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Old 05-12-05, 09:04 AM   #1
skanking biker
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Lower Back Pain

To start off---i have previosuly had some lower back problems in high school and college due to weightlifting, working construction, being in marching band.

One of the reasons i got into cyclign was that it seemed to alleviate my intermittent lower back pain. Here is my problem. When i am riding, my lower back feels fine. However, after doing like 20 miles i get off and i can barly bend over--i stretch and all--but the next few days my lower back just screams in pain. My lumbar muscles are all tight and i get a stabbign sensation at my waistline.


My question is what can i do to prevent this. Anyoen else have similar problems. I dont understand why my back doesnt hurt when i'm on the bike but hurts when i get off. Also, is this due to an incorrect ridign position---am i too spread out? Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-12-05, 09:08 AM   #2
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Do you work your abdominal muscles and do core excersises?
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Old 05-12-05, 09:09 AM   #3
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I do nto really do sit-ups and i am unsure as to what you mean by "core" exercises. If tehse will help i will certainyl try them
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Old 05-12-05, 09:40 AM   #4
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Your core muscles are the ones in the abdominal-lower back area of the body. Pretty much everything above the waist and below the pectoral muscles. Crunches are good for the abs, back raises (that device where you secure your legs and your torso is free to bend up and down at the waist) are good for the back, and you can turn sideways to work whatever the muscles to the sides of your abs are called. I call them the Abercrombie muscles. Anyway, a stronger core can help alleviate back pain, as will proper stretching
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Old 05-12-05, 08:54 PM   #5
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I've got a similar problem. A year and a half ago I messed up my back when picking up something too heavy. At the time I shrugged it off and figured it would go away. It didn't. Eventually I saw a physical therapist for a while. She told me my lower spine wasn't quite straight and gave me an exercise to straighten it out. On top of that she also gave me some general stretches and strength exercises to do. No other exercise was allowed. After a few months of that she basically declared me healthy and I was allowed to slowly build up again. This was in December. I still feel my back when I bike hard, so I've been running instead which doesn't seem to bother me. After I run my 10k this weekend I'm going to the doctor again. (I'm not going earlier because I'm afraid the doctor will tell me not to run the 10k.)

Anyway, the general stretches and strength exercises do help. I don't know what all the stretches are called, but definitely stretch your quads, hamstrings, and hips. Don't try to stretch the back itself. You'll probably just hurt yourself. For strength exercises, work your abs and upper legs (lie flat on your back, now raise your butt by bending your knees, keeping your body straight). My back still bothers me every other day or so, but it's worlds better than it was. If you can see a doctor about it. I'm still kicking myself for not going right when I injured my back. Oh, and I'm not a doctor, I'm just telling you what my doctor told me. If it hurts, don't do it.

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Old 05-13-05, 03:18 AM   #6
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All natural pedalling styles put the lower back under continuous strain and while your
lower back is not aggravated by this strain it is possible that it is slowly pushing your
back parts out of alignment.
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Old 05-13-05, 05:02 PM   #7
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I strained my lower back probably 7 months ago by having my seat too high and too far back on the rails. It didn't start getting better until I moved the seat down and forward beyond what would otherwise be "correct" for me. Plus whenever I'm sitting I use some lumbar support. I also discovered that a COLD shower really helps eliminate discomfort, and I down an Aleve after a ride. And massaging that bony part of my back, just under the spine, also seems to be helping.

I'll tell you though, I do wish I had gone to a doctor right away, because I'm sure I would have healed a lot faster.
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Old 05-13-05, 05:19 PM   #8
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See if your doctor will prescribe physical therapy. (Insurance should pay.) They can evaluate your problem and teach specific exercizes that might help you for the rest of your life.
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Old 05-16-05, 12:21 PM   #9
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In addition to all of the above, check your riding posture. Adjusting your seat, handle bar location, etc. changes your posture. If you climb hills and are out of the saddle, this also puts a strain on your back (as well as exersizing it)

From your description it's like being bent over shovel snow. You can continue to be bent over and shovel, but when you try to stand straight..ouch. You need to stretch your back while riding as well. Stand on your peddles and arch forward. Point is don't stay in one position for long periods of time. Just like changing your hands. They go numb if you don't move them around.
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Old 05-16-05, 06:51 PM   #10
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My back was bothering me quite a bit, and I hit the gym and started doing back extentions, the snatch, the deadlift, etc and it fixed it right up. This is completely contrarary to the standard American doctrine of, if it hurts, take to your easy chair. But it worked, it fixed things right up!

