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Old 06-28-10, 07:55 AM   #1
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Long bike ride + long drive afterwards = lower back pain and stiffness. Help!

Hi

After a long bike ride, I usually soak in a hot bath immediately and it really helps to reduce next day pain and soreness.

However when I drive and cycle (2-3 hour car drives), I have to sit it out and dunk when I arrive, which is already too late as the pain and stiffness settle in... the next day is a nightmare.

Does anyone experience this and have any tips and tricks? Maybe a heating pad between myself and the car seat?

(And to you sarcastic's out there, no I can't install a tub in my trunk, already thought of that )
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Old 06-28-10, 08:03 AM   #2
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A massaging lumbar support cushion does wonders for that with me. They aren't all that expensive, and certainly cheaper than putting a bathtub in your trunk.
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Old 06-28-10, 08:29 AM   #3
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A massaging lumbar support cushion does wonders for that with me. They aren't all that expensive, and certainly cheaper than putting a bathtub in your trunk.
Interesting idea!
What brand/model do you have?
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Old 06-28-10, 09:58 AM   #4
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Veteran of two back surgeries here. Do a very careful & thorough stretch at the end of your ride, before you get in the car. If you can, try to park your car near a place with a patch of shady grass so you can lay out, stretch your back and really elongate your spine. Take at least 15 minutes to do this. Breath deeply and let your tense back muscles relax.
And stop every hour on your car drive and walk around for a few minutes and stretch your back.
Also check your local library for yoga dvds. After checking it out so many times, I finally bought this one. IMO it's easier to concentrate on your breathing, posture and spine when this little Asian dude is showing you how, than when in a room surrounded by young, fit, scantily-clad women.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:32 AM   #5
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It's actually a no name cheapie I bought either at Walmart or Pep Boys on clearance.
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Interesting idea!
What brand/model do you have?
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Old 06-28-10, 11:44 AM   #6
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Veteran of two back surgeries here. Do a very careful & thorough stretch at the end of your ride, before you get in the car. If you can, try to park your car near a place with a patch of shady grass so you can lay out, stretch your back and really elongate your spine. Take at least 15 minutes to do this. Breath deeply and let your tense back muscles relax.
And stop every hour on your car drive and walk around for a few minutes and stretch your back.
Also check your local library for yoga dvds. After checking it out so many times, I finally bought this one. IMO it's easier to concentrate on your breathing, posture and spine when this little Asian dude is showing you how, than when in a room surrounded by young, fit, scantily-clad women.
Thanks, very informative.
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Old 06-28-10, 01:05 PM   #7
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IMO it's easier to concentrate on your breathing, posture and spine when this little Asian dude is showing you how, than when in a room surrounded by young, fit, scantily-clad women.
Wish I had that problem in my yoga class...a couple of other dudes, and a bunch of middle-age women are all I have to look at. :-)

But +1 on the yoga suggestion. I've been doing yoga and pilates 4-5 times a week (once in a class, the rest at home) since this winter, and I rarely have back or neck issues during or post-ride anymore. And I take the time to stretch after a long ride.
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Old 06-28-10, 01:59 PM   #8
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Wish I had that problem in my yoga class...a couple of other dudes, and a bunch of middle-age women are all I have to look at. :-)
Man, that would be sweet. It's really difficult to relax and get that deep, soothing, yoga breathing when you can't let your gut out. And woe-betide the hapless male yoga pupil who doesn't arrive in class with his package aiming in the right direction, ow--gives "Bend it Like Beckham" a whole new meaning.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:02 PM   #9
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Do a very careful & thorough stretch at the end of your ride, before you get in the car. If you can, try to park your car near a place with a patch of shady grass so you can lay out, stretch your back and really elongate your spine. Take at least 15 minutes to do this. Breath deeply and let your tense back muscles relax.
And stop every hour on your car drive and walk around for a few minutes and stretch your back.
+1 on this. After the ride I take a big drink of chocolate milk, as I beleive that in the immediate minutes after the exercise the muscle are better at absorbing the nutrients. Before you rush home take some time to take pleasure in reflecting on your accomplishment.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:21 PM   #10
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if you're changing back into street clothes, do you have a wallet stuffed in your back pocket? that can get bothersome, try the front pocket or a cargo pocket. Also, even a towel folded over a couple times can provide some relief.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:39 PM   #11
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if you're changing back into street clothes, do you have a wallet stuffed in your back pocket? that can get bothersome, try the front pocket or a cargo pocket.
+1000

