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femoral nerve damage
1:43:01 PM
Okay folks,
I started climbing at vic ranges about 2 yrs ago, after a while I bailed to thailand for six months and got some climbing in there. When I came back I started up at the gym again but unfortunately I had an accident on my bike and broke my pelvis.

Anyway I would like to say that I was charging hard and all that but the truth was that I was finding it hard to keep motivated through lack of any real progress in my grades (didnt help being a member at vic ranges with the shirtless mafia walkin around all the time making it extremely embarrassing for mere mortals like myself LOL

Anyway after my pelvis healed up, i discovered that I have done some damage to my femoral nerve, I had hoped that it would return to full strength but to be brutally honest I dont think tis gonna happen somehow (it has been over a year and 3 months) For those of you that arent aware of what the femoral nerve controls it basically powers the quadricep, thus providing the impetus to be able to straighten my leg. Although I must admit the improvement has been pretty good (I can now walk up stairs almost unaided) and to some extent i can also carry my own weight on a slightly bent leg, I am wondering what advice you guys could give me for overcoming this handicap to take up climbing again?

Basically for the last year or so I havent really had any exercise to speak of cos a) I feel like a bit of a gimp and that i look like im limping all the time (even though in normal walking it is barely noticable and B) I tire quite easily cos of my lack of exercise.

any tips or pointers or hell even a "dont bother ull be pushing shit uphill"would be cool

many thanx

2:08:32 PM
Well its not about the grades its all about the personal challenge, so get out there, try hard, fall off and try again...ignore the shirtless gimps around you...who cares what they think or do..... I agree it probably frustrating struggling up things you cruised before...but its a whole new ball game now so treat it as such....dont look back, just look forward and get out there....thats my 2 cents worth anyway.

2:29:47 PM
Nerve damage takes a long time to heal as you probably know. Nerve regrowth is extremely slow and can take up to 18 months so you may still get a bit of improvement. It depends on how badly the nerve was damaged. I know some of the patients Iíve looked after were getting electrical stimulation through electrodes to promote nerve regeneration - but I donít know much about this procedure. I think a good physiotherapist and regular exercise are the keys to recovery Ė and a positive attitude. Your muscles are weak from not exercising and you basically have to re-train your body. It's like learning to walk all over again. It's bloody hard work but it does get easier. Doing things can also help keep your mind off the pain. Iíve seen people who were told that they would never walk again Ė walk out of the hospital. Itís amazing what the human body can do Ė I know itís a bit corny but maybe watching ďTouching the voidĒ will give you a bit of hope :)
best of luck
3:05:16 PM
I broke my shoulder nearly 20 years ago and due to the nerve damage the muscles have never properly regenerated. I've got a little less strength in that arm now and because the muscles aren't balanced, I suffer from upper back complaints now and again. Still manage routes up to 20 (just) when I'm allowed out. I don't go to the gym cause thats for poofs (and I can't find my lycra gear anyway), mind you I'm sure I'd be able to climb harder if I did train. In any case your best bet is just to make the best of what you've got. Be happy doing what you can. Folks are going to love you more for that than being some bitter old hasbeen hardman, which of course is your other option.
3:13:13 PM
Yeah thanks guys. I was actually seeing a physio and used electro therapy too, I think that is what gave me the initial breakthroughs, unfortunately i kinda fell in a bit of a whole the last few months and let shit get on top of me, this sounds awful lot like a sob story but I dont mean it to be really, just a statement of facts, I find it really hard to be around people who dont have any dramas doing anything, I cant help falling into the feeling that there was so much stuff i used to just take for granted and now its just not gonna happen. It has only been in the last couple of weeks that i guess my survival instincts are starting to kick in and ive realised that if i dont get off my ass and start doing something im just gonna feel worse and worse.

Yeah touching the void isnt a bad idea at all mate, I knew that if i just tried to reach out a little i would get one good idea, funnily enough what has made me determined to try and get up and at it was watching 60 minutes a couple of weeks ago with those murder ball guys. I used to always think that alot of that wheelchair stuff was although inspirational just a little cheesy.

f--- how weak and pathetic did I feel in the face of what those guys have to deal with...

Thanks guys much appreciated.(and who knows maybe that brand new pair of sazi velcros migtht get a workout after all)
10:50:02 PM
lol I was never that hard to begin with,(quite soft actually) I think that is what I find frustrating, that I could have used my time so much better before lol.
ben wiessner
5:32:55 PM
As I was reading this thread, I was thinking that I'd suggest to you to go and see Murderball. It's a great doco, sure to be heaps better than the pith you'd find on 60 Minutes!

If you are in the mood for some inspiration, have a look at This chap had a stroke, while aged under 40 and living a healthy lifestyle, and despite the odds managed to cycle around Australia (on a tandem with his wife I believe). I heard him speak recently, and he referred to how the medical fraternity had advised him that he could expect progress to plateau after 12 months, and his strongest message to the listeners (physiotherapy students) was that progress NEVER stops. He was adamant about this. The harder you work, the better the returns.

Although it isn't as severe as your situation, I expect to be having shoulder surgery soon. It's surprisingly easy to get glum at the prospect of being out of climbing for months on end. But then I think about the people I've seen in 3rd world countries, who are so incredibly happy with so little, and gently chide myself :)

I think to be glad for what you've got is the key, although it's incredibly easy to lose sight of this as the days roll by... so get out there and have a go :)

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