Training & Nutrition - Push=Back pain?
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05-24-03, 11:15 PM
It seems to me that the more I put out, in terms of pedal force, the more my back seems to hurt. This pain seems to come from the inside somewhere.
My question. Are there muscles in your internal back area that are used in pedaling forces, that arn't usually used in regular work? This seems to happen weather I spinn or crunch, although I really try and spinn as much as possible. My knees really tell off on me if I push big gears too much.
back pain is not something to screw around with, see a Doc. Most likely you have a strength imbalance, your bicycling muscles may be overwhelming the back muscles. If that is the case, strengthening is the long term cure. Don't know your age, but a flat back is an invitation to back pain. One approach could be to raise the stem, at least for a while (do a google search for 'raise dat stem'). One of my favorite tricks for back pain is a long soak in a hot tub.
But first see a Doc.
05-25-03, 09:03 AM
My back does the same thing, I think whenever you spend any time hammering with any pedal pressure you'r gonig to "feel it".
If you aren't "pushing" you can relax your back and feel the lower area "ease up" into no pain, but then again you're not pushing anymore.
If you check the "low-back pain" websites you'll find no-nonsense exercises you can do that will help..
05-25-03, 11:37 AM
Richard, this is what I'm talking about. I have been doing 64 mile rides, taking my time and not really "pushing hard" and have almost none of the type of pain I'm talking about. On the other hand, if I go on 20 mile ride and push hard I get the pain. It subsides if I stop hammering and is totally gone by the next morning I have no twinge of discomfort. This has lead me to beleive that there is a group of muscles that get used to "help hold you over" when hammering the pedals.
I don't really think I'm doing dammage, I hope to get stronger in this area by riding.
One approach could be to raise the stem
I'm running my bars about 1 inch below my saddle now and am comfortable there. I am slightly uncomfortable in the drops, unlike when I got the bike and couldn't even breathe in the drops. I still do not undersatand why manufactures can't ship the bike with the tube cut long for those of us who like the bars a little higher.
As abs and lower back are opposing muscle groups if you are riding hard in a position putting too much strain on the lower back strengthening the abs will help shift strain off the lower back.This ties into the muscle balance/imbalance scenario late mentioned .There was a recent thread on ab exercises but my favorite is to crunch from the top and bottom(rear off ground) of abs simultaneously into a ball .
05-26-03, 06:56 AM
In all things exercise, I always take the "weakest link" approach.
We all do, when under stress (effort) ... that's why our perfect pedal strokes turn into "pumping" when climbing. That's why we stand up, even in a headwind if our butts hurt enough......
Anyway, depending on just how "out of balance" your back muscles are to your "ab" stuff, this may be the limting factor.I suggest that the anterior muscles are not causing any pproblems, but hey who knows...
Since I already know all about muscles and conditioning I'll let this page do the "talking"....
I ws debating with myself whether to give a routine for his midsection. The old name for that device is a Roman Chair. I do seated rows, and some ab work, for about a month before moving on to the Roman Chair (hyper extension).
Great machine. Anway....
1)Abs- this may be the key to the problem. A gym with a good ab machine is nice, but plain old crunches are good, especially on an incline board. Expect pain.
2) Find an exercise station with a pulley on the floor. On a floor level pad, or right on the floor, do rows. I like a bar that looks like a headhunter shrunk a bicycle's drop bars, let's me get my elbows further back. Bend from the HIPS, and tighten the abs when pulling back. This works the hip/lower back are better than a typical rowing station where your feet are lower than your butt.
3) After you've done this a couple weeks, hope on a Roman Chair. Put the ankle bar a couple down from the top. Use the handles to help you go up and down. If if doesn't feel good while you're doing it, do a couple more weeks of rowing and ab work.
Avoid pain on the Roman Chair, and when rowing. And do them ONCE a week. Abs you can do every couple days if you want.
05-26-03, 08:16 AM
It has been proved that strengthening the abs does little to assist
the lower back. Strengthen your abs to the maximum and then
try lifting a weight incorrectly in the dangerous manner, will your
abs protect your lower back.
