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  1. #1
    Chieftain
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    Back pain blues...How do you deal?

    It's the usual: early season, not nearly mid-summer form, too much sitting in class, trying to maximize my mileage on rare dry days. As always, its the hills that hurt the worst, consecutive days compound the problem. I know most or all of us have to deal with this at some level...what's your method...cross training, tweaking positioning, drinking beer?

    Me: mad stomach circuit on the exercise ball; tons of stretching....all starting tomorrow, of course.

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    I always hurt like hell by the end of a race (mtn races last year) and I always would say that I'm going to start a core program. Here I am today actually starting it. Can't deal with that pain another season...
    "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." -- Juma Ikangaa

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  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've had back problems for quite a while. Age, mostly. Climbing falls. I just constantly work on keeping it strong. I go to the gym. Ab work, back work, and squats. Squats are the best for me. Year 'round, except for the middle of summer. And position. Keep the back straight and relaxed.

  4. #4
    Chieftain
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    I also do Chi Kung for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. It's a slow, deliberate series of movements that can be integrated into your normal stretching routine. The movements align and basically lubricate your vertebrae, getting the stiffness right out.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I've had back problems for quite a while. Age, mostly. Climbing falls. I just constantly work on keeping it strong. I go to the gym. Ab work, back work, and squats. Squats are the best for me. Year 'round, except for the middle of summer. And position. Keep the back straight and relaxed.
    +1

    Although I don't do it all the time... For core exercises I like crunches, hyperextensions are great. Close grip pulldowns don't sound like a core exercise but they seem to help me. I also like thr Nautilus lower AB machine. It works the psoas and ipsoas. There are other ways to do that, most notably that thing that is a wheel with a handle on each side.

    But the 'core' of the core are crunches and hyperextensions for me.
    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  6. #6
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Core exercises will take care of your back problems unless you have something physically wrong with your spine.

  7. #7
    Simulated Tough Guy Mobiker50's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=humboldt'sroads;6175548]It's the usual: early season, not nearly mid-summer form, too much sitting in class, trying to maximize my mileage on rare dry days. As always, its the hills that hurt the worst, consecutive days compound the problem.

    [QUOTE]

    I've been using a trainer this year for the first time (as opposed to an exercycle with a tractor-sized seat and moveable hand-thingies). On the occasions I've been able to go out and ride in the world, I've noticed that I haven't lost my seat, my back muscles or my legs like happened the past two winters. THere's a lot to be said for riding the same setup inside as out.
    Everyone has to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by humboldt'sroads View Post
    It's the usual: early season, not nearly mid-summer form, too much sitting in class, trying to maximize my mileage on rare dry days. As always, its the hills that hurt the worst, consecutive days compound the problem. I know most or all of us have to deal with this at some level...what's your method...cross training, tweaking positioning, drinking beer?

    Me: mad stomach circuit on the exercise ball; tons of stretching....all starting tomorrow, of course.
    Cyclo-zen "fix the back and stay in the drops". Has strength and stretching workouts. Great stuff.
    Eric

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
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    Chikung and Tai Chi does it for me... every morning will do wonders for you... I can also recomend a book called yoga for back pain... its excelent it works the core...

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I rarely ever have back problems on the bicycle, and I haven't got the strongest back.

    1. Make sure your bicycle fits ... way back when, I was riding one that was a bit too big for me, and one side of my back used to cramp up. Well, I got a bicycle that fit, and no more back pain.

    2. Ride all year round. I ease up for 2-4 weeks in the winter, but still remain active during those weeks. By this time of year I'm seriously ramping up my mileage again. Way back when, I used to be a spring, summer, fall rider, and would take at least 4 months off each winter. Each spring it was like starting from scratch again ... Ouch! It's so much easier if you keep going all year long.

    3. You are a student ... therefore you carry a heavy backpack, right? Well ... walk lots with that backpack. I'm a student too, with a heavy backpack, and I walk 15-20 kms a week. Aside from discovering a whole new set of muscles, and building up my bones, I also noticed that my abs were tightening up because in order to walk comfortably with a heavy backpack, you've got to suck in those abs for additional support.

