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Bicycling and My Back

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Bicycling and My Back

Old 07-11-16, 01:47 PM
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I never knew. Maybe I should buy a back brace or something.
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Old 07-16-16, 04:49 PM
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Two things helped me out quite a lot. I switched to a Sun EZ Sport LWB recumbent and the seat has an adjustable lumbar support. I ride with a straight back and neck, relieving a lot of pinches &c.

Second, I bought a rowing machine that uses hydraulic cylinders for resistance. The cylinders allow you to sit on the machine backwards and push against the resistance. So, you have both pushing and pulling, which really keeps the core firmed up. It's a Kettler Favorit, if you are interested. A very well made thing, that. bk
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Old 08-13-16, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Right now I have been experiencing sciatica at age 55. Ouch!!

Not quite a month ago I was at the driving range, hitting golf balls. I hit full powered, go-for-it, stinging 4-iron shot out to 200 yards, but it came with a nasty price. Right as soon as I hit the ball and came back around in my backswing, I felt like someone stuck a knife in my lower back right at my belt line (L5 & S1). That was it... I popped something or herniated something, and have been messed up ever since.

My main problem is that I was foolish and ignorant and kept doing what I do in spite of the pain. I went out jogging 3 miles and had to jog/limp the 1.5 miles back, which was torture! And it got worse and worse as the days went on.

Right now I have a bizarre tingling sensation going all the way down my right leg to my ankle. But yet, I can walk, I can stand up, I can move around, etc... If I try to ride my old C&V Fuji road bike, take my dog for a walk, etc... my hamstring, quad, and calf muscle in my right leg get all tight and I have pain radiating down my leg.

I have an appointment with a neurologist to probably get an MRI done to see just exactly what I did to myself. Hopefully it's something simple and a chiropractor or somebody could pop L4,L5/S1 back into shape. Then, I'll be able to follow PT and ride by old Fuji and stretch out my back.
If you've truly herniated the disk, that means the disk has ruptured and the fluid inside has leaked out and is pressing on a nerve root which is causing the pain. Be careful about the chiropractic....ain't no amount of adjustments they do is going to get the disk to go back into the vertebrae and it may indeed makes things worse. It's good you are seeing a neurologist and the MRI will tell what is really going on. Hopefully you didn't herniate the disk.
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Old 08-13-16, 02:55 PM
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Chatting with my sister yesterday, she was talking about how bad she felt, and everywhere she was sore at the end of a 32-mi bike ride (her personal best).

I do this distance three times a week and more, and of course for me getting off the bike, shoulders and neck completely relaxed, it's
ahhh, this is the way I'm supposed to feel

If it's not working for you, a few things to concentrate on. Use your hands for balance, but not for support (except of course in braking).
Support yourself with core muscles, think about keeping your shoulders down and relaxed, and your neck relaxed, always keep your elbows bent and your wrists straight.
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Old 08-21-16, 10:41 PM
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I've got bulging discs in my lower back and degenerative wear. Before I took up cycling, I was taking 1200 mg ibuprofen daily, had painful sciatica nerves, and took early retirement from my job because I was so miserable.
First, I bought an electric bike because I was afraid I would get stranded somewhere unable to ride home. I used it for about a year then bought a 1990's Trek. I rode that for another year. I noticed that the riding position of being bent over around 45 degrees seemed to stretch open the spaces between my discs and eased the pain somewhat. After years of commuting, I wanted to go car-lite so I dedcided to get a folding bike. Bought myself a Bike Friday and 4 weeks later sold the Trek! Riding on 20" wheels in a city is so much easier than a bike with 700c wheels, more nimble and easier to stop. I decided to fork over the money and pay for a bike fit with a professional fitter after I damaged my knee riding. To make the story shorter, let's just say best money ever spent!!! I have not taken ibuprofen for my back in more than a year. I still have trigger spots that are painful but sciatic pain is quite rare now. In those instances where I don't ride for a day or two, I begin to feel discomfort again. I ride around 15-20 miles per day and, if I skip it, I notice it physically and mentally as well. My doctor is astounded at the difference it has made in controlling what was once chronic pain.
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