Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Severe back and leg pain caused by bicycling?

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

Severe back and leg pain caused by bicycling?

Old 10-19-09, 06:44 AM
  #1  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Severe back and leg pain caused by bicycling?

Severe back and leg pain caused by bicycling?

Man, last night I could hardly walk, and had to sort of pull myself up the stairs. Pain was about 9 on a 10 scale. All around the butt area, and the left side of the fibula.

I had a similar pain a couple of years ago and went to see my osteopath, who found me very much out of alignment - in fact I had a "strike" (or something like that) in osteo terms (lower spine), which is severe and unusual and he apparently had never seen before. This was caused by a slide down a slope which I thought was mud, but, was in fact, frozen, icy mud, and I hit pretty hard. He put me back in alignment, and I was much better.

I have seen him again once when it was bad again (not as bad as the first time), and he suggested that perhaps I was not sitting at 90 degrees to the top tube, or was off-center in some fashion, twisting my back, and that I periodically might need an "adjustment." He also gave me some exercises, which I do faithfully.

I ride mostly solo, but when Latitude65 rode with me he observed that my butt was not centered, but hung a bit to the right. However, it feels as if it is centered!!

I rode a bit yesterday, and it was after riding that I got the severe pain, although I have been in milder - but very noticeable - pain , on and off, for some time now. Generally, the exercises bring me back to some semblance of normalcy, although it never completely disappears.

I will get an appointment with him as soon as possible.

Getting old is not for cowards!!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-19-09 at 07:15 AM.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 08:33 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,900

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1869 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 508 Posts
I'm sure you're used to your position, but most modern wisdom about saddle height is that the correct height is when the knee is bent 30 degrees from full extension and the pedal is at full extension, the maximum distance from the saddle. It sounds like you may be overextending on one side and not the other. Fitters can set the saddle for correct extension on your long side (assuming you have one), and build up the pedal or shoe on the other.

We're not racers, but my opinion is that as we age we should pay at least the same attention to addressing repetitive stresses as do the professionals. They may do a million pedal strokes a week and we only 100,000, but our bodies are (no matter what our conditioning) still more worn than theirs.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 09:03 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
+ 1 on the saddle height.

Two weekends ago my son used my cyclocross bike as a "backup bike" while he raced in the later "A" race. He is 1 1/2 inches taller than me so we moved my bike's seat height up 3/4". Well, I forgot to drop it back down for last Saturday's race and today my back, butt and legs hurt in the same manner you describe. If your legs are too straight then you will be forced to "reach" while trying to get power in the pedal stroke.
Allegheny Jet is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 09:38 AM
  #4  
Version 7.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 13,154

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 297 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1355 Post(s)
Liked 2,507 Times in 1,472 Posts
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet
+ 1 on the saddle height.

Two weekends ago my son used my cyclocross bike as a "backup bike" while he raced in the later "A" race. He is 1 1/2 inches taller than me so we moved my bike's seat height up 3/4". Well, I forgot to drop it back down for last Saturday's race and today my back, butt and legs hurt in the same manner you describe. If your legs are too straight then you will be forced to "reach" while trying to get power in the pedal stroke.
Adding on...raising the saddle usually is better for the knees because it limits the knee bend to ~90 degrees at the top of the power stroke. Angles <90 degrees may be a problem. However, raising the saddle requires more hamstring flexibility. As A'Jet says, you are reaching but stressing the hamstring and ultimately the back. The solution, if this is the problem, is to increase hamstring, hip and back flexibility.

On a different point and on yesterday's ride, one of our triathlete women, who participated in Nationals and Worlds this year, hurt her low back swimming!!! She can run and cycle but it hurts to swim. Who would have thought. I would have thought that swimming is great for your flexibility and back. Go figure.
Hermes is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 10:03 AM
  #5  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
As regards hamstrings, I do a tremendous amount of exercises and stretching of the hamstrings, daily. In fact, I did some again this morning, and I am much better, but I know I will get worse during the day.

As regards seat height - I don't know. I have not changed seat height on any of my bicycle for many years. Perhaps I have shrunk enough to warrant it, although a visual inspection does not show any butt wobble, and I have a break at my knee at full pedal extension. I will give it some thought. Thanks.

As regards swimming, yes, I have wondered if the increased swimming that I am doing has any relationship?? Who knows? I do sometimes feel some strain in my lower back while kicking on a backstroke, but I am not sure if swimming is the cause, or if I just feel another causation in that position.

'Tis all sort of a mystery.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 10:05 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
gcottay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Green Valley AZ
Posts: 3,770

Bikes: Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
. . . Pain was about 9 on a 10 scale. All around the butt area, and the left side of the fibula . . .
Best wishes for complete recovery!

