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  1. #1
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Fifty Plus Pains!

    I am sure I am not alone in having a lot more aches and pains since I have passed the 55 year mark. I think in my case a bout with Lyme Disease when I was in my late 30's didn't help much.

    Fortunately cycling seems to help with most of the various aches and pains. Unfortunately the neck pain seems to be aggravated by it. I have stenosis at S2 and S3. The pain can be quite intense on long rides. I know that stretching and staying hydrated keep my lower back (L4 and L5) pain in control. Can anyone suggest what might help with the neck pain?

    I am limited in what drugs I can take because of a hiatal hernia, reflux problems, and barretts esophagus. Vioxx used to work great for me until they took it off the market. Ibuprofen works well, but the stomach doc says no.

    I asked the spine doctor about stretching and he didn't particularly recommend anything. His comment was don't do anything too aggressive. I think that some stretching would probably help a lot, but am not sure what stretches to do for the neck.

    Anyone here dealt with similar problems? What worked for you?

    I am not ready to go to a more upright riding position. I will suffer quite a bit before resorting to that..

    Pete

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    I am sure I am not alone in having a lot more aches and pains since I have passed the 55 year mark. I think in my case a bout with Lyme Disease when I was in my late 30's didn't help much.

    Anyone here dealt with similar problems? What worked for you?

    I am not ready to go to a more upright riding position. I will suffer quite a bit before resorting to that..

    Pete
    I would suggest a consultation with a good chiropractor, physical therapist and/or personal trainer with top certification. I think you will find them much more "tuned in" to your particular concerns then your MD.

    They have done wonders for my wife (and me, at times).
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  3. #3
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    sounds like me until I was diagnosed as a type 2...after losing 100 lb...everything went away...no more hemi's, acid reflux, high cholesterol, high BP, back pain, and more!

    better than grape kool-aid

  4. #4
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    sounds like me until I was diagnosed as a type 2...after losing 100 lb...everything went away...no more hemi's, acid reflux, high cholesterol, high BP, back pain, and more!

    better than grape kool-aid
    Sadly most of my symptoms persist even when I am relatively thin. In particular the neck pain seems completely unrelated to weight and relatively unrelated to general fitness level. In fact if anything it is worse when I am fit because I push myself much harder then.

    For the gastric problems I think I probably have surgery in my future. Diet and drugs haven't been cutting it so far.

    For the neck problems I have hopes that stretching will help.

    I think I may take some of DnvrFox's advice, except maybe the chiropractor part. I went to a few chiropractors when I was struggling with lower back pain and they were no help, so that will be only tried as a last resort.

    For my lower back problems, a physical therapist (the 4th or 5th one I saw) finally got me straightened out. Partly it was a matter of me figuring out which of the exercises they gave me worked and when to do them. I have hopes that the answer for my neck pain may be similar.

    Pete

  5. #5
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    I think I may take some of DnvrFox's advice, except maybe the chiropractor part. I went to a few chiropractors when I was struggling with lower back pain and they were no help, so that will be only tried as a last resort.
    Agreed, a BIG difference amongst chiros.

    The one we go to was also a sports trainer prior to his chiropractic. An unusual and very worthwhile combo. He knows the body like no one I have ever seen. He can watch you walking and have much figured out before you sit down.

    But, my wife, in her role as a RN case manager, observed some chiros she would never go to.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Tell us a bit more about your riding setup. Your comment that you're not ready to go to a more upright position indicates that you do know that position can impact on matters as those you've described. However, somthing as simple as a slightly shorter stem or less drop in the handlebars can help take away the strain of holding your head up enough to see while on long rides. Additionally, if it is an issue related to the strain of having to hold your head up while in a more aero position, stregthening the shoulder and neck muscles through resistance training may help. Of course, I would always opt for the opinion of a sports physician if one is available to you. Good luck.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
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    hang in there...but watch the surgery...several friends have had surgery for acid reflux and came away with more pain...plus its only a temporary measure

    in the old days i watched my protein and fat intake to minimze the effects...eggs were a killer, as were tomatoes and onions

    also, eveyone i know that went to a chiro...keeps going back...it seems to be a temporary fix that needs constant maintance.

