I had pains in my legs when riding any upright. I changed saddles, I altered my position, and even changed bikes a few times without success. I bought a giant revive semi-recumbent and can now ride any distance I choose without discomfort.
I had numbness and tingling down my left arm due to problems with vertebrae in my neck. I did some physical therapy, but riding the old DF bike seemed to aggravate the problem. Since getting my BikeE, 5 years ago, the symptoms have vanished. My next wheels will be a trike, though, as I think they are the ultimate in comfort and safety.
Thanks also to Izgod. Torn hamstring led to sciatica problems and a history of low back pain in general. I've ridden and run all my life until this and after almost 3 years of waiting for things to heal my doctors say go for it. But I'm just not able to ride anymore without the fear of reinjury, so it's time to change something and the bent looks promising.
If you do decide to go 'bent, take it easy at first. Different leg muscles are involved. Also be aware of your knees. Learn to spin the pedals, especially up hills, to avoid stress on the knees. You can push very hard with your legs when your back is supported like on a recumbent. Pushing too hard could cause knee problems, so spin, spin spin!!
Thanks for the advice. I've been ridding Softrides for years, so I'm used to spinning, and I stay away from big gears that I cannot spin. I've used cadence computers since they came out and they have saved my knees.
I have sciatica. I also have Rheumatoid arthritis. The arthritis in my hips and other back problems prevent me from sitting in a "bent". Over the years by riding an upright bike starting with a MTB to keep the impact or vibration off my joints I have improved my sciatica greatly. Now I ride a lot, I can ride a s.s. road bike 130 miles in one ride, I do have to take some small precautions to prevent shock to my joints and my back. When I was at my worst I had to keep the speed down with low gearing and soft tires for impact absorbsion of the small bumps.
The worst thing for my sciatica is the stress on the lower back when pushing a high gear very hard for a long time. Pace yourself and just keep moving and progressing at a pace that is comfortable for you.
No more high gears for me. I refer to my road bike now as my physical therapy bike with compact crank and 32t mountain cassette. I'm trying to get my old 26" touring/mountain bike set up to ride again, as it has very laid back seat tube(70 degree) high bars, Brooks saddle and 28t granny.
I started to ride a bent years before I had a back problem. I had a herniated disk about 4 years ago resulting in sciatic pain. My bent did not help nor hinder the problem but I was unable to ride my mountain bike more that 10 feet. Not all nerve pains are caused by the same problem and not all bent seats are the same. What helps one person may hurt the next. The only way you will find out is to try one yourself. If it is too painful try a different seat on a different bike.
I've got a damaged disk in my lower back and had sciatic problems shortly after my injury. That has been years ago and I'm pretty well healed up according to the Doc. My back was not the reason I went 'bent. The main reason was soreness in my neck, and my hands going numb continually. I have noticed that hitting a bump on my old DF would cause a twinge to go down my legs and a bit of pain in my back. That does not happen on the 'bent. I'm pain free even on rough roads. I've found other benefits to the 'bent the more I ride, but the biggest is that without the aches and pains riding has become fun again, so I ride more.
I had the same problems due to herniated disks in my back. It got so bad that I couldn't ride my road bike without sever sciatica or complete loss of feeling in my legs. Now I ride my Revive everywhere and suffer no pain whatsoever! Try one out at your local bike dealer. It'll put a smile back on your face!
I started working out on a home rowing machine this winter. It has firmed up my lower back muscles, abs, shoulders & arms. Sciatica problems have gone down 75%. I like the thing almost as much as my bent bike. bk