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  1. #1
    Senior Member teresamichele's Avatar
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    Upper back (not neck) pain?

    My legs are getting used to the new road bike, but I'm having an issue I think is related to the riding.

    I am training for a triathlon and walking a half-marathon.

    If I go and ONLY walk, I have no pain in my back. Last night I rode 10k through moderate hills in fairly windy conditions. I had no pain on the bike. Once I got OFF the bike, though, my upper back started to hurt. It isn't stabbing pain - it's basically the area covered by the back of my sports bra (which is supportive and fits). I walked for an hour with tiny bursts of running, but the pain didn't go away (but didn't get worse).

    At the end, I got on the bike to go home, and within a mile or so, the pain was gone.

    So if I don't bike, I don't get pain. If I DO bike, I get pain...but not when I'm on the bike.

    The saddle was adjusted this week and feels comfortable (though I'm going to get a slightly softer, women-specific one this weekend, I think). I got some numbness in one foot...the one in a toe clip. I'm switching to clipless here shortly, and I think that will eliminate that issue.

    Any thoughts? Core strength? A side effect of being busty (not to be crude, but it can't help)? Bad posture on my walk becoming more important when I'm tired?

    I need to figure this out before the triathlon - there's no way I want to walk/run a 10k in pain that can be avoided!
    Grace and Spark - my blog!

    "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them." - G. Eliot

  2. #2
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    Depends on age, weight, occupation, etc. Lots of factors, including being chesty. But if doing mild impact while upright is causing you to have pain in the upper back but stretching it out or being in a prone position relieves that pain (or aggravates it when returning back to upright) then a couple of things that might help.

    1. Go see your ortho doctor or chiropractor and determine if this is spine/joint related or muscle related. It could be a combination of things. For example, if you don't work lower abs and do sit-ups, the core is weak so you tense up more upper body to balance (especially for big folks who have barrel chests, big heads, etc.).

    2. If it's joint related and you're just getting old like the rest of us, one doctor I've ridden with, she goes 20 miles and then curses herself for not bringing ibuprofen (awesome for joints). She pops 2 tabs and she's about 130 lbs. She does this to -prevent- excessive joint swelling. (I usually carry a first aid kit with aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen - and for caffeine addicts getting that caffeine headache, I'm thinking of adding some naproxyn sodium with acetaminophen for super caffeine migranes on rides - so I'm her pharmacy on these rides). If it's muscle related, you need to build up those muscles and not only by hunching over during cycling. Other exercises and good diet with electrolytes will build it up over time.

    Other than that, you might think about your job and how your ergonomics are at the office. Mine are terrible. I sit at a desk all day and deal with lines of code.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  3. #3
    Senior Member teresamichele's Avatar
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    I am 99% sure this is muscle pain, and not joint pain. I didn't think about the idea of going from prone to upright to prone, though.

    I guess if that were the case, building lower body strength would help? I know my core strength is not great - I'm hoping the swimming will help with that. Maybe I'll get a Pilates DVD as well, and try that. I remember it KILLED my abs back when I used to do it. I have about 3.5 months, which should be plenty of time to make some progress.
    Grace and Spark - my blog!

    "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them." - G. Eliot

  4. #4
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    Funny thing for me was that doing just a few sets of sit ups a day in the mornings improved my back spasms. I used to get severe muscle tension headache and backache at night, mostly down the left side and some of the right. The pain was concentrated between the back of the scapula plates. Massage wasn't working to prevent the pain. It was wonderful at relieving it temporarily, but in the morning, it'd happen again. I did more core training, like push ups and mostly just a few sit ups - what's that show on Cooking Channel... Nadia G's B'chin' Kitchen... 3 sets of 15 reps! :-) And that's all it takes. It's amazing the difference after just a year of doing this, the pain is pretty much non-existent. YMMV.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  5. #5
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    http://www.backzilla.com/

    I had a pretty severe neck and back injury in 12/10. PT and the exercises you will find on this web page are very helpful. It is a matter of strengthening the muscles that help me the most. Give them a try.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    That's a decent site. Thanks!

    And the site reminded me of some things. Both mom and older sister have arthritis. I don't seem to have as many symptoms and maybe it's because I bike and do outdoors things a lot. They are more home-bodies. But it could run in the family. For teresamichele, you have arthritis? or does it run in your family?
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

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