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Thread: Lower Back Pain

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    some guy
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    Lower Back Pain

    I've had that for years. As soon as I've spend 60-90 minutes riding hard, my lower back hurts like hell. The harder I ride, the faster it hurts. ( on a road bike, I stay in the crouched up position all the time with my hands on the bottom of the handlebars)

    I'm mainly wondering if anyone has had a similar story and what you did to fix it.

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    Senior Member damnpoor's Avatar
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    Ride on the hoods or tops. There's no reason to be in the drops for over an hour. Try getting closer to the handlebar. Raise it up a bit, get a shorter stem, or move the seat forward. In the first six months I had my bike I went through four stems to find one that was the perfect length for my body. The longer you ride the more pronounced little problems in the bike's geometry become.
    Last edited by damnpoor; 06-16-11 at 04:10 AM.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Many people don't appreciate that one needs a strong core to ride well. Work that core. Don't do any exercises that make you curve your spine, IOW no crunches or situps. There are plenty of good core exercises that don't do that. And change how your bars are set up so that you are comfortable riding on the hoods. Most folks spend 90% of their time on the hoods. Keep your back straight and your head up. Position photos here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12207030

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    some guy
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    Oh right now might be a good time to mention I also have lower back pain from driving for 60+ minutes

    I hope the two aren't related and I have a crap spine after all these years of slouching in chairs and riding a bike with handlebars that may be too low.

    I'll definitely try raising them and keeping my hands up top from now on, see if I last longer.

    If that doesn't work then I'll stop doing crunches and find some other ab thing. Thanks

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    I agree with Carbonfiberboy, it could just be a week core. I had a similar problem, my lower back would get fatigued way before my legs and when I kept riding it would start to hurt. Doing off the bike excercises specifically for my core has helped a lot. If that doesn't help its probably a fit problem.
    I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents. Not because I'm an expert but because I have a keyboard. -canam73

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Don't move the seat forward to shorten reach. Doing so changes the muscles that you use for pedalling, reducing the useage of the quads that make for better seated climbing. It also puts more weight on your hands, because your CG is farther forward of the BB axle.

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    I'm trying to work out the same type problem. History of lower back problems to include ruptured and herniated discs. Started cycling last year with no problems and them about a month ago I started having pain. The onset coincides with my increasing my average cadence to around 85 rpm. I also had been traveling for the month prior an used a back-up bike with a shorter reach. So I think mine is a fit problem and am considering shortening the stem.

    But to keep from permanent injury I'm seeing my Dr. who is also a cyclist. Hoping he can refer me to a specialist type PT that deals with cyclist to work out my problems properly. Oh, and I am working on my stretching to ease tensions on the back. I worry about core exercises since even a simple act of sitting down can sometimes cause things to slip out of place and cause pain.

    You may want to get your physician involved also to properly fix your problem.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Get a a back support device for your vehicle. Make sure you've got an ergonomically correct setup at work and at home.

    And then ....

    Make sure your bicycle fits and is set up correctly for you.


    A question ... is your saddle flat or is it curved up slightly in the back?

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    some guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    A question ... is your saddle flat or is it curved up slightly in the back?
    Looks like this: http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/...ike-saddle.jpg

    I rode with my hands on top of the handlebars today. Did seem to hurt a little less. I think my seat might be a smidgen too high and my handlebars a little low. I'll fiddle around with it and see if I can stay on my bike longer.

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    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    I had endless lower back problems. About 6 years ago, I started doing gym - and one day a week, I do nothing but back exercises.

    My lower back problems have virtually eliminated.

    My experience:

    For lower back - I did seated rows and weighted hyper extensions. But don't only do lower back - exercise the whole back (upper back, lats, and traps).

    If you can't get to a gym, then a substitute for the lower back is like a reverse crunch. Lie on your stomach with your feet under something (chair, bed, whatever), and lift your chest as high as possible without creating pain - and hold for a few seconds. Increase the hold-time and the reps as you get used to them. Also - try the 'plank' - an underrated but excellent core exercise. These are not really a good substitute for going to a gym, but theyu're a heck of a lot better than nothing.

    Let me know if you'd like more details about the exercises, the form, the weights, and the reps / sets etc.



