Notices
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Back Issues

Old 06-04-12, 11:37 AM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Back Issues

With the birth of my son, it has definitely been a huge motivator for me to finally do something about my weight. Initially I got a decent pair of running shoes, and tried to jog my way back into fitness, but at 6'4" 290, my 36 year old knees just couldn't take the stress, and when the Doctor saw the cartilage damage on the X-rays she told me to get a bike.

So a little over a week ago, I got my first bike in over 20 years. I rode it a week ago Saturday, and again last Monday. Each trip was a little over 6.5 miles round trip. I turned around at the top of a 500 ft climb. The first time it took me over 20 minutes to recover my breath in order to continue after that climb. The second time I did the climb I thought it went much better, even if I was overtaken by a 75 year old on a recumbent.

Last Wednesday my low back completely seized up as I stepped out of the shower, and I've been stuck reclining in a lay-z-boy unable to move without an immense amount of pain, and wishing I could ride the bike again.

I don't know for sure if it was the bike riding which caused it. In those few days before, I did a lot of lifting a 4 month old, as well as pushed him in a stroller on a 4 mile hike. I have a history of back issues, and that is why I went with a straight bar road bike instead of drop bars, because I didn't think my back could handle the drop bars right off the bat. I had the bike fitted at my local bike shop, so I'm fairly confident I'm in a pretty proper riding position.

Doctor says I have a herniated disc and to take it easy for a few weeks. I definitely plan on doing this. But I also want to get back it as well. I guess I'm just looking for suggestions for how to approach this. Should I stay off for a month or more? Can/should I ride with some sort of back brace? Are there any other suggestions for insuring this wasn't caused by the bike, or any other tips for preventing this in the future?
Skraut is offline  
Old 06-04-12, 12:13 PM
  #2  
Climbers Apprentice
 
vesteroid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cant tell you how it happened or how to prevent it going forward...actually doubt if anyone can....but.

Its EXTREMELY common to see over use injuries among folks just getting into exercise. They all reason, if I can survive one mile, then two must be better. What they fail to realize is, if the second mile causes an injury, then there goes all the mileage for a month.

Running is not bad on your knees, any more than cycling is bad on your back, but overuse of any sort of exercise and not training up all the muscles and tendons to handle the new stress, obviously is.

Listen to your doc, get healed up, and start slow. Build a little each week, and keep going. Once the injury is manageable from a pain perspective, try walking a couple miles while your back heals up....at least you are moving.

Good job for getting started.
vesteroid is offline  
Old 06-04-12, 12:25 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Street Pedaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 731

Bikes: 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 (RIP), 2013 Trek Domane 5.9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As someone who has had two HUGE lower spine surgeries and now sports a lower back full of titanium I feel fully qualified to tell you to NOT play around with it. Listen to your Doc. Cycling is a lower impact sport than running or even walking, for that matter, but if you already have an injury, tend to the injury. The bike will be there when you're ready to get back on. Speedy recovery.
Street Pedaler is offline  
Old 06-04-12, 01:36 PM
  #4  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks that's what I needed to hear. When the doctors told me to quit running and get a bike I used it as an excuse to quit exercising for a while before I actually got the bike. I really did not want to let this injury turn in to an excuse to quit, partially because I had so much fun, and partially because I have a goal and I need to get there.

I was tempted to rush back on as soon as I felt able to, and probably sooner than I should, just to prove to myself that I wasn't going to give up.
Skraut is offline  
Old 06-04-12, 03:42 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Street Pedaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 731

Bikes: 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 (RIP), 2013 Trek Domane 5.9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Smart choice. Keep us posted.
Street Pedaler is offline  
Old 06-05-12, 01:07 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
socalrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: La Verne CA
Posts: 5,049

