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Old 06-26-08, 05:00 AM   #1
Tony (Michigan)
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You ever get very slight lower back pain?

O.K., since riding a lot more, (I mean a heck of a lot more) I have noticed something new and I don't know if I should be worried or not.

It is by no means a constant pain. It is hard to even describe it as "pain." It just doesn't quite feel good when I arch my back backward a little or arch it forwad a little. It hurts just a little. It is in the very lower back part about three fists up from the bottom of my back bone. You know when you rock forward a little and backward a little when making love? O.K. TMI (too much information). It is agravated more when I lean a little backward than forward. It is right in that small back area. I have never experienced this before. I never notice it WHEN riding the bike. Only when I arch forward and backward.

Could the bumping of the road be transferring up through the saddle and into my backbone and injuring a vertebre? Or is it just muscular from all the riding I've been doing? I ride bent over most of the time.

I don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars at my doctor's office to find out.

I hate to take time off from riding as that will really set me back.

I'm just curious if any of you experience this same "pain" or not.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:23 AM   #2
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As someone who was "down" for over a month (28 years ago) with back trouble I will warn you that the backwards arch to test the back is dangerous.

Most small back pains, (most big ones too) are muscle related. They are tired a fatigued for some reason and they are complaining. (Finding out why is the real trick.....for example they can be tired from trying to straighten out your bent spine) Without going into a medical diagnosis which I am not qualified to make here is one of the best methods I have ever been given to "rest" those tired muscles for a short time.

Lay on your back on the floor. Elevate your feet and legs (a hassock or similar devices is good) so that you look as if your sitting in a chair but rotated 90deg onto your back. The 90 deg bend at your hips will take all the workload off of your back muscles so that they get a good rest. Do this for a little while when you are hurting and it will help.

Arching the back to stretch the muscles sometimes feels good for a few seconds but actually causes them to work even harder and you pay for it later. Those are exercises for later when you back isn't complaining.

One good thing about backs............when your young they getter better quickly...
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Old 06-26-08, 05:34 AM   #3
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Let me see if I got this right.
I lay on my back and lift my legs and feet as if sitting in a chair.
It's the 90 degrees that throws me. You don't mean to the left or right 90 degrees but that you keep the legs straight up in the air.

Sorry if I am dense.

Thanks for the tips!

Edit: O.K. I think I get it. If using a hassock I would obviously keep my legs up as if sitting.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:50 AM   #4
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Time for a MRI. Disc at L4 L5 is most likely Flat, Bulging, touching the nerve canal.
Thats what I have.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:58 AM   #5
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Let me see if I got this right.
I lay on my back and lift my legs and feet as if sitting in a chair.
It's the 90 degrees that throws me. You don't mean to the left or right 90 degrees but that you keep the legs straight up in the air.

Sorry if I am dense.

Thanks for the tips!

Edit: O.K. I think I get it. If using a hassock I would obviously keep my legs up as if sitting.
On your back..........thigh to knee straight up........knee to ankle horizontal. From the side, you look like your sitting in a chair. The hassock is to put under your calves to hold the legs up.
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Old 06-26-08, 06:00 AM   #6
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Edit: O.K. I think I get it. If using a hassock I would obviously keep my legs up as if sitting.
That's it!

I've had back problems since a child and that position has always been one of the most comfortable to relieve the muscle spasms in the lower back.
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Old 06-26-08, 06:06 AM   #7
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You could go to iTunes and download free yoga podcasts. I have several on the laptop that my wife and I watch and do regularly. Look for YOGAmazing.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:08 AM   #8
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Time for a MRI. Disc at L4 L5 is most likely Flat, Bulging, touching the nerve canal.
Thats what I have.
*raises hand* Another bulging disc here. Core strength helps a lot. But I have to always maintain a straight lower back when cycling. Going into the drops, I have to bend at the hips, not the waist.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:08 AM   #9
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10 Wheels, I can't afford an MRI. What did they do you you after you found out about your disks?

This never started with me until I began piling on the miles on my bike this year. It never happened on my Trek 520 but I have not ridden as much on that as I have on my new bike in so short an amount of time.

It feels almost like a pinching feeling when I bend backward a little or forward a little in my spine. Not very painful but it just lets me know its there and it worries me. What if it becomes serious? That is what I don't want.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:17 AM   #10
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Tony, how I found out I had mine: I was sitting on my bed, bent over tying my shoes when a huge sneeze came upon me. I felt a tremendous pain and then I couldn't get up. I had to lay on the ground and get someone to try to help me. When that failed, instead of calling 911 I had him call my chiropractor. The Dr. showed up and my house, helped position me on the floor and worked on my back just a bit, enough for me to be able to move. He had me lay on the floor for three days, instructing the people in the house how to help me get up to take care of my personal business. When I was able to go into his office, he was able to see by the positioning of my spine and the pain accompanying it that it was indeed bulging.

The bulging disc is like a water balloon. You know how you squeeze one end and the water rushes to the other side? Well if you keep squeezing it, it will eventually burst. That is what I'm going through. It is VERY important to not squeeze that disc on one side by leaning or bending too far one way. You may risk rupturing it. For me, I've learned how to live with it almost pain free, and no meds. I work in a warehouse and I have to lift items as much as 70 lbs.