Have you tried Aleve? Works for me.
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Old 06-28-10, 05:12 PM   #12
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if you're changing back into street clothes, do you have a wallet stuffed in your back pocket? that can get bothersome, try the front pocket or a cargo pocket. Also, even a towel folded over a couple times can provide some relief.
Wallet is always in the front pocket of loose shorts, never anything in the back.
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Old 06-29-10, 12:11 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great responses.

Stretching I already do, but maybe not to the extent of +10 minutes. I'll adjust that for the next rides!

As for ice, is it better to apply cold or heat on the lower back after a long ride?
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Old 06-29-10, 12:22 PM   #14
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I hope you don't take this as being sarcastic, but hit the gym for a workout at least 3 to 4 times a week, with durations of at least half hour or more. Try that out for about 2 months. After that see if everything gets better and pain decreases.
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Old 06-29-10, 12:30 PM   #15
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I hope you don't take this as being sarcastic, but hit the gym for a workout at least 3 to 4 times a week, with durations of at least half hour or more. Try that out for about 2 months. After that see if everything gets better and pain decreases.
No, not at all. I think that will all the pressure we place on our lower backs, it would make sense to hit the gym on a regular basis.
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Old 06-29-10, 12:37 PM   #16
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Hmm, it's always possible that your car seat is rather uncomfortable to...
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Old 06-29-10, 02:04 PM   #17
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After lying down for 80-100 miles, my back is no problem at all. What's this 'sore back' s**t, er, I mean stuff?

Just a guess, but if you have a sore lower back, there's one of two things going on. 1) you need more core exercises like sit-ups, or 2) you're riding with your back hunched.
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Old 06-29-10, 02:44 PM   #18
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Hmm, it's always possible that your car seat is rather uncomfortable to...
Well, the lumbar support isn't what it used to be... but i don't get back pain on long rides going to my destination or even when i don't bike.
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Old 06-29-10, 02:50 PM   #19
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After lying down for 80-100 miles, my back is no problem at all. What's this 'sore back' s**t, er, I mean stuff?

Just a guess, but if you have a sore lower back, there's one of two things going on. 1) you need more core exercises like sit-ups, or 2) you're riding with your back hunched.
Sounds like 1 and 2 both apply here.
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Old 06-29-10, 03:16 PM   #20
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extensions (google mckenzie extensions)... you are riding in lumbar flexion and then driving in lumbar flexion. You need to get out of that position. The term bulging disk has such a bad reputation, but think of your disk as a bag full of water and flour slurry... put pressure on the front, the fluid goes to the rear... you are doing that for long periods of time on your bike and on your ride, when you do extensions you can restore proper balance.

take it FWIW, it's internet advise, but would think it will be helpful based on your quick description. as always, consult with your personal physician or PT before beginning any new regimen
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Old 06-29-10, 04:16 PM   #21
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extensions (google mckenzie extensions)... you are riding in lumbar flexion and then driving in lumbar flexion. You need to get out of that position. The term bulging disk has such a bad reputation, but think of your disk as a bag full of water and flour slurry... put pressure on the front, the fluid goes to the rear... you are doing that for long periods of time on your bike and on your ride, when you do extensions you can restore proper balance.

take it FWIW, it's internet advise, but would think it will be helpful based on your quick description. as always, consult with your personal physician or PT before beginning any new regimen
Hey, i'm open, i'll look it up on youtube.com. Thanks for passing it along.
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