Bikes: Litespeed Liege, Motorola Team Issue Eddy Mercxk, Santana Noventa Tandem, Fisher Supercaliber Mtn. Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Make sure when you have back issues that work on flexibility in your hamstrings.. Overly tight hamstrings will affect your back quite adversely.. Stretch those hamstrings out before a ride if you have lower back issues and you will notice some relief.
socalrider is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 11:02 AM
  #7  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had my chyro telling me it was a herniated disk, and if the pain didn't go away in a month to come back for an MRI. I didn't like not knowing what was going on, so I went to another doctor who performed the MRI right away, and said she didn't see any disc issues. She told me to rest, but also to get back on the bike, listen to my body, and take it easy. Well a lot of rest, a lot of stretching and yoga and I got back on the bike. The first trip back was a couple of days ago. The block around my house is 1 mile, and I planned to go 3 miles. At the end of the 2nd lap, I felt a little bit in my back, so stopped. This morning I planned on, and did the same 2 laps, and felt no pain whatsoever. It was tempting to just keep going but I figured better safe and gradual than to end up back in the same spot.

Mentally, I want to jump out and start going 10-15 miles, even though I know I can't handle those rides yet. So am trying to figure out a safe increment to increase gradually. With running, everything I read said not to increase your distance by more than 10% each week. Do the same sort of "rules" apply to cycling? Any other recommendations I should follow?
Skraut is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 01:30 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Street Pedaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 731

Bikes: 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 (RIP), 2013 Trek Domane 5.9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A 10% increase is a generally good rule of thumb. It's gradual enough that it should be manageable and you can always increase faster than "weekly" if you feel you can take it. Glad to hear that you're back up and riding.
Street Pedaler is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 02:05 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
BikinPotter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 248

Bikes: Marin MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Now that you know there are no disk issues, I'll throw in a recommendation for you to purchase a copy of "Yoga for the Rest of Us" by Peggy Cappy. It's a cheap DVD. It gently works/stretches/strengthens every part of your body, and you do most of it with the assistance of a chair. I like it a lot. You can do the whole 45 minute thing, or break it down into sections.

Glad you're feeling better!
BikinPotter is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 02:32 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 809

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do feel some twinges in my lower back after about an hour. Getting off the bike and stretching a bit helps. I worry that if I move to a road bike from my hybrid it's going to get worse as you look bent over more. Am I wrong?
JakiChan is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 03:01 PM
  #11  
Climbers Apprentice
 
vesteroid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think the 10% rule in running is a bit stringent for cycling...now this is simply my own personal opinion.

going from 10 miles to 11 miles cycling was much easier than improving my weekly running mileage by 10%.

I dont think going to 20 is the answer either, but if you are taking every other day off and resting well, I think you can increase your distance each day by more than 10% a week the first few weeks.

Dont also get hung up on distance...I can ride 3 hours at an easy 12 mph pace and be fresh, or I can ride 40 minutes at my vo2 max rate and be dead...its all combined (speed, distance, climbing, wind, personal fitness level etc.)
vesteroid is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 03:13 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Street Pedaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 731

Bikes: 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 (RIP), 2013 Trek Domane 5.9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JakiChan
I do feel some twinges in my lower back after about an hour. Getting off the bike and stretching a bit helps. I worry that if I move to a road bike from my hybrid it's going to get worse as you look bent over more. Am I wrong?
Jaki, I thought the same thing until I started riding a Roadie. Once I got my Fit dialed in (and that process did take some time and discomfort), it actually made my back feel a lot better as weird as that sounds. My problems are all lower lumbar, though. For anyone with upper back/ neck problems, the results may not be so great but I really couldn't say. I think that what helped me was the fact that, on my Road Bike, the weight is more evenly distributed through my body as opposed to the hybrid that I was riding which sent my weight pretty much straight down through my spine. Keep in mind, also, that Road Bikes come in different Geometries. I have a Trek Madone with H3 Geo. It's a very relaxed posture for a Road Bike. I'm not sure I could ride anything that was much more aggressive.
Street Pedaler is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 03:24 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,941
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12188 Post(s)
Liked 1,494 Times in 1,106 Posts
Sigh.

OK, here's how it works.

There are four phases.

Healing, Recovery, Therapy, Training.

