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Back Pain - Worried !!

Old 05-10-19, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
WebMD=surefire way to convince yourself that you only have 6 months to live.
Almost as bad as Dr. Bikeforum.
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Old 05-10-19, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Almost as bad as Dr. Bikeforum.
No offense to anyone, but it boggles my mind when I see a thread like "I just had a stoke/hip replacement/heart attack, etc. What can I expect in terms of being able to ride again?"
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Old 05-10-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
No offense to anyone, but it boggles my mind when I see a thread like "I just had a stoke/hip replacement/heart attack, etc. What can I expect in terms of being able to ride again?"
Why is that surprising on a bike forum
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Old 05-10-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
Entirely possible. Lots of folks have over-used and/or under-stretched muscles around the pelvic region (hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, glutes/piriformis, IT band). Lack of flexibility in these areas can cause all sorts of problems, in the back, knees, with the gait, etc.

Even if it turns out that tight, overused, under-stretched muscles in the glutes aren't the full cause, a variety of stretches in the target areas can't hurt.

Take a look at this reference, which is a wonderful compendium of poses and stretches for Yoga.

Yoga Stretches for Improving Flexibility @ Sensational-Yoga-Poses.com.

Specifically, I'd suggest looking at the Pigeon pose, the Screaming Pigeon pose, the Happy Baby hip stretch. These specifically target the glutes, piriformis, hip abductor areas.

Also, consider any of the stretches related to the glutes, hamstrings, groin, and hip flexors. For starters, that'll help get you much more flexible in those areas. All of which, when combined with strengthening, can help raise the bar between your performance zone and the injury point.


* I've dealt with old injuries in the area of the hip-related muscles for decades and rely on these to avoid overworking them, ensuring good flexibility. Without such focus, I'd likely have long since been rendered incapable of walking, cycling, even swimming.


Thank you - Yes I do regular stretches now and always before going for a ride and so far no more problems
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Old 05-10-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
Sounds about right. OP is in the U.K.

Sorry not sure what you mean by that ?
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Old 05-10-19, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Almost as bad as Dr. Bikeforum.

Correct. Dr. BF is great for the bike: creeky cranks, RD/FD issues, squeaky pads, needing new cassette/different chain rings, etc. (although advise on chain lube is debatable) . For the motor (YOU) go to a good Doctor.
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Old 05-10-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John Young
Sorry not sure what you mean by that ?
A crack at nationalized medicine, I reckon.

Glad to hear that your back pain had a relatively benign cause.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
Sounds about right. OP is in the U.K.
Geez, where I am in the US, it takes months to get just about any specialist appointment or physical.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John Young
Why is that surprising on a bike forum
Not surprising, just really a recipe for a pointless argument of a bunch of strangers trying to prove what's wrong with you.
Usually,someone starts trying to push the latest quack supplement panacea.

Surprisingly, no one told you to take magnesium this thread. That way you could experience a good case of the runs with your backache.
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Old 05-11-19, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Not surprising, just really a recipe for a pointless argument of a bunch of strangers trying to prove what's wrong with you.
Usually,someone starts trying to push the latest quack supplement panacea.

Surprisingly, no one told you to take magnesium this thread. That way you could experience a good case of the runs with your backache.

Well I did ask for peoples opinions and yes sometimes you might get dodgy advice but you also might get some good advice and maybe something that will help. I hope my post about the stiff muscles might help others like me
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Old 05-11-19, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
A crack at nationalized medicine, I reckon.

Glad to hear that your back pain had a relatively benign cause.
Thank you - Yes it was all happily mundane and boy was I relieved

Originally Posted by livedarklions
Geez, where I am in the US, it takes months to get just about any specialist appointment or physical.
Yeah the NHS has its problems but its a national treasure in my opinion. The times I have had to use them in the past I would have had to sell my house to pay for the medical help in other country's. People love to moan about the NHS but we are SO LUCKY to have them and I wont hear a bad word about the NHS
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Old 05-12-19, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by John Young
Well I did ask for peoples opinions and yes sometimes you might get dodgy advice but you also might get some good advice and maybe something that will help. I hope my post about the stiff muscles might help others like me

i don't think those comments were directed at you personally because you've been clear throughout that you're seeing doctors. Some of the threads on this forum have been describing issues that sounded like things better addressed to competent medical people who could actually examine the patient.

Problem is that while most responses are telling them to see a doctor, others start insisting on their own pet theory, and it's not clear that the op is sophisticated enough to spot the bs.