    Good luck.
    Regards,
    Duncan

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    yak
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    Could be tight hip flexors (psoas). They terminate at the lower spine, and my back hurts like hell unless I stretch them. Core work is good too.

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    yak
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    dubbly posty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Get a a back support device for your vehicle. Make sure you've got an ergonomically correct setup at work and at home.

    And then ....

    Make sure your bicycle fits and is set up correctly for you.


    A question ... is your saddle flat or is it curved up slightly in the back?
    Where are you going with the saddle question? I sometime wonder if my curved saddle is causing problems.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

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    some guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    I had endless lower back problems. About 6 years ago, I started doing gym - and one day a week, I do nothing but back exercises.

    If you can't get to a gym, then a substitute for the lower back is like a reverse crunch. Lie on your stomach with your feet under something (chair, bed, whatever), and lift your chest as high as possible without creating pain - and hold for a few seconds. Increase the hold-time and the reps as you get used to them. Also - try the 'plank' - an underrated but excellent core exercise. These are not really a good substitute for going to a gym, but theyu're a heck of a lot better than nothing.

    Good luck.
    Ah, thanks.
    So are those like Supermans? I know planks.
    I do crunches / bicycles 3 times a week but I don't know how good my form is and I feel like I suck at them.

    I would like more detailed info on these.

    And while we're at it, should I do leg workouts during riding season ( summer ) ?
    You're supposed to work out a muscle group once a week and then let it rest so it seems there's no way doing squats and deadlifts would do anything but destroy my legs while I try to cram in miles during the short months in Canada where the weather gods don't rain white poop on everything.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    If you are putting in enough miles so that your legs are tired from them, or as many and as much intensity as you can recover from, then no, don't do leg weights. If not, then you can do legs once a week to retain strength. IOW if you feel like you could do weights without compromising your riding you can do them.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Another data point for you all: I just got back from a 6 hour ride with a friend who has a long history of muscle spasm back pain. He had no pain this ride. He did two things to his fit: he lowered his bars a couple inches and moved his saddle back quite a ways, I don't know how far. He says that it's very important to keep a flat back and just bend at the hip joint. Moving his saddle back helped him to engage his glutes. This all makes sense to me.

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    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poxpower View Post
    Ah, thanks.
    So are those like Supermans? I know planks.
    I do crunches / bicycles 3 times a week but I don't know how good my form is and I feel like I suck at them.

    I would like more detailed info on these.

    And while we're at it, should I do leg workouts during riding season ( summer ) ?
    You're supposed to work out a muscle group once a week and then let it rest so it seems there's no way doing squats and deadlifts would do anything but destroy my legs while I try to cram in miles during the short months in Canada where the weather gods don't rain white poop on everything.
    I'm not familiar with 'Supermans'. Hyperextensions are:





    Weighted hyperextensions are these - with a weight held against your chest.

    Without the right equipment, you can use a regular bench, and do this:





    Or - at home - hook your feet under a bad / couch / whatever, and do the best approximation. Some people like to do this at home without anchoring the feet, and letting them lift as high as possible (with straight knees). I can see that may have a 'superman" look about it! LOL



    (The pics above come from www dot bodybuilding dot com)
    Regards,
    Duncan

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    Definitely agree with the likelihood of a weak core. I used to get back pain sitting in office chairs all day and had what seemed to be sciatic pain. At first I thought it might be something I would just have to live with but after I started going to the gym and doing some exercises that strengthened my core I was happy to see that the problem disappeared completely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Many people don't appreciate that one needs a strong core to ride well. Work that core. Don't do any exercises that make you curve your spine, IOW no crunches or situps. There are plenty of good core exercises that don't do that. And change how your bars are set up so that you are comfortable riding on the hoods. Most folks spend 90% of their time on the hoods. Keep your back straight and your head up. Position photos here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12207030
    +1000, Carbon!

    I always recommend pilates for core strengthening. It's not the traditional situps- but there's quite a bit of core activation and stabilization, as well as stretching of the hamstrings and opening of the hips. You can stretch the groin muscles and hip flexors and build strength in those areas too. I just so highly recommend pilates- mat and reformer if you can afford to pay the extra for reformer.

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