while walking, just as the knee is slightly bent and not locked.
It's definatley getting easier and I can get up from sitting without a stick or the crutches I had when I broke my ankle.
I'm itching to get out on the bike, but just now we are having very wet weather, so the pool is the best place.
I find a nice easy dog paddle is good.
David2504
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by David2504 »

Rather than seeking help from an online forum, if you’re still suffering call your GP, or even attend A&E at your local Morecambe Bay Trust hospital.
cyclop
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by cyclop »

I sympathise with your problem.I,m 69,ex fell runner,regular cyclist.My local hill,Screel is a steepish ,1000 ft slog and,on moving here 4 yrs ago, started going up maybe once a fortnight.I shot up the hill ok but the legs just got stiffer and stiffer on descent meaning days off the bike.Result,I don,t bother,preferring a brisk 1/2 hr up the golf course just to keep weight bearing on the go.Either do more or forget big hills and be happy with what you can do on a bike.
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531colin
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by 531colin »

Its called "eccentric contraction" where the muscle elongates while contracting, as the quads do to keep your speed under control walking downhill.
It is known to produce muscle soreness particularly when you are not used to it.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Severe thigh muscle strain after Hill Walking

Post by NATURAL ANKLING »

Hi,
Edited in bold, Below
I was out last night and practice it twice.
It's quite easy on a bike but I wouldn't recommend doing it too often.
I only do it for say 20 seconds at a time.
You stand up on a hill but you keep the bike in a straight line not swaying side to side.
Keep the handlebar straight, and keep the bike upright all the time.
The only Way to achieve peddling like this is to drop your hips to the bars but push down on the pedals.
Edited- this has to be done in one motion you drop your hip to the bars (Thrusting at the top of the stroke, to try and get your hips touching the bars but not quite)at the same time as pressing down on the pedals.
You then return your hips to normal position and do the same for the other leg.
So it's a thrusting action and hips to the bars.
it's a taken that this is at a low cadence, you are out of the saddle the whole time, I would say something like 30 rpm or less.
This isn't a racing motion or natural climbing motion either


This has the desired effect, try it.

I think walking down the hill with a rucksack on your back is a lot more difficult on the knees than running down hill without the rucksack of course.
Well from memory that's my thoughts.
I remember coming down tracks of the Pennines when walking the Pennine Way with a rucksack, having to stop for a bit of relief sometimes.
And I also remember running up and down one and six hills and Steeper.

On my treadmill at home when I use it once or twice a week, gradients 4-10%, Walking and running (walking 4- 10% speed just above 4 mile an hour) (running three and 4% speed six and 7 miles an hour) I find that next day it's my hamstrings that have been used most.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.
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