With round pedaling the lower back must supply the resistance,
which is why the greater the power applied to the pedals, the
greater the strain will be on the lower back.
With linear pedaling the hips provide all the resistance and the effect on the lower back is the same as lifting weights in the
recommended safe way.
There are two ways to do everything, the right way and the
wrong way and all cyclists are using the wrong way and this is
why 70 per cent of cyclists suffer from lower back pain, with many
riders even forced out of the sport by this self inflicted unnecessary back pain. The strain associated with cycling is not
nearly as severe as weightlifting but it is continuous and can soon
start to aggravate any weakness or imperfection in a cyclist's
lower back, leading to that torturous back pain and further
injury to that area of the lower back.
05-26-03, 08:55 AM
Enlighten me on this linear pedal stroke.
I would disagree that the abs/lower back don't assist each other but agree improper back position(rounded)can lead to back problems independent of the abs.If you are in a position with the back flexed not rounded strengthening the abs (if they are the weak link)and the lower back itself will help.I mentioned abs because this is often a weak link for many leading to too much lower back strain. As I rarely ride in a aggressive posture and never with a rounded back I will let him describe the secret of what is the right way /wrong way.
Exercising the abs has its uses, it keeps the beer belly from
taking shape, which leads to a more comfortable aerodynamic
position. I have wasted enough time trying to describe this
linear technique on forums; perfect examples of this pedaling
can be seen on the video " The Mysterious Cycling Champion",
as the first man to use this technique was Jacques Anquetil.
Linear pedaling was what generated this man's extraordinary
pedal power, which made him invincible in time trials.
Also on that video the proof is there of the beneficial effect that
this pedaling had on his lower back in the remarkable statement
of the team masseur. The difference was such that it led many
to believe that Anquetil's mysterious extra pedal power came
from his powerful back. But I am confident that the opposite is
true, unlike all other riders whose backs were under strain
every time they rode their bikes, Anquetil's was shaped and
strengthened during all his years of training and racing.
His power came from the ability to combine arm resistance and
leg power when riding at speed in the saddle, the elimination of
the dead spot area, the reduction of the workload and
resultant strain on the knees and by the reduction of lactic acid
build-up. I hope in late summer to be able to select about six of
the worst cases of this back pain, riders who have been forced
out of competitive cycling by the pain and within a day all should
be able to pedal pain free and if any biomechanical researcher is
interested, he is welcome to witness this new technique as it is
explained and demonstrated in detail. Being 95 percent mental,
this is the only way that it can be passed on, it cannot be copied.
That explains why the experts are no closer now to solving the
mystery of " on the bike " back pain than when they first started.
It is round pedaling, on which all their research is based, that is
the root cause of all this torture.
05-26-03, 04:38 PM
I may be completely wrong, but what you describe sounds like what we call in French (translated) a "dot in the belly". I don't know what it is exactly but it doesn't have anything to do with cycling. You can get it by running or any activity. It shows up in the lower back or abdomen when pushing too hard and disappear when easing up. I'm not even sure it's related to muscles as I think (if I remember right) you have greater chance of getting "the dot" when trying to push hard just after a meal.
05-29-03, 07:00 AM
Well anyway, back to "back problems"......
This is the internet, and I don't know this guy from "squash" so I figure the best thing to do is at least remind him that these kinds of "machines" exist.
The machines really are a help, because in isolating the muscle to work, great improvments can be made with so little perceived effort.....
However, in real life, the starting point for knowing "what kind" of back issues you have comes with your overall bodyweight. Most people and few cyclists ever work their weight down to the point where the lumbar and sacrum areas no longer support the "gut". Therefore, advice about working anterior or posterior muscles must take a backseat to diagnosing the current condition of the cyclist's mid-section, and riding style.
My own experience, suggests that posterior contractions do the most good for cyclists "in shape". However, the jelly-bellies and fat-sos' will never benefit much from these exercises if diet doesn't remove the excess poundage they continually support around their gut.........
My conclusions:Cyclists In shape- hyper extensions, upper hamstring, etc.
Cyclists Out of shape: situps, crunch, etc.....
This has been another really Richard Cranium post!
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