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Old 01-30-05, 09:14 PM   #1
Diggy18
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Riding with a Strained Muscle

OK, I have a strained lower back. First injured it on a long ride 3 months ago with a too-high seat, then reinjured it a week ago shoveling snow.

I just took a week off form riding, and have been running instead. But I've heard that totally resting a strained muscle is counter-productive because the muscle will come back too weak. So any idea how much rest I really need to give it? And should I stop riding at the first sign of pain?

(This back injury is annoying as all get-out. What I REALLY don't want to hear is that I need to stay off the bike for something like 4 weeks. All this has got me pricing 'bents.)
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Old 01-31-05, 02:19 PM   #2
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If you completely stop using a muscle it atrophies. It's pretty hard to comlpletely stop using a back muscle unless you are paralyzed or otherwise immobile. The important thing is to excersize the muscle with a full range of movement. Make sure you stretch when you can. I would go easy. If it's too painful to ride then don't, but if it feels fine then it probably is.
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Old 01-31-05, 02:35 PM   #3
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I don't claim this to be your answer, but for what it's worth, I had a similar problem and ended up going to a chiropractor. His advice: several times every hour or so during the day stretch where you take your arms over your head and bend backwards. Or lie on the floor and lift your chest upward (using your arms and hands for support). This evidently compensates for all the forward bending that results from sitting at a desk or on a bike. He said bike riding usually isn't too bad for one's back--if you don't sit at a desk most of the day. Combined, and you're back doesn't gets kind of locked in a forward bending position that isn't too healthy.

Also, you might consider raising your handlebars if this happens some more.

I've been going to this guy about once a week for a month. I no longer have any back pain, but I'm still riding pretty minimal mileage.
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Old 01-31-05, 06:57 PM   #4
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That's an interesting point about sitting in front of a desk, because I am in fact sitting in front of a computer 8 to 10 hours a day, and I know that the sitting can bother my back even if I don't ride that day.

What do you have, a sharp pain, or an ache, or just fatigue or what?

I kind of have this ache that can get a slight sharp pain now and then. But it doesn't extend up the spine at all, it's all just above the pelvic bone in the back. And it gets fatigued while riding, making it hard to pedal.
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