    We have 6 bike comuters in our office and recently installed an inverter...those with back and neck pain hang upside down for about a half hour or so, and advise that it has made a huge difference...but i suspect that they are bat wannabes

  8. #8
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    I'll be 57 in a couple of weeks and have some stenosis in my neck as well as lower back issues. They had me do therapy a few years ago for the neck, and it helped some. Right now, I've been doing 25 to 30 miles on Saturday and 15 miles a couple of times during the week and the neck thing is flaring up a bit. The back is great because I hit the gym a couple of times a week and work on my "core", stomach and back, as well as some other stuff.

    My main neck issue now is that it hurts a little when I turn my head to the left side. I've had some tingling and numbness in my hands, but I have only been riding semi-seriously for a couple of months. Generally, if I keep shifting positions, the tingling and numbness are managable.

    What are some other ways you guys deal with these things?

    John

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    I am sure I am not alone in having a lot more aches and pains since I have passed the 55 year mark. I think in my case a bout with Lyme Disease when I was in my late 30's didn't help much.

    Fortunately cycling seems to help with most of the various aches and pains. Unfortunately the neck pain seems to be aggravated by it. I have stenosis at S2 and S3. The pain can be quite intense on long rides. I know that stretching and staying hydrated keep my lower back (L4 and L5) pain in control. Can anyone suggest what might help with the neck pain?

    I am limited in what drugs I can take because of a hiatal hernia, reflux problems, and barretts esophagus. Vioxx used to work great for me until they took it off the market. Ibuprofen works well, but the stomach doc says no.

    I asked the spine doctor about stretching and he didn't particularly recommend anything. His comment was don't do anything too aggressive. I think that some stretching would probably help a lot, but am not sure what stretches to do for the neck.

    Anyone here dealt with similar problems? What worked for you?

    I am not ready to go to a more upright riding position. I will suffer quite a bit before resorting to that..

    Pete
    A friend of mine had neck pain when riding and it was diagnosed as bone spurs on his upper vertebrae. He now rides recumbents. Problem solved.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One exercise machine we used to have when I was boxing-was a neck strengthener. Basically it was a belt that went round the forehead with a rope hanging in front when you bent over forwards. A weight was put at the end of the rope and you exercised by lifting your head. I have been to several Gyms and I have never seen any machine that remotely exercises the neck. I do have a neck problem on long rides and I have got into a habit of carrying out Neck twisting and stretching after a few hours into the ride. It does aid a bit but must get myself an old belt and start on those boxing exercises again.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    One exercise machine we used to have when I was boxing-was a neck strengthener. Basically it was a belt that went round the forehead with a rope hanging in front when you bent over forwards. A weight was put at the end of the rope and you exercised by lifting your head. I have been to several Gyms and I have never seen any machine that remotely exercises the neck. I do have a neck problem on long rides and I have got into a habit of carrying out Neck twisting and stretching after a few hours into the ride. It does aid a bit but must get myself an old belt and start on those boxing exercises again.
    As a long time gym operator, I can tell you that you don't see that much anymore for liability reasons. We used to have a Nautilus four way neck machine which looked like it belonged to the Marquis de Sade...

  12. #12
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    Hydrocodone 10/650's, only thing that gives me relief. Herniated L4-L5, bulged L5-S1, degenerative disc disease C5-C6, and fractured C4 and C7 with arthritis.
    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    Best regards,

    Duhhuh

  13. #13
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I am afraid a lot of this stuff is just inevitable...

  14. #14
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    If you are a Roadie or a Mtn. Bike
    rider, my Prescription for your
    difficultites is to buy one of these.
    It will make your back, neck, arm
    and shoulder pain vanish as you
    joyously ride across the countryside.
    http://www.easyracers.com/ez_sport_limited.htm

    I will almost guarantee the results.

