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Old 05-03-05, 02:12 PM   #1
blandin
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For pain in the neck, doctor says exercise.

I'm a 54 year old avid roadie who rides somewhere between 70 to 100 miles per week for fun and to enhance my health. Last week I started having an intermittent clicking in the bones at the back of my neck, some stiffness and a little discomfort for good measure. I went to my doctor today to see what was going on and described my cycling and my position on the bike while riding. He indicated that I needed to build the muscles that surround the neck as well as the upper back and that this would ultimately eliminate the problem. Sure makes sense to me and I've already consulted with someone who knows what exercises I should be doing. Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, did you treat it by building up the surrounding muscles? Thanks!
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Old 05-03-05, 05:18 PM   #2
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Strength and flexibility will probably help--it helped me four or five years ago when I had similar problems, You might consider raising the handlebars, too. A couple of years ago when I bought a new Atlantis, I followed Rivendell's advice on setting it up and set the bars just about level with the saddle. It solved ALL my neck and back problems instantly, and they haven't come back. I've raised the bars on all my bikes as a result (all quill stems, so it's pretty easy). and it's been an improvement in every case. It could be that we in our 50s (actually I just turned 60) can't ride with the same setup as the 20-year-olds.
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Old 05-03-05, 05:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Velo Dog. Although I may be older, I still like to ride like a much young guy and speed is my thing. Raising the bars would create a lot of additional wind resistance so I hope I don't have to resort to that option. Hopefully strengthening the neck and upper back muscles will do the trick.
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Old 05-04-05, 10:30 AM   #4
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I have chronic neck stiffness and do exercises that help, but do not eliminate the problem. I also find it helps to sit up on the bike periodically and rotate my arms and shoulders. I probably should switch to mustash bars but, like you, I use drops because of the more streamlined position (and they are cool). I ride as much as possible with my hands on the top of the bars, and only drop to the bottom into the wind or when I want to impress the girls.

Velo Dog, I turned 60 Saturday. When was your birthday?
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Old 05-04-05, 11:04 AM   #5
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Yoga might help - providing you can make time for the classes. A good series would help strengthen back and neck muscles, and also keep everthing nice and flexible for staying comfortable riding in the drops.

(Most) of my neck and spine issues have disappeared entirely since I started a yoga practice 6 years ago. I'm 58 - the old back has never felt better. Now it's my butt that gives out first on the long rides.

Good luck -
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Old 05-04-05, 11:25 AM   #6
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I did the same as Velo and raised the bars to seat level, no more neck pain. Why don't you try it, I doubt that raising the bars a couple of inches will change your speed much, I think you'll be surprised when you compare your average speed before and after you raise your bars.
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Old 05-04-05, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blandin
I'm a 54 year old avid roadie who rides somewhere between 70 to 100 miles per week for fun and to enhance my health. Last week I started having an intermittent clicking in the bones at the back of my neck, some stiffness and a little discomfort for good measure. I went to my doctor today to see what was going on and described my cycling and my position on the bike while riding. He indicated that I needed to build the muscles that surround the neck as well as the upper back and that this would ultimately eliminate the problem. Sure makes sense to me and I've already consulted with someone who knows what exercises I should be doing. Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, did you treat it by building up the surrounding muscles? Thanks!
Neck ache and clicking used to be a problem on the solo, but for the last 4 months I have been down at the gym. I do not do any specific neck exercise, but the strength has been improved on just my normal weight's routine. Similarly, my knees have not caused a problem, and this is one of the problem areas I have had for years. The weights I pull on the upper body are not high, and in fact if truth is known are pitifully low. Difference is that I use the weights to put my body through full movement, and I now find that on the stretching exercises, I can get far greater movement, and the body is far more supple. It does not hurt so much when I try to stretch out those muscles at the end of the exercise.
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Old 05-04-05, 06:11 PM   #8
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Try glucosamine/chondroitin also - get the higher dose stuff, and take two a day instead of one. I swear by it!
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Old 05-04-05, 06:21 PM   #9
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Raise the bar, you'll probably enjoy the ride more and will continue to improve on your pace if you desire to.
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Old 05-04-05, 06:29 PM   #10
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I've been doing yoga the last few months, and my neck feels great when I leave a class. I don't have too much trouble with neck pain/stiffness except sometimes on a longer ride (>2 hrs). I've been thinking of adding trapezius muscle workouts (those are the ones that you pull down) as I've heard those are the muscles involved.

Doing leg presses, squats, and leg extensions have really helped over the winter for me.
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Old 05-04-05, 09:34 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses! It sounds to me like getting in the gym and trying some yoga would be a good combo. The gym part is easy, I'll have to look into a yoga class. I already use glucosamine/chondroitin at high levels and take MSM and SAM-e as well, guess they're just not doing enough at this point.
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Old 07-10-05, 05:52 PM   #12
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interesting, i have similar probs that have gotten much worse as it hit 1000 miles for the yr, been to chiropractor, had mri and went to md surgeon, sent to phy therapy..........not sure if i can ride, need to buy custom bike, get high rise stem etc?? what exercises do you do? do they help??
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Old 07-10-05, 05:54 PM   #13
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do you go to a yoga class or use a book, dvd or ?

i am very stiff and see probs related to this

thanks
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Old 07-10-05, 05:56 PM   #14
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what brand and dose?

thanks
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Old 07-10-05, 08:54 PM   #15
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what brand and dose?