Follow your Doc's advice, take it easy for a couple weeks.
If you have a pal with a hot tub, buy him a good bottle of scotch
and use it daily. You don't need or want the temp real high.
Getting all pressure off your spine can help.

If he doesn't suggest physical therapy, ask for it.
Physical therapists vary wildly in quality. Ask him where he'd go.
The odds are still good you'll get an idiot or a mediocrity.
If you know a gym rat, ask him.

He'll have you doing stretches. If you get up one morning and it feels better,
take a hot shower. Then go to the kitchen and put a foot on the counter.
If that doesn't have interesting and unpleasant results, lean into it a little.
Then do the other side, and then repeat with your foot a little further back.

When you feel recovered, you haven't even started.

What you need to do is make your back strong. You will need to do exercises
to make it stronger. There are different ways to do this. But...if I was honest
I'd say what I do. Start with the easy ones like the plank. Slowly build up to a real
exercise, the deadlift.

Strong is strong, and BS is BS.
late is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 03:25 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,841

Bikes: More than 1, but, less than S-1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Glad to hear you consulted your physician and that it's not a herniated disc. I've suffered a compression fracture of L1 with subsequent herniation of two discs, spinal stenosis and a resulting L1/L2 discectomy. Needless to say, I too suffer frequent back issues. Significantly less so, now that I'm back down to 250 from a high of around 300, at 6'5".

If you're new to cycling, you body will be going through all sorts of adaption to a sport that is unfamiliar and using muscels that otherwise haven't been stressed in this manner before.

I can not stress highly enough what Socalrider said about stretching your hamstrings. I use several different hamstring stretchs and do so throughout my day. The easiest to perform, while standing around recovering at the top of a hill, or waiting out at the car for my wife, etc. is the classic foward reach toward your toes/shins with straight knees. I use this one a lot, because it doesn't involve getting on the ground and can be quickly recovered from in order to get on with what I'm up to. There are several others. Do a quick search.

The 10% is also a cycling rule, not just a running rule. It has been pointed out in the past that, in the beginning 10% can be overly cautious. Certainly when you're starting at "0" the gains can come much quicker. When I got back on the bike and started with 20km rides or so, I was upping the length of my longest ride each week by no more than 10km. If you're going to use something other than the 10%, I suggest that you think about it objectively (while sitting in the house, not on a ride) and then stick to that until such time as it's reconsideration is warranted.

The things that have aided my back include: weight loss, core muscle strength, flexibility from stretching.

The things that have aided my cycling include: weight loss, strength training, flexibility, core muscle strength.

The things that have aided my general health include: weight loss, core muscle strenght, flexibility and functional movement

It's not hard to see the pattern there.

I can't encourage you enough to keep at it. Slowly at first and then with increasing intensity as you adapt to your new sport. But, keep in mind that cycling is not a panacea and that diet and weight loss will play just as large a role in all your health improvements.
__________________
Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.
bigfred is offline  
Old 06-25-12, 03:31 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 809

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Street Pedaler
For anyone with upper back/ neck problems, the results may not be so great but I really couldn't say. I think that what helped me was the fact that, on my Road Bike, the weight is more evenly distributed through my body as opposed to the hybrid that I was riding which sent my weight pretty much straight down through my spine. Keep in mind, also, that Road Bikes come in different Geometries. I have a Trek Madone with H3 Geo. It's a very relaxed posture for a Road Bike. I'm not sure I could ride anything that was much more aggressive.
Sadly I do get neck twinges as well. I guess we'll have to see. The good news is that I'm leaning towards a Roubaix which is a pretty comfy geometry from what I've heard.
JakiChan is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
leerltw
Fifty Plus (50+)
5
08-25-17 10:12 AM
desmodus
Training & Nutrition
8
04-02-16 10:58 AM
Leinster
Road Cycling
6
03-13-15 09:24 AM
smoore
Fifty Plus (50+)
20
03-04-13 12:26 PM
wxmcpo
Road Cycling
8
05-25-10 03:40 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.