But you have to be careful on a bike. I had to have my frame custom so I can sit up higher and not lean so much.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:17 AM   #11
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I'd recommend some Internet searches on back exercises and back care.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:12 AM   #12
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This guy saved my back when nothing else worked. Came *this close* to having expensive back surgery. Pete Egoscue
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Old 06-26-08, 11:22 AM   #13
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This sounds as if you might need to work on strenghtening your core. Back raises and abdominal work might take care of this. Depends on where you are at currently with core strength.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:23 AM   #14
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could possibly be a bike fit issue as well.
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Old 06-26-08, 02:48 PM   #15
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This sounds as if you might need to work on strenghtening your core. Back raises and abdominal work might take care of this. Depends on where you are at currently with core strength.
Not been riding as much recently and a slight back ache came in on a 4 hour ride. Not a problem but eased by "Hunching" the back forwards- Off the saddle and twisting the Butt from side to side- and altering the hand position on the bars for a bit. The back and neck are two areas where you will find need a bit of strengthening but for me that comes with riding more.
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Old 06-26-08, 02:55 PM   #16
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I get it and in my case I believe it is caused by bike fit. Too stretched out on the bars. I have fitted a shortened stem and raised the bars. seems to work.

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Old 06-27-08, 10:46 AM   #17
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I've had back problems, including surgery, for a long time. Lower back pain is just a normal part of my life. The suggestions about developing core strength are spot on. Stretching too. Try this before your next ride. Lay on the floor on your back. Pull your left leg up to your chest and hold. Straighten it out and pull your right leg up and hold. Straighten it out and then pull both legs up and hold. Straighten them out and then remain on your back but bend your legs so your feet are flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders flat rotated your hips as far as you can to the left and hold. Do it slowly. Repeat to the right. Switch to your stomach on the floor. Keeping your pelvisagainst the floor do a pushup arching your back and hold. Go ride. Repeat stretches when you return.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:28 PM   #18
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Maddmaxx got it right, it's most often muscle related at least until it degenerates into something more serious. You need good core muscle tone to keep the back aligned & fit. Plus humans are not really designed to sit in chairs.

I used to suffer from intermittent lower back issues. Push-ups, upright rows, squats and crunches (with weights) keeps my back fit. I solved the problem about 40 years ago starting with jogging which surprisingly stresses the back and strengthens it. Then when I started weight training, mostly to support canoe tripping, the back issues just disappeared completely.

Then too, the back may just need more time to adapt to longer rides. Either way, it's best to incorporate weight training into one's lifestyle.

Al

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Old 06-27-08, 01:29 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone. I will put into practice the points you have brought up and see how they work out.

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Old 06-28-08, 10:39 AM   #20
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Glad I looked into this thread. I have back problems at the L4 L5 area also. It's a bulging disc. I am considering bike riding and was doing some research as to type and make best suited to people with my problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-28-08, 12:18 PM   #21
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If it were me, I would first ask the doc if riding a bike would make the bulging disk worse. If not, and I had what you have, I would probably get a bike that uses larger wheels than the skinny road/race tires. My larger tires on my other bike are much kinder on my back. They pump up to a max 80lbs. My road/race tires max at 120lbs. Every little bump is felt at 120.
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Old 06-28-08, 12:33 PM   #22
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If it were me, I would first ask the doc if riding a bike would make the bulging disk worse. If not, and I had what you have, I would probably get a bike that uses larger wheels than the skinny road/race tires. My larger tires on my other bike are much kinder on my back. They pump up to a max 80lbs. My road/race tires max at 120lbs. Every little bump is felt at 120.
Adding to the above, stay away from aluminum frames. The wrong material for a road bike. I've always stayed with steel until I went with titanium. Carbon fiber can be better depending on the construction. Titanium is good at shock absorption but is more lively than carbon. I use 25 mm tires @ 120 rear, 110 front and the bike is unbelievably comfortable even with a stout carbon fork designed for cyclocross.

Having some arch in the back helps protect from shock as well. I prefer a 45/50 deg back angle myself both road and mountain bikes.
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Old 06-28-08, 09:42 PM   #23
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Before drastic measures, make sure that nothing has shifted on your bike. At 57, I have had recurring lower back issues since my 20's. I've been cycling since '86 and have noticed similar symptoms as you describe. In my case, it turned out to be that, on certain bikes, my seat tends to cock back a bit too much. I have five bikes, three of them vintage with old Campy seatposts with just one adjusting bolt. These tend to slip when I hit hard bumps going fast, causing the rear of the seat to drop. Even a subtle change affects me. When this happens I adjust the seat back to where it should be and the pain subsides.

Granted, this works for me and clearly not those who have serious disk issues. However, this issue has surfaced on my more modern bikes (Eddy M. Full Campy Record, Pinarello Paris Full Campy R.) with seatposts that are less prone to allow shifting and it took subtle seat angle adjustments to take the "pain" away. Like you, I have a hard time calling it pain...more like localized fatigue.

Hope this helps.
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