Touring - Low Back Troubles
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04-27-11, 11:33 AM
I have had back issues since I was in my late teens and am now in my 50's. While I've never had any flare-ups while actually riding, I can't predict when or what activity might start the process - sometimes a simple sneeze can do it. I have a regular routine of abdominal and core exercises that I do to keep this in check as much as possible.
My question is whether this affects any of the rest of you and what you did while on tour - prolonged rest days, bring along medication for "just in case," visit the ER?
I have really upped my exercise routines this past winter leading me to believe that I might be past any flare-ups, taking the "HTFU" approach. But I woke up the other morning with spasm in my lumbo-sacral area. On the bright side, I seem to be recovering more quickly than in past years. Haven't tried to ride with my back the way it is, but I'm probably going out tomorrow or Friday to see what happens.
04-27-11, 01:03 PM
i have a trapped nerve in my lower back, to be honest it's ok until i get under pressure like climbing big hills.
but if i pace myself i'm fine.
so thats the only advice i can give you ,except make sure your super comfy on the bike .as in saddle height /reach /feet properly in pedal's .
best of luck hope things work out for ya,keep taking the pills as the man said.
04-27-11, 02:39 PM
I only take the pills when the dang thing acts up (as directed). I've got a muscle relaxant, an anti-inflamatory, and a pain killer. I don't take the pain killer unless it's rrrreeeaaaallllyyy bad (I don't like the sensation). I'm pretty comfortable on the bike, and haven't had any back trouble on it, ever. The issue for me is more like getting a spasm while lifting the bike. The unpredictability of it all is what is so troubling. I can do extremely heavy work, lifting, etc, without issue. Then something stupid puts my back out.
I guess I'll take my chances and pop a couple of days supply of pills in my pannier. It's not like I'm going that far - just two nights on the GAP trail in July. Still the thought of hobbling miles while pushing the bike gives me a moment of pause. The chances of it actually happening are probably pretty small. I can go 6 to 9 months without even a hint of a problem.
Altair 4, I slipped a lower disk when I was 11. About the only thing to prevent pain (I can't work under the hood of a car for too long) is to keep up with the core muscles. On long tiring rides on my road bike I'd find myself becoming lazy, usually at the first hint of pain unfortunately and then take a couple of Excedrin.
I installed aerobars on all of my bikes, ultimately just leaving them on my distance road bike. They really helped to stretch my back out. I haven't yet tried them on the touring bike as I still haven't had much chance for an all day ride and perhaps the slightly more upright position on that bike may help also, I hope so. If not it'll only take 30 minutes to move them. (For some reason I just don't want aerobars on the T bike.)
04-27-11, 03:42 PM
this may sound stupid but why don't you put a reminder note on your handlebars saying something like ,
NO HEAVY LIFTING.
preventing is better than cure.
04-27-11, 08:47 PM
I've got the start of degenerative arthritis in my lower back from too many years of heavy use. I've found that a good warm up/stretching routine in the morning, another cool down/stretch before bed and keeping up on the core muscles (crunches, planks etc) helps keep the pain and stiffness at bay. I also have to remember to take a break and get off the bike every hour or so to stretch and move around. The strongest meds I take are ibuprofin.
04-28-11, 08:59 AM
I'm planning on staying with my warm up and exercise program - 200 crunches,pushups, planks and transverse planks, and power bridge routines daily have really strenghtened my core. I think I'll incorporate your suggestion, sam21fire, and take the break and get off the bike to stretch and stay loose. Shouldn't be a problem, between hydration and photo opportunities. I'm still packin' the pills, though!
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