One of the very few things I know about back pain is that maintaining core fitness is often important in relieving it, so at least you have that on your side.
gcottay is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 02:04 PM
  #7  
Dharma Dog
 
lhbernhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 2,073

Bikes: Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
A couple of years ago I had severe lower back pain. Turns out it was from weight training - I stopped doing squats and leg extensions and the pain stopped. I would also get lower back pain in races if I spent too much time in the saddle on climbs. On the fixed gear I do a lot of out-of-saddle climbing, and no problems. My position is the same as it was when I was racing, with the bars set way lower than the saddle, so that my back is pretty well horizontal when I'm in the drops, which is very seldom these days.

Luis
lhbernhardt is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 02:07 PM
  #8  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Thanks.

I also stopped doing squats, deadlifts and leg extensions a couple of years ago. I wish it was those things causing the problem. That would be an easy fix.

I see the doc in 45 minutes.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 04:02 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,900

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1869 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 508 Posts
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
As regards hamstrings, I do a tremendous amount of exercises and stretching of the hamstrings, daily. In fact, I did some again this morning, and I am much better, but I know I will get worse during the day.

As regards seat height - I don't know. I have not changed seat height on any of my bicycle for many years. Perhaps I have shrunk enough to warrant it, although a visual inspection does not show any butt wobble, and I have a break at my knee at full pedal extension. I will give it some thought. Thanks.

As regards swimming, yes, I have wondered if the increased swimming that I am doing has any relationship?? Who knows? I do sometimes feel some strain in my lower back while kicking on a backstroke, but I am not sure if swimming is the cause, or if I just feel another causation in that position.

'Tis all sort of a mystery.
Ok, having some break in your knee is good and having no break is without a doubt bad, but the point is there are now some decent guidelines as to how much one should adjust for as a starting point.

Plus, bodies do change over time. Your old fit might not be your best fit, and today's best fit might not be good for tomorrow. I'm also trying to stress that this is not the obsessing of a techie (though I am guilty), but an appeal to pay stronger attention to self-fit issues, for one's own well-being.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 04:21 PM
  #10  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Back from Doc

Sacroiliac out of whack

Got an "adjustment" and some muscle relaxants.

Causes unknown. Doc gave me another strengthening exercise, which I will follow in addition to what I am already doing.

As to fit, I will think about it and possibly try some changes. It concerns me that I have been bicycling 12 years without these issues, and they just started this last year with no change in my bicycling. But, it is worth a try. I did have another fitting (but no seat height change) 5 years ago.

Thanks so much for all of the responses.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 04:31 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,712
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Sorry to read you have been having problems. I hope the stuff the doc gave you will help. But, don't discount the stress you have been under as having some effect on your body. Best to you friend.
ModeratedUser150120149 is offline  
Old 10-19-09, 08:32 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alberta,Canada.
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Ive had a similar problem when i use any saddle but my old Brooks Flyer.If you look at the Brooks from behind it now sits slightly crooked,suggesting it has adapted to my crookedness.That didnt come out right and i opened myself up on that one,but you know what i mean.
ddez is offline  
Old 10-20-09, 07:11 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: central AZ Prescott Valley
Posts: 374

Bikes: Giant Simple 7

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hope you are feeling better soon. Can sympathize after falling down a flight of icy steps. My injury is on left side with occasional flare ups, usually after bouts of lifting or unpacking or ... digging in the garden. For some reason, digging is a big no no for my hip and back.

Recommend yoga (AM Yoga with Rodney Yee DVD is great - 5 -20 min. workouts) and Yoga Remedies for Natural Healing (also a Rodney Yee). This one has very gentle 8 min. routines for stress, back pain, digestion, etc. I see a massage therapist to keep things aligned and loosened too. Riding my bike helps me stay painfree. Occasionally I have to change my seat height a fraction. Maybe when I gain or lose weight it affects my padding??
Rosie8 is offline  
Old 10-20-09, 01:15 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,900

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1869 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 508 Posts
Maybe so, Rosie. See if you can tell if you're raising your saddle when your weight goes up or not? More weight = more compression >> raise seat to compensate?
Road Fan is offline  
Old 10-20-09, 01:20 PM
  #15  
Lance Legweak
 
HIPCHIP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Woodland, California, USA
Posts: 867

Bikes: Felt Z-70, GT RTS-2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 16 Posts
Don't forget to get checked for disc herniation. Sometimes the symptoms are not normal and will not appear as a herniation, when in fact it is. I've herniated all 5 lumbar disc's at different times, and each time it felt different. A few weeks of traction, and core strengthening, and I'm back to normal.
HIPCHIP is offline  
Old 10-24-09, 05:44 AM
  #16  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
I've been doing a bit of reading on the SI joints. Also been doing a lot of exercises to correct the problem and improve strength in the area.

My back and surrounding area is feeling better, but not perfect by any means. I am able to do 3 mile walks, but am a bit shy about getting on the bike.

