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  1. #1
    Junior Member SamPants's Avatar
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    Another "back pain while climbing" thread

    I know, there are way too many of these! But there is a twist here that I couldn't find with a search.

    I have lower back pain while climbing, but only when I am doing a race-pace effort on a long climb. Usually around mile eight or so is when it starts. It's a dull ache in my lower back that saps all of my power, and it won't go away unless I get off the bike, stretch, and back off to an easy pace obviously not an option in a race!

    I do core workouts, have been professionally fitted, have been riding for many years and racing for several, and climb quite a bit, so I'm not expecting my body to do something new. I just did the Death Ride with over 15,000 feet of climbing and had no back pain at all, so none of the usual suspects seem to apply. Something's happening when I'm going all out, but I can't figure out what. My SO said that my right leg was more knee-in when this was happening, but that my legs are normally symmetrical. Whether that's a cause or symptom, I just don't know. Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    have someone follow you and take a video. do normal DR-type climbing, then do some all-out climbing. spot the differences, and stop doing that.

    also, ITT: 41 jokes

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  3. #3
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    You're probably pulling too hard on the bars. Relax. Rotate forward a little more to release the pressure.

  4. #4
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Here is my WAG:

    When "going all out" you are stomping the pedals and so not releasing the pressure on the power stroke soon enough? I would think that could really torque your lower back.

    But really good advice above. Something like this is like having a "creak" on your bike. It could be lots of things.

    Added in edit: When I climb "all out" everything hurts. LOL.
    Last edited by mollusk; 07-30-14 at 04:19 PM.
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  5. #5
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Hip flexors.
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    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    bending at the back and not rotating at the hips.

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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    bending at the back and not rotating at the hips.
    Nailed it. Almost certainly, it's because your pelvis is rolled back. As someone whose inclination is to keep their pelvis rolled back himself, I feel your pain. Nosing the saddle down a degree or so could help.

  8. #8
    Junior Member SamPants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    bending at the back and not rotating at the hips.
    I think you're onto something with this. I'll keep it in mind at my upcoming race, and see what happens. Thanks for the help!

  9. #9
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamPants View Post
    I think you're onto something with this. I'll keep it in mind at my upcoming race, and see what happens. Thanks for the help!
    just think about how you would hold your core/back when doing a squat. straight. bend at hips. practice this all the time. I do it on my recovery rides to try and build the habit/muscle memory.

    then I see pictures of myself in a race and I can tell I fold under stress. Need to keep working on it.

    dying, awful back

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    Last edited by Ygduf; 07-31-14 at 11:44 AM.

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  10. #10
    Junior Member SamPants's Avatar
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    Liking the squats analogy. Maybe as I get tired I'm letting my back slump and round out. Dying, awful back sounds familiar!

  11. #11
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    I'm going with Mollusk on this one. Too many great climbers have rounded backs. Chris Froome is one. Armstrong was too.

    If you are doing the Stompy McSquarepedal thing when going hard then I'd fix that part first.

  12. #12
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    I'm going with Mollusk on this one. Too many great climbers have rounded backs. Chris Froome is one. Armstrong was too.

    If you are doing the Stompy McSquarepedal thing when going hard then I'd fix that part first.
    Yeah, I think that those chips fall where they may. My back is naturally flat, and scrunching it into a curve is extremely uncomfortable. I just think of my back hanging between my hips and my shoulders. When I lived in CO, I always had a sore back after the first couple long climbs in the spring. Muscular though, and it went away for the other 9 months of the year.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Cadel Evans is a hunch back whereas Wiggins is almost swayback. Lot's of different back pains, causes, and cures. I had a nagging one that was like a knot down the left side of the spine more in the sacroiliac area. I cured it rolling it out on a tennis ball on the floor daily over a period of a week or so.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  14. #14
    Junior Member SamPants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    If you are doing the Stompy McSquarepedal thing when going hard then I'd fix that part first.
    Haha! Nah, I think quite a lot about keeping an even pedal stroke throughout. And I hold the bars lightly, so that isn't it either. But I suspect I may have an imbalance of strength between legs, and perhaps on a long climb at a killer pace something just gives in — I have had left-side back pain before that generally goes away as the season progresses, which also may indicate an imbalance.

  15. #15
    Junior Member SamPants's Avatar
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    Going for some massage work on the back this afternoon. Could be considered a very expensive tennis ball...

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