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Old 12-13-07, 02:46 AM   #1
Freakonwheels
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Help me...my lower back hurts

I'm 16 years old, just started cycling half-hour each day about a week or so ago. After a couple of days however, there's been a bit of a problem, with my lower back hurting. It doesn't really hurt while I ride (just a little twinging maybe), and today, I stretched real good and it didn't hurt straight away when I got back from my ride, but then when I sit down at the computer for a while, it starts up again.

My theory:

Either A) My seat or handlebars are too low.
or B) I'm not used to working those muscles.

I can see the physical benefits. I had slight love-handles which are disappearing slowly I think (there's definitely a change in my lower back area). Torso-wise, I'm quite a small guy, but I have a curvy butt (not to mention quite big legs - not fat, just big), and I envy those whose backs just go straight up-and-down, so that's what I'm trying to do - improve that area a bit.
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Old 12-13-07, 03:33 AM   #2
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I sometimes get back spasms just from fatigue which requires a few days off the bike. Probably staying up, posting at the wee hours of the isn't helping I'm sure.

Well you might just be out of shape. But I also get the impression you haven't fitted your bike. What's your set up like?
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Old 12-13-07, 09:09 AM   #3
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get thee to LBS to have your bike fitted to you... generally they will try to adjust the seat height & level & handlebars to suit you.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
get thee to LBS to have your bike fitted to you... generally they will try to adjust the seat height & level & handlebars to suit you.
+1 However, your theory B might have some validity, too.

So, go get fitted and then go ride.

You're young so you will adapt quickly; having the bike fit properly will make sure you are adapting to the right set-up.

Welcome to cycling & the Forum!
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Old 12-13-07, 11:12 AM   #5
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Get the fit of that bike checked. Too long or too short a reach could be hurting you a bit.

Another very common source of lower back pain is the gluteals, particularly if you're not used to exercising them so much. Your gluteals will tighten/cramp but the strain will be felt as a lower back pain. After your rides make certain that you stretch, and stretch that butt too.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:13 AM   #6
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do some ab rollers and crunches for a few months and harden up
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Old 12-13-07, 11:35 AM   #7
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At 16 your back should NOT hurt unless you are A. outta shape
or B. your posture is bad or C. you have a physical medical
concern your parents need to know about.

Do a few calastentics everyday to improve your overall muscle
tone while you slowly build up the distance/time you ride on
a bike PROPERLY FITTED TO YOUR BODY.

The calastentics should take care of A & B so if that doesn't help
or your pain increases TALK TO YOUR PARENTS ASAP!!!!!!!!
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-13-07, 12:17 PM   #8
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Most fit guides and bike fitters assume that you are a racing athlete and you need to get as aerodynamic as possible. Most new road bikes come with the bars set far to low for non-competition riding.
You can ride with your back in any position from near horizontal (aerodynamic) to near vertical. The optimum position for general, non athletic riding seems to be about midway. This may relieve some of your symptoms.
Have a good read of one of the best fit guides around.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:26 PM   #9
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All good advice and while you are at it...check out the chair you are using at your desk Someone swapped desk chairs in my office while I was gone, and I got some minor back aches because of it, got MY chair back and the issue went away.

Aaron
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 12-13-07, 12:42 PM   #10
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I'm not a doctor so I certainly can't asses your problem but I also had lower back problems when I started biking again after a long time off. It was, as you said, just soreness from not having used those muscles in a while. Cycling is pretty intensive on your back, so it may just be that. It may also be your bike fit as others have noted.

Another common cause of cycling related back pain is lack of flexibility, particularly in your hamstrings. Can you bend over straight legged and touch your toes? If not, start by stretching your hamstrings every day for a few weeks and see if that helps your back pain.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:12 PM   #11
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Change your computer chair. Mean it!!! I have a back problem that does not occur on the bike- The laid out position stretched over the bike eases the back pain. Then thanks to Bikeforums.net I spend alot of time in front of the Computer. That sitting upright brings on the back pain.

My problem is a couple of compressed vertebrae so it is obvious that laying out on the bike eases it and This is where I differ to most people. They say raise the bars and bring them closer to ease the back- I have two road bikes One a sport geometry and the bars are level with the saddle. The other is a full race geometry and the bars ar a couple on inches lower and 2" further away. The race bike is the most comfortable and in fact the sports bike is being chopped for another race bike.
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Old 12-18-07, 03:47 PM   #12
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My lower back doesn't hurt anymore! So, I conclude that the problem was I wasn't used to riding regularly, and now I am!
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Old 12-18-07, 04:36 PM   #13
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Old 12-18-07, 06:54 PM   #14
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Edzo nailed it. Get into a lifelong routine of regular core exercises. Your lower back will love you for it. I've had periodic lower back issues, but started doing regular ab crunches, and feel a lot better. Even at 16 you can benefit.

Edit: as stated above, make sure your bike fits properly.
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Old 12-18-07, 07:48 PM   #15
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If you're on a road bike, the position can cause lower back pain at first. It should go away with regular riding after a couple weeks. If it doesn't, then one of the other suggestions will help.
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