Some of my reading indicates that riding can aggravate the SI joint problems. Too high a seat has been mentioned (as we all already know). Is a bent in my future?

About 2 years ago, I noticed some strange feelings in the back hip area as I went up inclines. Sort of a burning sensation. That is when I started doing strengthening exercises for my hamstrings, which did help. I also read that osteoarthritis is a prime cause for SI joint dysfunction. However, I have absolutely no visible signs of osteo in any other parts of my body - fingers, toes, neck, elbow, etc., are all in seemingly fine shape, as opposed to my wife, who has noticeable and significant osteo all over her body. The last MRI I had - several years ago - indicated "normal progression of osteo for my age." Everyone has osteoarthritis from about 30 years old and on, it is just a matter of degree.

So, I am going to continue my strengthening exercises, and continue to stay off the bike for a bit. Then I will try lowering my seat just a bit and see what, if anything, that does.

The pain was so significant, that I am a bit gun-shy. And, I have a tremendous tolerance for pain, which is sometimes not a good thing, IMHO, as I tend to think I will just work my way through it.

Anyway, that is my current update.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-24-09, 06:32 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,943
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12206 Post(s)
Liked 1,501 Times in 1,111 Posts
I am going to make a guess. I think you have a muscle imbalance. Cycling strengthens the front, more than the backside.

You might try strengthening the opposing muscles (along with some core work)
https://www.wannabebig.com/training/b...ith-bad-knees/

The second exercise is especially good.
late is offline  
Old 10-24-09, 06:37 AM
  #18  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by late
I am going to make a guess. I think you have a muscle imbalance. Cycling strengthens the front, more than the backside.

You might try strengthening the opposing muscles (along with some core work)
https://www.wannabebig.com/training/b...ith-bad-knees/

The second exercise is especially good.
Thanks.

Yes, I do (did?) have a muscle imbalance, which is why I started intense ham string exercises about a year ago.

I'll look at your web page, and check it out. As a starter, my doc and I agree on no deadlifts and squats (with any significant weight).

I do, and have been doing, a lot of lunges, at my docs suggestion.

I already do a LOT of core work.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-27-09, 11:23 AM
  #19  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Back pain under more control. DOing lots of exercises - strengthening and stretching.

Have not tried bike again, yet - and we are due for a major snowstorm. I can think of nothing more stupid than trying to ride a bike with a bad back in a snowstorm!!

So, I may try the trainer a bit inside, or go to a spinning class and take it easy. Not sure yet.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 10-27-09, 07:22 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alberta,Canada.
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Back pain under more control. DOing lots of exercises - strengthening and stretching.

Have not tried bike again, yet - and we are due for a major snowstorm. I can think of nothing more stupid than trying to ride a bike with a bad back in a snowstorm!!

So, I may try the trainer a bit inside, or go to a spinning class and take it easy. Not sure yet.
I also find that the more leaned over i am on a bike the more i aggravate back.Bars have to be at least level or higher than saddle lately.
ddez is offline  
Old 11-03-09, 06:17 PM
  #21  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Got out on the bike today, and did great. Just a short ride. I am paying particular attention to keeping my back straight and supported bu abdominals, and not hunching over. Seat height just seemed perfect.
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 11-03-09, 06:26 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 50 Times in 25 Posts
I had a strange vision of DnvrFox riding a LWB recumbent, in comfort and pain free. bk
bkaapcke is offline  
Old 11-03-09, 10:59 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,712
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Congrats!!
ModeratedUser150120149 is offline  
Old 11-04-09, 04:05 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Ranger63's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: western new york
Posts: 720

Bikes: mid 80s Ross Centaur converted to Alfine 11 09 motobecane imortal force, 83 Ross Paragon,81 Schwinn LeTour Tourist, 91 Paramount, 93 GT converted to city bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Unsure

Unsure we have the same issues but it sure sounds like it.
I've had sciatica (?) for 3 decades.
Apparently the vertebre in the back are offset or something..(I've got the MRI and X-Rays and Docs report).
The pain will start in the lower back on the right side and travel down the freakin butt into the hip and thigh. Mieska!
I used to have cortizone shots every 6 months (stopped the inflamation of tissue which eleviated the pressure on the nerve bundle which..U get the picture)
Discovered a workout device called the Stairmaster while at a fitness club.
Now, this may only work for me, but doing a half an hour on one of these 3 x a week has cleared the issue up completely for the last decade!
That said: I cannot pedal a 'bent or sit in a movie theatre for over an hour or on one of those overstuffed couches.
I had a fit kit done on the bikes and have had no issues there.
Ranger63 is offline  
Old 11-04-09, 06:21 AM
  #25  
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
No, I do not have Sciatica. Been checked for that.

There are a couple of conditions that mask their symptoms as Sciatica. SI joint pain can do that - irritation of certain muscles.

But, thanks so much for the thought!!
DnvrFox is offline  

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.