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First ride in a LONG time = back pain again

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First ride in a LONG time = back pain again

Old 01-24-23, 08:47 AM
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Essthreetee
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First ride in a LONG time = back pain again

I haven’t ridden in a while because I had back pain (lower discs) and winter….well, yesterday I broke out my LeMonde stationary for a quick ride….and after the ride was the first time in a while that I had back pain like that again (lower back).
I’m bummed to think that bikes are what is helping to cause (or aggravate) the pain…
is there a way to adjust to help?
Or could it just be sore because it’s muscles that haven’t been excercised in a while?
Or could it be time to face the facts of bad discs = bad back = no cycling…?
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Old 01-24-23, 08:48 AM
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Get a MRI and then you will Know.
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Old 01-24-23, 08:55 AM
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How is the bike set up? Aggressive stance? Have you tried an upright position? I know it isn’t your Lemond, but a beach cruiser or recumbent may be a less painful way to get back on two wheels. I’m wondering too if PT and stretching may go along well with attempting biking again. Not a lot of info so I’m shooting in the dark a bit here and making assumptions.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:30 AM
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I remember the old saying low back pain on the bike means you’re not in shape. Always made sense to me as your big hip flexors attach to your low back.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Get a MRI and then you will Know.
oh yeah. I know I have a herniated disc. And slight scoliosis.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:38 AM
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It could be that you are having some tendon inflammation. A number of things can cause a flare. Inactive, not warmed up enough, to much load, load to long, not enough breaks in the workout.

For me the the first thing that comes to mind is hydration and nutrition. Timing of both is pretty important. I tend to hydrate, juice/carbs/vitamin before, and will do proteins and nutrients after with more hydration.

Does it help? heck I don't really know. I do know that tendinitis can be very disabling. I used to have it in my Achilles after long days of Umpiring for youth baseball. I've had it in my back after climbing ladders and painting at the top rungs. These days it's top of the forearm that's doing me tuff.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:43 AM
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If the back pain is not caused by, e.g., skeletal problems and is instead caused by simple compression, riding a drop-bar bike is one of the few ways you can exercise while reducing disc pressure, so it's worth figuring out how to be comfortable on the bike.

Maybe you rode too long for your first attempt after a long layoff, with your back reacting to holding your upper body in one posture for too long. You might try doing just 10 minutes or so per session until you get re-accustomed to riding in that position.

Maybe you were pushing too hard. Some people mistakenly think that indoor riding should be performed at high resistance levels, as if riding a stationary bike should feel like working out on a leg press machine. Current thinking is that most indoor riding should be performed as aerobic exercise and done at a moderately low intensity and moderately high pedaling cadence.

And maybe your position on the bike isn't quite right. The most common error is positioning the saddle too high. If your hips are rocking as you pedal, try dropping the saddle until they don't. You can experiment with your reach to the handlebar, handlebar height, etc., but start with checking the saddle.
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Old 01-24-23, 10:06 AM
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So you haven't been on a bike for awhile with lower back pathology - disc herniation + scoliosis.

That means the supporting musculature isn't used to the activity you gave it.

You say your pain started afterwards, but I wonder how much you pushed through to get there.

You are the best judge of what activity you can tolerate.

If you want to get back to cycling, start really slowly, maybe with short rides, and maybe not on a trainer. Too easy to hammer away at a trainer since you don't have to balance. Then build up that supporting musculature and see what happens.
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Old 01-24-23, 10:16 AM
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For me it happens too if I ride not much for a while. What seems to be my problem is not being able to do a pelvic tilt. That means my back has to bend more than is comfortable.
Exercising before a ride, just doing a pelvic tilt and getting it as low as possible, could help you sit better on your bike.
For me, often after half an hour riding, I can drop into the drops, but the first half hour my pelvic tilt doesn't work right and riding in the drops is uncomfortable.
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Old 01-24-23, 12:26 PM
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Find a Good PT OCS certified. Get Strong and try to avoid surgery.
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Old 01-24-23, 01:20 PM
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I know the feeling. I've been hit by cars twice, with back and neck injuries. Six cracked vertebrae, two in each region. Injury related scoliosis. Cervical spine stenosis described as "severe" on the report from my imaging last year.

I've done physical therapy for years, in a clinic under supervision, and on my own at home. But there are limits to what we can accomplish with PT.

By 2021 I had to switch from primarily cycling to jogging for exercise. I'm okay standing more or less upright, although I still get some lower back pain on longer runs. But for about two years I've mostly been using the indoor trainer. I'll do a couple of outdoor rides a month, limited to 60-90 minutes, my usual 20-35 mile route on fairly smooth pavement. Last time I tried a longer ride with friends I barely made it home after 50 miles with my neck aching so bad I couldn't keep my head upright.