    You would NOT be disappointed!
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  15. #15
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    I am 65 and have three areas of pain which I control with the same method. All this was discussed and analyzed with MD's involving x-ray and MRI. The MD's were not able to help and said it was age related. All prescribed pill's such as Vioxx.
    Chronic Neck pain:
    I found a correlation to excessive car driving. Symptoms include bad pain waking me up. Duration: 15 years. Solution: Frequent no-load upper body exercise and neck exercise will control this pain. Stopping exercise will bring it back in a day or two.
    Shoulder Pain from accident:
    Symptoms: Could not lift a glass of water. Duration: Two years. MD said: Cannot help except give me pills. Solution: Twice per day do very low load exercise with rubber bands and light weights. No exercise brings the pain back in a few days. Pain is controlled I say about 95%.
    Knee Pain from accident:
    MD said that I am getting old and prescribed Vioxx. I was on crutches and in bad shape for two years. Got rid of Vioxx and Advil with no-load spinning and long walks. (12 miles) Now train at least one hour per day on a trainer at 17 MPH and do frequent centuries.

    Summary: I am a believer in the benefit of repetitive light exercise. I think it strengthens muscles around aging joints. It does take a lot of exercise to make a difference. I have friends and relatives who followed me and also are better for it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Did you recently increase the amount of riding that you are doing? That is a standard cause of neck (and most other) pain. The only discomfort I experienced when I went back to riding a couple of years ago was neck pain, which resolved as support muscles developed over time. If pain is unrelated to increase in riding time, it may be as simple as increasing stack height in your stem. Most of the comments from others may be viable - even about the dreaded 'bent . If you don't have any underlying problems, riding alone will strengthen your neck support muscles. I don't recommend separate weight/resistance work. Just ride more, shorter rides until adequate riding-specifec strength develops. The thing that gives me problems now are my hands. I'm in the process of getting some FSA K-Wing ergonomic handlebars for my Trek 2300 (Al frame, carbon fork). After I ride with them a while, I'll post a review. I'm sure I'm getting some twinges of arthritis, and I've got Dupuytren's contracture in my left pinky finger. Let us know if you are able to resolve your neck problem.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I am afraid a lot of this stuff is just inevitable...
    The old saw... If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.
    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    Best regards,

    Duhhuh

  18. #18
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I am 65 and have three areas of pain which I control with the same method. All this was discussed and analyzed with MD's involving x-ray and MRI. The MD's were not able to help and said it was age related. All prescribed pill's such as Vioxx.
    Chronic Neck pain:
    I found a correlation to excessive car driving. Symptoms include bad pain waking me up. Duration: 15 years. Solution: Frequent no-load upper body exercise and neck exercise will control this pain. Stopping exercise will bring it back in a day or two.
    Shoulder Pain from accident:
    Symptoms: Could not lift a glass of water. Duration: Two years. MD said: Cannot help except give me pills. Solution: Twice per day do very low load exercise with rubber bands and light weights. No exercise brings the pain back in a few days. Pain is controlled I say about 95%.
    Knee Pain from accident:
    MD said that I am getting old and prescribed Vioxx. I was on crutches and in bad shape for two years. Got rid of Vioxx and Advil with no-load spinning and long walks. (12 miles) Now train at least one hour per day on a trainer at 17 MPH and do frequent centuries.

    Summary: I am a believer in the benefit of repetitive light exercise. I think it strengthens muscles around aging joints. It does take a lot of exercise to make a difference. I have friends and relatives who followed me and also are better for it.
    +1. Don't baby aches and pains. Stretching combined with light weight training (dumbbells, etc) works for me. I was having elbow problems, and a PT friend showed me some stretches and exercises, while putting me through excruciating pain. But it works! With the neck, I just apply resistance with the palm of my hand on the head, and slowly push against it. After these exercises, stretch the neck, through head movements.
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

  19. #19
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    acupuncture

  20. #20
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    Ask your doctor if your back will stand up to a shiatsu massage. It's very skeletal oriented and I swear that my spine is 3/4" longer after I have one. Great back relief. Also, it may be time to consider a recumbent. The long wheel base models like EZ Sport, Rans Stratus and Tour Easy have s fairly upright seating position which relieves back and neck pain. I made the switch two years ago and have never looked back. I ride lots more because there is no pain. Yes, no pain, associated with riding an EZ Sport. bk

  21. #21
    World's Oldest Adolescent
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    I find that 16 - 22 oz of Yuengling traditional lager tend to ease my aches and pains.