Sit ups are good, various Yoga/piletes exercises are good, there's a reason for the popularity of Yoga and Pilates these days - overweight peoples' backs are giving out. You can get decent yoga and pilates DVDs or just join a local class, my older sister has ended her back troubles with pilates and this is a person who, like most Americans, would not be caught dead exercising.
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Old 05-16-05, 07:58 PM   #11
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I had a problem with lower back pain on long rides and a slight tilt forward on the saddle helped a lot. .
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Old 05-16-05, 11:24 PM   #12
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My back occassionally plays up. Yesterday it did it again. I got that feeling that with every step, this twinge would go straight up the leg thru the back, resulting in me walking like a hunchback.

The day before that, I did go on a 3 1/2 Hour ride though (Which is longish for me). My shoulders have been a tight of late, so I had a funny feeling that my back may play up.

I find that I feel a slight hunch in the shoulders when I go for a reasonably long ride.
A cyclist I know, recently told me that my bike frame might be a little small for me. He just might be right. I'm currently riding a 2nd hand mountain bike, and it's time for me consider upgrading.

My back's on the mend now, and today I managed a short ride to the shops. I found that cycling at a easy pace, is much easier on my body than walking . My bike may be second hand, but I couldn't manage without.
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Old 05-18-05, 03:35 AM   #13
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Sit ups are bad for the lower back.
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Old 05-18-05, 07:59 AM   #14
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Pilates, Pilates, Pilates. The only thing that will cure this. You need to strengthen the core muscles that will prevent your spine from moving in painful ways, and will also take the strain of your erector spinae, which are the muscles which are cramping up. I had this also, and Pilates cured me. I went to a physical therapist twice, did the exercises at home, and now I only have to do them when my back acts up.

She recommended this book, and so do I... and so do all the reviewers on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

The book has very clear and detailed instructions on each stretch/exercise. If you do a routine from this book, you'll more than likely be cured in short order. Pilates are much easier than cycling 20 miles. Although the exercises look so easy... because you don't use these muscles much directly, they are surprisingly challenging.

Try em. They will fix you. And no, thats not a link where I make money on it or something. Although I recommend this book so much... it should be.
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Old 05-25-05, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowley
Sit ups are bad for the lower back.
not accurate

with improper form or while lying on a bed of glass, maybe

there are many possibilities as to the reasoning for your back problems as have been stated

for me it was a stretching regime that cured me of pain similiar in description to yours. while lying on your back pull your knees into your chest using your forarms at the back of your knees. great for legs and lower back- basicaly all the major muscles that are worked while on the bike.
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Old 05-25-05, 01:24 PM   #16
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I'm a big fan of Yoga. I can usually work out most minor aches and pains with the various postures and stretches taught.

Also, although not great for aerodynamics when on the bike (and in life in general) I try to constantly remind myselft to think about 'lenghtening the spine'. This helps to build the muscles that support the spine and reduce back pain, overall.

(Obvious disclaimer about seeing your doctor for serious problems and not relying on internet forums for medical advice.....<grin>)
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Old 05-25-05, 02:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunkologist
Pilates, Pilates, Pilates. The only thing that will cure this.
totally 100% agree with this!! Have had back-attacks since compression fracture of L3; pilates is amazing. Do 30 mins after you get off the bike as cool down and you'll shower smiling.

Last edited by jaggtass; 05-26-05 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 05-25-05, 03:50 PM   #18
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Do you think a doctor, trainer, chiropractor, physical therapist, voodoo practicioner--anybody professional who has actually seen you--might help you better than a bunch of unseen, uncredentialed, (but totally awesome ) bicyclists on an internet forum?
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Old 05-25-05, 04:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Do you think a doctor, trainer, chiropractor, physical therapist, voodoo practicioner--anybody professional who has actually seen you--might help you better than a bunch of unseen, uncredentialed, (but totally awesome ) bicyclists on an internet forum?
yeah, but now he has an idea of what type of professional; experience is that doctors tend to prescribe anti-inflams and restricted activity. Would rather stretch out and skip the drugs (and go bike!)

