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Lower back pain causes and fixes

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Lower back pain causes and fixes

Old 03-07-21, 11:05 AM
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sw20
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Lower back pain causes and fixes

Anyone else suffer from lower back pain? what did you o to fix it? I can comfortably ride about 30-35 miles, but start to get lower back pain around that mark, and by 40-50 miles its agony (depending how many hills I ride!) ! I ride a mixture of hoods and drops to mix up body position but every ride around the 30-35 mile mark I start to get lower back pain! Its at the base of my spine, I don't feel like I'm over reaching for the bars or feel cramped, would be interested to see if anyone else suffers from this and what you done to make it better? Hoping to do 100 mile ride this summer by with the back pain its not looking likely!
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Old 03-07-21, 11:14 AM
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Stem too short could be cause, if it was too long you'd get neck pain
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Old 03-07-21, 11:21 AM
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headwind15
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Back/ hip muscle weakness. I have suffered with back pain for a long time, seems to do better when I work on my back and hip muscles.
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Old 03-07-21, 02:03 PM
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I have suffered with back pain in the past, sometimes with severe pain. For some time now I've been working on strengthening core muscles and maintaining a straight back on the bike or during exercise. For background if you look at an anatomy book that shows several views of muscles and bones, it can be seen that the largest bone in the body is the pelvis. Every muscle in the body is ultimately connected to the pelvis directly or in a kinetic chain. For example, the leg below the knee is connected to muscles in the thigh. but the thigh itself is connected to the pelvis. the same is true for muscular structures above the pelvis. You may well have some other problem, as I did, but strengthening all the muscles directly connected to the pelvis will go a long way to alleviating back problems.

There are numerous You Tube demos showing a range of core exercises. I do some of them daily. And did I mention to always maintain a straight back.
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Old 03-07-21, 02:14 PM
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If you don't roll your pelvis forward as you get more aggressive in your position, then that might.. might be a cause.

But for lower back pain, I too have always found doing exercise to strengthen those muscles helps.
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Old 03-07-21, 05:04 PM
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Deadlifting helps developing a strong back. As heavy a weight as you can move for five reps. Squats, too. A stronger body is going to work better on any bike and it doesn't really take much to make a difference.

The other thing is your position on the bike but that's kind of hard to really judge; if you just pose to take a picture it probably won't be quite the same as when you're actually pressing on the pedals with some force. Videoing yourself on a trainer is perhaps the best way to see what's going on.
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Old 03-07-21, 08:55 PM
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from personal experience with endemic lower back problems when riding bike that was only solved recently

causes:
- Poor back posture off the bike, when sitting in the chair, etc.
- spends more than 1 hr sitting (if doing desk-based work) without stretching
- poor back posture on the bike
- Incorrect saddle tilt
- saddle adjusted too far to the back
- too short reach (will matter more out of the saddle)
- too aggressive, too low riding position (may differ per individual flexibility)
- pedaling at too high gear.
- pushing hard too early before you have properly warmed up
- weak core muscles
- in rare occassions, considerable recruitment of glutes to push the pedals (BUTT POWER!!). Not a bad technique if you know how to "rotate" use of different muscle groups in the body and if you have strong core muscles.
- Using hamstrings too much (pulling excessively on the back and upstroke)

solutions:
- The right bike fit to your physiology and capability as a cyclist
- flat back on the bike, if riding in aggressive, low position, make sure your pelvis is rotated forward and using a saddle that lets you do it comfortably
- avoid any hard or even medium efforts when still warming up on the bike
- Stretching your back on the bike by standing on the pedals (no pedaling) and keeping the 6 o'clock foot, hips, and back straight couple seconds each rep. Alternate between left and right foot. In some occassions, this can remove lower back pain entirely
- "spinning" as opposed to "grinding". Dont be timid gearing down. avoid exerting too much force on the pedals as gearing allows
- Pace your climbs, pace long rides. Spin as gearing allows
- Opt for easier gears "dinnerplate cogs" or compact cranksets when dealing with lots of long and steep climbs
- recognize the onset of lower back pain especially in long rides. start gearing down and stretching your back, disengage your gluteals and hamstrings and recruit only the quads.("kick" your pedal stroke and stop pulling until your lower back has recovered)
- good sitting posture off the bike, stretching your back while standing if you have desk based work at least twice an hour
- do exercises for core strength. One on-the-bike core strength training is doing short climbs at hard/high gear out-of-the-saddle. Sounds contradictory to the advice ive given earlier which means you only do this in short intervals towards the end of your ride or training session.
- Sometimes the solution is simply ride more