  11. #11
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    First, burn you messenger's bag

    After about thirty years of serious back pain and thousands of dollars spent trying to correct it, about seven years ago I turned to a physical therapist and radically changed my approach to back health. Now, at 44, I can honestly and gratefully say I experience vastly less back pain and sciatic numbness than I have since I was a child.

    Everyone's back is different, but here's what I've found both thru serious self-analysis and years of working with chiropractors and then, finally, that blessed physical therapist:

    1) Biking good, running bad. Mt. biking esp. builds your core, while running simple pounds it. My younger joints could take that pounding, but not my older. However, serious lower back pain may simply rule out ever riding (comfortably) competitively designed bikes. The price of being a competitive, go-fast athlete is pain. Period.

    I'm never really sure why weekend warriors insist on paying that price.

    I do experience soreness after each ride, but a little ice pack gets rid of it, and the next morning I feel great.

    2) Burn your bike bag. Few things are worse for you lower back than an unevenly distributed load. I can hike pain free for days on end with a heavy pack, and every year, year after year, I walk two miles to and two miles from work/school -- five days a week with a well loaded pack, feeling fine every day. BUT if I sling my paper laden briefcase across my shoulder and walk across campus...well, I'll be in pain for days.

    Simply put, the bike bag craze is a chiropractor's dream.

    3) Walk, don't run: I have a six pack and haven't done a crunch or sit up in seven years. Your core evolved around *walking*, not convoluted, human developed exercises, and certainly not around running on pavement. Seriously, after two decades of jogging and gym-rat-dom, *giving up* crunches and all the other exercises I used to *build my back muscles* really was a key step to solving my back problems: most of those exercises cause much more strain than strength. And, seriously, I really do have a six pack and all it takes is daily walking, biking, and....

    4) Streeeeetching. The remarkably simple, low key exercises the PT gave me do for my back in minutes what hundreds of dollars used to do in months when I used a chiropractor. "Low key" is key here because strain is your *cause*, not the cure.

    Note that the above four tips won't make you cool. ...running is cool and walking is nerdy; bike bags are cool and backpacks are nerdy; gym-Betties assume you have a six pack if yer doing crunches and that you are a geezer if yer just stretching.

    But at a certain point, comfort trumps coolness. ...that point usually occurs in yer late 30s...

    td

  12. #12
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    I will say that 2 key core exercises changed my life. The leg lift (done with absolute form, slow and methodical) and one legged squats. Hamstring stretches as well.

    I now do all my rides with NO pain and play hockey with no issues. This could not be done without this. It took about 4 months before absolute result. No chiropractor visits in 3+ years with playing every sport you can think of.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Billy Bones's Avatar
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    I'm a BF50+ kind of pirate and have lived with lower back issues since an injury in my early 20s. The only thing that keeps things taut (thereby reducing re-injury) is core strength.

    There is a "glass half full" component here that transcends the use of core strength exercise in mere avoidance of lower back pain. I ascribe the fact that I've stayed active all these decades in part to the necessity to stay strong in the "central regions".

  14. #14
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthemracer View Post
    I always hurt like hell by the end of a race (mtn races last year) and I always would say that I'm going to start a core program.
    This has been a TOTAL CURE for my lower back blues. I now do core body exercises through the winter, and then just maintain (a couple times/week) during the riding/racing season. I've had NO issues since adopting this plan a few years ago.

    Try it - it may be the cure for you also!

    ... Brad

  15. #15
    Senior Member threeoneseven's Avatar
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    stretch your hammy's like it's your job. don't know why, but if it's lower back pain you are having, it may help. best advice i ever got.

  16. #16
    would rather be biking SeanMA's Avatar
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    I got in car accident a few years back and compressed my spine. Since then, as soon as I wake up, time permitting, I'll do a quick session of yoga that focuses on the back. From the dog to the cat to the cobra, etc. haha. I also keep a strong core by working out, and all together this works wonders. I rarely have back problems now.

  17. #17
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    Glucosamine.

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