  22. #22
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    One simple thing is to check how you are holding your arms. If you have them extended straight and locked, then all the road bumps are transmitted to your neck and shoulder area. If your arms are slightly bent, they will act more as shock absorbers. Same thing is true if you have a tense grip on the bars.

    I take a yoga class once a week which helps with flexibility in general (and keeping my stress level down). I will say that some poses (Thread The Needle) can aggravate your neck, so you need to be careful.

    The flexibility has helped me ride in a bit more "stretched out" (as opposed to upright) position and this has helped a bit with relieving pressure on my hands. I also got some K-Wing bars and I really like them except for the bar tops which I wish were round.

  23. #23
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I will try to address a number of your questions and comments in this message.

    When I said that I wouldn't consider a more upright riding position, I didn't mean that minor adjustments to optimize my position were out of the question. I meant that I would not ride in a casual upright style unless I am completely able to avoid it.

    My setup was pretty carefully worked out WAY back when I was racing (early 90's). I have the seat a couple inches lower than the saddle and my arms have a nice relaxed bend at the elbows. My hands are relaxed and comfortable.

    Yes I have recently increased the duration and intensity of my riding. In 5 or 6 weeks I have gone from not riding to doing 80 - 100 mile rides. I have not pushed hard enough to feel bad the day after any ride in that period. I have had the neck pain on long rides even back when I was racing, it is just a little more frequent and intense now. I guess 5 weeks is a pretty short period to prepare for doing centuries, but I feel pretty good in general. My recent century time was not real fast (6 hr 40 min including breaks). I probably could have done better but I went out too fast for me (20 mph the first 25 miles) and was real slow the last 30 as a result. This was a pretty flat ride (Amish Country Century, Dover, De).

    Recumbents are not an option I want to consider at this time. Part of what I like about riding is the feel of an upright bike. A lot of the enjoyment is the familiarity of the motions and maybe even the nostalgia of it. It makes me feel like I felt when I was younger and racing. If it came to not being able to ride "normal" road bike I might get a bent.

    Pete

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    If it came to not being able to ride "normal" road bike I might get a bent.

    Pete
    And I will respectfully submit once again
    that you would be very happy and a hell
    of alot more comfortable if you did.

    The EZ-Sport provides all the pleasure of
    an upright with all the benefits and comfort
    of a recumbent. They really are a sweet ride.

    You owe it to yourself to go to a Recumbent
    LBS and ride one 'just for the hell of it' to
    see what you think.

    I am betting you would be hooked!

    And to paraphrase Martha Stewart,

    "Getting Bent is a Good Thing!" :O)
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  25. #25
    Bent Ryder Sandwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    I am sure I am not alone in having a lot more aches and pains since I have passed the 55 year mark. I think in my case a bout with Lyme Disease when I was in my late 30's didn't help much.

    Fortunately cycling seems to help with most of the various aches and pains. Unfortunately the neck pain seems to be aggravated by it. I have stenosis at S2 and S3. The pain can be quite intense on long rides. I know that stretching and staying hydrated keep my lower back (L4 and L5) pain in control. Can anyone suggest what might help with the neck pain?

    I am limited in what drugs I can take because of a hiatal hernia, reflux problems, and barretts esophagus. Vioxx used to work great for me until they took it off the market. Ibuprofen works well, but the stomach doc says no.

    I asked the spine doctor about stretching and he didn't particularly recommend anything. His comment was don't do anything too aggressive. I think that some stretching would probably help a lot, but am not sure what stretches to do for the neck.

    Anyone here dealt with similar problems? What worked for you?

    I am not ready to go to a more upright riding position. I will suffer quite a bit before resorting to that..

    Pete
    Get off the "wedgie" and buy a recumbent. No neck pain, no back pain, and no wrist pain
    As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
    Joshua 24:15

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