Massage therapists are small deities with backaches - maybe check in with one of them before going to someone with a longer wait-list, just a suggestion
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Old 05-25-05, 07:12 PM   #20
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I second the advice for a massage. It will help loosen the back and then you can start strengthening your core.

One of the best core exercises is to be in a pushup position but with your elbows and forearms on the ground. Concentrate on keeping your abs and glutes tight and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat 2 or 3 times. Tightening your glutes will set your body straight.

Once that gets easy for you, you can do the same thing as above but have your forearms on an exercise ball which will make your secondary muscles work hard to keep you from falling off. If that's STILL too easy then be in the same postion and roll your arms forward so your body is more extended. First time I did that one, I thought I'd fall off from my body shaking so much.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:16 AM   #21
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If you have a backpain, before take any medication or medical anything, you first want to try getting good sleep.

I have had a backpain for a few years, and didn't know what was causing it or how to take care of it. I found out that it came from lack of sleep caused by strenuous excercise(such as cycling). My back pain was awful. I couldn't bend forward, had a numbness in my leg, getting up the bed was torturous every morning. I was taking a computer class at the time and I had to ask the teacher if I could lay on my back on the floor during the class.

Things I did and didn't to get good sleep.
* Do the excercise modestly.
* Drink no alchol.
* Drink no coffee or any drink with caffeine past noon.
* No pot.

It worked and I haven't had back pain in a long time. When I see even a little bit of sign, I go back to get sleep program and it usually takes care of it in a few days.

Other things you can expect from lack of sleep.
* Heart burn(leads to stomach ulcer)
* Hemorrhoid
* Skin irritation
* Joint pain

You get no benefit from lack of sleep.
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Old 05-26-05, 04:23 AM   #22
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Google: Supermans, and Pilates Bridges, and Leg-Kicks.

Cure.

I'm so certain, if you buy that book and follow its instructions and you're not drastically better, I'll pay for it. **** it. I know I'm right.

Here's how it works: Spinal Pain Clinic->Physical Therapist->Home Pilates

Thats standard practice before surgery. Avoid muscle relaxers, back shockers, and sugeries... with exercises vastly easier than long bouts of cycling.

The book expalins how it works.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunkologist

I'm so certain, if you buy that book and follow its instructions and you're not drastically better, I'll pay for it. **** it. I know I'm right.
If I agree with you again will you buy me the book too? Kidding.

Skank - he's right. Will back Crunkologist's claim and chip in half; I earn in Euros, so no issue if it turns out you're allergic to pilates
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Old 05-26-05, 08:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
pot didn't decrease the pain?
From the way I was told from my friend, pot works like a heating pad while it is in effect, like a wave of heat going through the spine. It is comforting if you are just relaxed and laying on the side in fetus position, and that's the only position you can feel less pain than other position. Actually, you feel pain no matter which way you are laying. Some positions are only better than others, and you have to go through it all night long.

The problem is, just like alcohol, it wakes you up sooner than you really want to and you are not really sleeping deeply. Some of you may know that you have more dreams while pot is in effect and those dreams are not that bad, if you know what I mean . But that also means, when you are dreaming, you are having a shallow sleep. You wake up feeling good in the morning all right and even feel less pain in the back. But during the day, you would feel sleepy and yawning all the time. By the evening, the pain is so great that your leg is not a part of your body, it seems. Some people told me it is caused by the nerve in the spine herniating between the disc of the back bones. The person also told me he had an operation to remove that herniated nerves. If you can avoid that kind of operation by sleeping more, you'd be crazy not to.

Again, this is not from my experience but told by my friend.
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Old 05-27-05, 09:24 AM   #25
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His back injury: here's what happened... he overstrained/injured it during those strenuous activities in his youth. The intervertebral muscles (that link 2-3 vertebrae at a time) atrophied, as they do during injury. These musles stabilize the spine, and prevent it from moving in painful ways. Without exercises (like pilates bridges) to cause them to regenerate... he will always have pain.

I do recommend that he go to a physical therapist if he doesn't believe me, or even a spinal pain clinic to get a referral to a PT. Whatever. Even if its degenerative disk disorder, pilates are the most effective treatment.
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