thanks
Iuse glucosamine/with MSN and I get it at Walmart. I use the Dr. Shiffs brand and get 120 capsules for $13
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Old 07-11-05, 06:04 AM   #16
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Upon resuming cycling my body rejected the extreme position of my road bike, to the extent of even having headaches caused by tight back and neck muscles. Secondary issues were numb hands, etc. Bike fit didn't seem to help much. Switched to a recumbent and I've never looked back. All issues were resolved.
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Old 07-11-05, 07:38 AM   #17
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Man, I hope this doesn't get to be a problem for me on down the road. I had the threadless fork on my new bike cut off so it's probably 3 inches lower than seat height. I could not stand looking at how much was sticking above the stem. I know I can always flip the stem and raise it up an inch or two so maybe that would get me by. Right now I'm probably 4 inches lower than my seat.........It's pretty aggressive but it has been comfortable for me even on the 120 mile rides. Like others, I'm careful to do the ergo stuff throughout the rides.....
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Old 07-11-05, 08:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvdv
I did the same as Velo and raised the bars to seat level, no more neck pain. Why don't you try it, I doubt that raising the bars a couple of inches will change your speed much, I think you'll be surprised when you compare your average speed before and after you raise your bars.
RVDV is right on with this. Aslo, the seat to handelbar can bake a big difference too long or to short makes everything hurt.

Joe
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Old 07-11-05, 05:53 PM   #19
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Try glucosamine/chondroitin also - get the higher dose stuff, and take two a day instead of one. I swear by it!
I second this recommendation, and also recommend magnesium supplements.
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Old 10-18-05, 06:11 PM   #20
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A LWB recumbent solvede the problem for me.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:36 PM   #21
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bkaapcke........why the long wheelbase as opposed to medium or something short like a Lightning. I'm not sure I could get accustomed to my feet above my belly button on the cranks, but it sure looks cool. Which LWB do you have....and is it cumbersome at low speeds? I rode a Rans Tailwind for a while but couldn't get used to the flexible stem and, after a few months, couldn't get much speed on it. Perhaps needed a longer learning curve and physical fitting in to the new position. Any thoughts of yours?....would be interested and trying again...sold the Tailwind.
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Old 10-19-05, 04:29 AM   #22
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Blandin...I know its cool to be hip...but really a 3-4" drop on a bike that you ride long distances over the age of 50? I am an avid rider at 51. I ride in the drops half the time. My bars are about 1/2" below my saddle on my newest Bianchi Veloce and can ride great distances with no or very low neck pain. I know with certainty I would suffer riding your bike position. I can keep up with guys on aggressive bikes because my bike fits. Further...I can ride longer in the drops because it is not set up as aggressively so overall I maybe more aero for a long ride. Anyway, my advice there.

A further question however about supplements....as it seems glucosamine with MSN has a good following on here and I would like to learn more and why this is the supplement of choice. I only take a multiple vitamin and am blessed with very good health. Also, I wonder if 50+ members recommend taking a Calcium supplement to negate osteoporosis born out of high mileage cycling? If so what dosage do you suggest?
Thanks,
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Old 10-19-05, 07:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog
You might consider raising the handlebars, too. A couple of years ago when I bought a new Atlantis, I followed Rivendell's advice on setting it up and set the bars just about level with the saddle. It solved ALL my neck and back problems instantly, and they haven't come back. I've raised the bars on all my bikes as a result (all quill stems, so it's pretty easy). and it's been an improvement in every case. It could be that we in our 50s (actually I just turned 60) can't ride with the same setup as the 20-year-olds.
Amen to this suggestion. Most of my bikes are threadless so I have to fnid stems with a lot of rise and I can't get the bars to saddle level except on my old touring bike. But raising them up makes a big difference with neck, back and numb hand syndrome.
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Old 10-19-05, 07:53 AM   #24
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I'd be careful with suppliments of any kind if I were you. I began taking vitamins and they made me feel better and ride better. So I started taking all of the other crap that is recommended mostly by folk medicine whackoes.

I started getting dizzy spells and then had a couple of near blackouts/siezures. I stopped taking all that stuff and it took me about 3 months to recover.

Specifically to glucosamine: I've attempted to use this stuff three times and each time it's had the same effect. My knees started to hurt all the time. I stopped taking it and it took about two weeks before my knees were back to normal.

So I'd not recommend you using hippy-dippy folk medicine crap.

I'm back to taking just plain vitamins and never felt better.
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Old 10-19-05, 01:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
I'd be careful with suppliments of any kind if I were you. I began taking vitamins and they made me feel better and ride better. So I started taking all of the other crap that is recommended mostly by folk medicine whackoes.

I started getting dizzy spells and then had a couple of near blackouts/siezures. I stopped taking all that stuff and it took me about 3 months to recover.

Specifically to glucosamine: I've attempted to use this stuff three times and each time it's had the same effect. My knees started to hurt all the time. I stopped taking it and it took about two weeks before my knees were back to normal.

So I'd not recommend you using hippy-dippy folk medicine crap.

I'm back to taking just plain vitamins and never felt better.
Thanks for your input Tom...I feel great as well...just taking std. vitamins. Rode 38 miles last night in cool air and really feel good to day...just got off the golf course in fact.
What you state is why I haven't jumped on the bandwagon of taking supplements discussed in this thread.
Cheers,
George
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