sorry for the long read. I sufferred many months with LB pain and I narrowed all causes to the things I did above which is quite a lot... I tend to experiment a lot!
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Old 03-14-21, 08:25 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
Deadlifting helps developing a strong back. As heavy a weight as you can move for five reps. Squats, too. A stronger body is going to work better on any bike and it doesn't really take much to make a difference.

The other thing is your position on the bike but that's kind of hard to really judge; if you just pose to take a picture it probably won't be quite the same as when you're actually pressing on the pedals with some force. Videoing yourself on a trainer is perhaps the best way to see what's going on.
Lower back training should ideally be comemented with lots of ab work. Also, training your back in the wrong posture could cause much more problems.

Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
from personal experience with endemic lower back problems when riding bike that was only solved recently

causes:
- Poor back posture off the bike, when sitting in the chair, etc.
- spends more than 1 hr sitting (if doing desk-based work) without stretching
- poor back posture on the bike
- Incorrect saddle tilt
- saddle adjusted too far to the back
- too short reach (will matter more out of the saddle)
- too aggressive, too low riding position (may differ per individual flexibility)
- pedaling at too high gear.
- pushing hard too early before you have properly warmed up
- weak core muscles
- in rare occassions, considerable recruitment of glutes to push the pedals (BUTT POWER!!). Not a bad technique if you know how to "rotate" use of different muscle groups in the body and if you have strong core muscles.
- Using hamstrings too much (pulling excessively on the back and upstroke)

solutions:
- The right bike fit to your physiology and capability as a cyclist
- flat back on the bike, if riding in aggressive, low position, make sure your pelvis is rotated forward and using a saddle that lets you do it comfortably
- avoid any hard or even medium efforts when still warming up on the bike
- Stretching your back on the bike by standing on the pedals (no pedaling) and keeping the 6 o'clock foot, hips, and back straight couple seconds each rep. Alternate between left and right foot. In some occassions, this can remove lower back pain entirely
- "spinning" as opposed to "grinding". Dont be timid gearing down. avoid exerting too much force on the pedals as gearing allows
- Pace your climbs, pace long rides. Spin as gearing allows
- Opt for easier gears "dinnerplate cogs" or compact cranksets when dealing with lots of long and steep climbs
- recognize the onset of lower back pain especially in long rides. start gearing down and stretching your back, disengage your gluteals and hamstrings and recruit only the quads.("kick" your pedal stroke and stop pulling until your lower back has recovered)
- good sitting posture off the bike, stretching your back while standing if you have desk based work at least twice an hour
- do exercises for core strength. One on-the-bike core strength training is doing short climbs at hard/high gear out-of-the-saddle. Sounds contradictory to the advice ive given earlier which means you only do this in short intervals towards the end of your ride or training session.
- Sometimes the solution is simply ride more

sorry for the long read. I sufferred many months with LB pain and I narrowed all causes to the things I did above which is quite a lot... I tend to experiment a lot!
This is great advice . Having the saddle too far forward can be more problematic than too far back. Likely has something to do with stem length.

Bottom line, while I did like the drop bars, I ended up switching back to some flat bars which were closer to shoulder width to improve my endurance oriented comfort on the bike.
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Old 03-14-21, 10:20 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Bottom line, while I did like the drop bars, I ended up switching back to some flat bars which were closer to shoulder width to improve my endurance oriented comfort on the bike.
There are "gravel drop bars" and these are available in 500 to 600 mm widths
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