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Old 01-08-20, 07:45 AM
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I first threw out my back when I was 19. I was working in a warehouse unloading trucks, and we were way too macho to wear back braces. I've been dealing with issues from that for more than 20 years now and every couple of years, I really mess it up. I did it again back in early November, to the point that I even had trouble walking. My wife commented that she had never seen me in so much pain. I am fortunate that given my extensive experience with these issues, I tend to bounce back fairly quickly, though I am still not fully recovered from my November incident.

Anyway, I find stretching and core work helps a lot. When I'm consistent with it, my back is good. And then I start to get a little lax with it, and things go south, quickly. I also have a pretty good chiropractor, though I try to limit my chiropractor use. They treat the symptoms, not the causes.

About two years ago, I had a bike fit - for road and track, and we shortened my reach on my road bikes. I honestly find that the shorter, more upright position is worse than the lower stretched position I had. My power may be better in shorter, more upright position, but long and low helps me elongate my back and hold my core better. And it works better with my spine curve.

For years, people told me my tight hamstrings were the issue. They weren't. It was my super tight hip flexors. Cycling (and sitting) encourages tight hip flexors. The result is I tend to have anterior pelvic tilt, which pulls on the hamstrings making them tight. It also causes a more significant curve in my spine. Rotating my hips throughout the day to try to reduce the anterior tilt helps reduce pain and discomfort, as well as works my core.

Regarding weight lifting, light squats are mostly fine. If I am slow and deliberate, I can get up to almost twice body weight, but it's a long process. Hex bar deadlifts are OK. Straight bar deadlifts are not - they are asking for me to injure my back. Reverse hack squats are actually pretty good too.
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