My ortho doc recommended injections just outside the cervical spine (not through the dura) intended to reduce the pain. If that works, they'll consider an ablation procedure to basically kill the pain nerves in the same location. I'm considering it. For now I'm trying generic Celebrex, which works oh-kay but not much better than a fistful of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Reminds me, I need to put in some time this week on the indoor trainer and take a break from running. I've increased my running training, including a half marathon on New Years eve, and one speed session a week, hoping to do a full marathon sometime this year. Now I have hip and knee pain that I've never had before. It's always something. As the saying goes, we grow too soon old and too late smart.
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Old 01-24-23, 02:09 PM
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If you're dealing with any kind of injury or longer term damage, conventional wisdom about things like bike fit go out the window. You're an experiment of one; you have to figure out what works and what doesn't for you. I've heard of fitters who do medical fits, but don't have any experience with one; it sounds plausible.

If I'd have listened to the cycling experts, I would have quit cycling 30 years ago - following the advice for bike fit and strengthening exercises would put me in excruciating pain for a week.

An example is saddle height. Mine is now at the low extreme in terms of acceptable angle at the knee. This eliminates all hip rocking; hip rocking is extremely aggravating to my particular back injury. Related, my bar drop is zero or even negative. On this setup, I've ridden 250 mile days, free of back pain. It's taken me years, decades even, to figure out what works and what doesn't. In term of bike fit, exercising, moving vs sitting, things to avoid, things to do more. When I started this back pain journey, I couldn't even ride 20 miles without aggravating my back for a week. The thing about my back pain was, during the event I'd be fine. 24 hours later, the pain would ramp up, eventually putting me immobile on the floor. But that's my spine, not yours.
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Old 01-24-23, 02:31 PM
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I don't know your health insurance status, but depending on your coverage this may be something you can get professional help with. I have a friend who is a physical therapist and also does bike fitting. He tells me that often insurance will cover a bike fitting, because the insurance company has a vested interest in getting you off the couch. If you have the necessary coverage, I'd ask around about a physical therapist who understands bike fit. Failing that, find a bike fit specialist who understands your physical issues. I expect you know enough about vertebrae to figure this out through a few questions.
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Old 01-24-23, 03:11 PM
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I am so ready to get over mine but it’s time that has to be the healer for me. Just glad it is not a tear.
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Old 01-24-23, 03:30 PM
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Stud!!! Ya did it! Bravo pain or not... But really ya know you should have made adjustments for your come back. Starting slowly in the non-painful upright posture and slowly working your way down into the drops... You Know This...

Start Here

Scrubbed from net

To go to here

Scrubbed from net

Also remember ya may never get into the drops again. So what... You are ridding!
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Old 01-24-23, 04:13 PM
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Maybe you need a more upright sitting position. I've had days I can barely get my leg over the bike, why I'd love to find a 58/59 Mixtie, but after a 15-20 mile ride I fee much better. Not nearly as much numbness in my hands anymore either.


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Old 01-24-23, 05:22 PM
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Wow. Bianchigirl is tall.
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Old 01-24-23, 06:23 PM
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Medical advice on BF.

So many things to say .... hurts my brain ..... must ... leave ....
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Old 01-24-23, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
...I'd love to find a 58/59 Mixtie...
Any body ever heard of a Columbus SLX Mixti?
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Old 01-24-23, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
This may be something you can get professional help with.
Nah. Bikeforums can handle this.
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Old 01-24-23, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Essthreetee View Post
oh yeah. I know I have a herniated disc. And slight scoliosis.
Severe spinal stenosis here for the past 7 years. Cycling (bending over while riding) is the only exercise I can do without pain and stop the radiating pain in the legs for awhile. That said my back muscles cramp and hurt during rides. If it starts cramping I may change position or slow a little - usually I'm pushing too hard and locking the muscles.

One thing I've learned in my lifting weights over the years is the low back and abdominal muscles are complementary. If one is weaker than the other pain can result.
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Old 01-26-23, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Medical advice on BF.

So many things to say .... hurts my brain ..... must ... leave ....
But it's free!
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Old 01-26-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Essthreetee View Post
I haven’t ridden in a while because I had back pain (lower discs) and winter….well, yesterday I broke out my LeMonde stationary for a quick ride….and after the ride was the first time in a while that I had back pain like that again (lower back).
I’m bummed to think that bikes are what is helping to cause (or aggravate) the pain…
is there a way to adjust to help?
Or could it just be sore because it’s muscles that haven’t been excercised in a while?
Or could it be time to face the facts of bad discs = bad back = no cycling…?
Walking, back exercises, and judical use of NASID medication would be my first, pre doctor visit. As an orthopedic once told me, back pain is a natural consequence of walking upright.

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Old 01-26-23, 04:56 PM
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Old 01-26-23, 06:06 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Get a MRI and then you will Know.
This is good advice.
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