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Old 01-19-11, 04:12 PM   #1
dougmc
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So, what is this pain in my stomach?

I've been riding a few years now, probably averaging 65 miles per week. I'm still on the slow side, at least compared to many people I ride with, but not *too* slow.

But when I push myself hard -- up a hill is the most common case -- it hurts in my stomach, right below my lungs. It seems to be worse if I'm more bent over (as opposed to more upright) but it happens when I'm pretty much upright too. It sort of feels like somebody hit me in the stomach, though it comes on gradually rather than suddenly.

If it matters, I'm probably 40 lbs overweight, and have the usual "beer belly" of somebody with that weight and my age (42).

If I take it easy for a few minutes, it goes away completely, though it can happen again with a few minutes of hard exertion. It doesn't seem to matter if I have food in my stomach or not, though it might happen more easily if I haven't eaten.

This has happened during the last few years -- it hasn't really changed, though I think I can now push myself somewhat harder before it happens.

It's not really a big problem, but it's annoying, and I'm wondering if anybody has any ideas what it is. Do other people have this, or is it just me? I did mention it to my doctor during a checkup and he had no idea, but didn't seem to think it meant I should stop riding or anything like that (my health was good -- just lose some weight.)
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Old 01-19-11, 04:49 PM   #2
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"I did mention it to my doctor during a checkup and he had no idea, but didn't seem to think it meant I should stop riding or anything like that (my health was good -- just lose some weight.)"

Odd response from a doctor. If it continues ask your doctor again ...... and this time press the point for an answer!

Oh yes, this forum is no place to get medical advice.
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Old 01-19-11, 05:24 PM   #3
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Well, I'm expecting that the answer won't really be medical advice, just a "oh yeah, that's just {something** getting mad at you for being made to work, it happens to everybody" or something along those lines.

My best guess is that it's my abdominal muscles getting pushed on by my legs and cramping up -- that losing weight will help there, but if so, I'd expect some others to have a similar issue. As for my doctor, he couldn't find anything wrong -- though I guess he could put me on an exercise bike and we could reproduce it.

But I am due for another checkup soon ... your advice to push the issue harder is probably good advice, and I'll do that if I haven't figured it out.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
But I am due for another checkup soon ... your advice to push the issue harder is probably good advice, and I'll do that if I haven't figured it out.
Make note of how you feel, where you are at and what you are doing when you have another attack of pain. Every bit of info you can give the doctor on your next visit will help him diagnose your pain.

Please, don't miss that next doctors appointment or go sooner if this gets worse, mate.
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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 01-19-11, 06:12 PM   #5
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Maybe the doctor was right... If you loose some weight, it might go away. Since you are a bit over weight, there could be something physically going on with lung expansion vs. extra fat vs. solar plexus

Since you said that it hurts more when you are hunched over and the pain comes slowly, it just might be an abstraction of those solar plexus nerves. They are just fighting to do what they do, which is mostly stomach and intestine operations, and as the fight goes on they get more tired to do the their stuff, so the pain occurs.

Notice in this presentation how everything is so bunched up together where the Celiac or solar plexus is. If there is anything extra in that area as far as fat goes, there is a big chance that lung and rib expansion could trigger that pain/abstraction, especially when you are hunched over.

I would suggest you ride in a more upright position until' you lose some extra fat from that area.

I am not a doctor, but this would makes sense to me. If you can tho', talk to a real doctor or two and make them explain things so you understand.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:17 PM   #6
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Ask your doctor or your cardiologist if he thinks it may be angina or heart related.

Or it may just be that your abdominal muscles need to be strengthened.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:17 PM   #7
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I went from riding an upright trike to a regular bike, a number of months back. This put me in a more aggressive riding position. I had to lean over as I rode the bike.

I found I had to depend on my core muscles a lot more heavily besides having to learn how to balance myself on a bike.

Thought nothing of it until I was in a business meeting one day and had to lean across the table to get a document from a co-worker.

I had such a muscle cramp around my stomach that I had to stop in mid-reach from the pain.

Through out the meeting the muscle cramp came and went in spasms. For a few days I did not ride my bike.

Before I rode my bike again I adjusted my seat, stem and handlebars to leave me in a more upright position. I also cut my sessions short and avoided hard rides.

Hey, take it easy. "Rome wasn't built in a day". Of course, what happened to me may not apply to you but it does sound painfully familiar, especially the "bent over" part.

However, as a previous poster said, the forum is no place for medical advice. With this in mind, press for an answer, if the pain persists.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:25 PM   #8
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One other possibility for some sort of answer/assistance... Go to a gym and ask a trainer abut the pain. If it's exercise-related, he/she might have heard of something similar occuring and offer advice on how to adapt your position/strengthen the muscles which are reacting so violently.

Not saying that medical advice isn't warrnated, just offering an alternate information source.
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Old 01-20-11, 07:41 AM   #9
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It also could be as simple as your breathing technique. http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic...-162182-5.html

According to Richard Podell, MD, “More than half of our patients with fibromyalgia develop a disordered pattern of breathing. They take very small rapid breaths using the small muscles of their chest instead of slow, deep breathing with the large muscles of the abdomen. These changes are subtle and most people who ‘hyperventilate’ in this manner don't realize that their breathing pattern is out of sync.

While it still might be the solar plexus issue, using your abdominal muscles for breath intake/output might give that extra room needed if your breathing technique is in question.

Last edited by spock; 01-20-11 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 01-20-11, 07:47 AM   #10
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I won't dispense medical advice, either, I'll just say this:

When I was in school, doing track events or playing football, there were times when the hard pushes caused that type of pain; it was simply a symptom of short-term overexertion, and (as you said) went away quickly with "a little breather" (NOT Herve Villechaize!). It pretty much was/is, for me, my exertion overwhelming the lungs.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:20 PM   #11
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Use bibs, not shorts, if you don't already.
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Old 01-20-11, 05:23 PM   #12
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It sounds like simply weak core muscles. The more you ride the stronger they will get, as you seem to be noticing already. Core strengthening exercises will help you get there faster.

I had similar symptoms when I was 40# heavier. just less painful. Your legs are probably stronger than mine were when I was fatter, so my legs gave out before my gut could hurt too much.
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