That being said, I have seen the opposite here as well. I remember a thread where a guy was complaining about groin pain, and was waiting a couple weeks for his doctors appointment to discuss it. I suggested that in the meantime, might as well try some adjustments to the bike and see if that made the problem go away. A bunch of posters went crazy, acting like I was telling him to ignore a tumor or something.
If I recall correctly, he got a new seat and the pain went away.
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Old 05-12-19, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
i don't think those comments were directed at you personally because you've been clear throughout that you're seeing doctors. Some of the threads on this forum have been describing issues that sounded like things better addressed to competent medical people who could actually examine the patient.

Problem is that while most responses are telling them to see a doctor, others start insisting on their own pet theory, and it's not clear that the op is sophisticated enough to spot the bs.

That being said, I have seen the opposite here as well. I remember a thread where a guy was complaining about groin pain, and was waiting a couple weeks for his doctors appointment to discuss it. I suggested that in the meantime, might as well try some adjustments to the bike and see if that made the problem go away. A bunch of posters went crazy, acting like I was telling him to ignore a tumor or something.
If I recall correctly, he got a new seat and the pain went away.

Yes you are right you need to take away from the discussion what you see as useful and discard the rest
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Old 05-12-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by John Young
Thank you - Yes I do regular stretches now and always before going for a ride and so far no more problems
Well, don't start a thread on stretching, whatever you do. There are dozens of "anti-stretching" activists here that will jump in and argue, until they're blue in the face, that stretching is useless, and they never do it. The undeniable proof that's it's useless, being the fact that they themselves never do it.
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Old 05-12-19, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
Well, don't start a thread on stretching, whatever you do. There are dozens of "anti-stretching" activists here that will jump in and argue, until they're blue in the face, that stretching is useless, and they never do it. The undeniable proof that's it's useless, being the fact that they themselves never do it.

Yes stretching is very important at any age but especially as you get older
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Old 05-12-19, 08:34 AM
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It's to me, as common sense as scratching an itch, but some people stubbornly resist it like the plague! But you're right, if you don't stretch as you get older, you will start losing your range of movement. It's so obvious to me, yet lots of people think it's a waste of time.
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Old 05-12-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
It's to me, as common sense as scratching an itch, but some people stubbornly resist it like the plague! But you're right, if you don't stretch as you get older, you will start losing your range of movement. It's so obvious to me, yet lots of people think it's a waste of time.
I wouldn't say its a waste of time, but it is most certainly overblown. Its one of those routines I list under genetic predisposition.

For example, I don't get cramps...ever! But I know others that get them almost every time they exercise and even more so when they don't stretch. For them, I'd recommend stretching as an absolute must. For others, its merely a formality.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:53 AM
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I never ever got cramps.... did not know what they were until a few years back when I got a few. With stretching etc (on bike to) I keep them at bay
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Old 05-13-19, 07:11 AM
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Back pain is almost part and partial with AGE disease and activities (like cycling) that force us to bend a lot in the back. There are various ways to minimize the discomfort but unless there is a special cause, it won't be eliminated.

Cancer is a totally different subject and I truly hope that is not the "special cause" here. Easy for me to say but I'd try not to worry about that at this point. It sounds like the doctors are investigating so that much is good.

Personally, I've suffered from back pain for a long time now and my approach is to simply live life doing what I like to the extent that I can. I'm not going to stop riding just because it causes me some (manageable level) pain. When there is significant numbness in the legs or chronic pain that's a different thing altogether though. Hopefully that's not the case here...
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Old 05-13-19, 07:23 AM
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I've eliminated a lot of my back pain by concentrating on keeping a straight(ish) back, and using mainly the strength in my glutes to pedal (they are the body's largest muscle). This form does tend to gradually fall apart over the course of most rides, and I start recruiting more back muscles into my pedal stroke, but I make a conscious effort to return to "butt pedaling" as often as possible.

What this does, is not completely eliminate pedaling with back muscles, but "saves" them for when they're needed. Because let's face it, when you're sprinting to get back onto a group, or doing whatever it takes to get over some 15% grade, your form will probably fall apart temporarily. But I have found that if I make a conscious effort to save my back and pedal with my glutes, it makes a big difference in how sore I feel (and where) post-ride.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
Entirely possible. Lots of folks have over-used and/or under-stretched muscles around the pelvic region (hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, glutes/piriformis, IT band). Lack of flexibility in these areas can cause all sorts of problems, in the back, knees, with the gait, etc.

Even if it turns out that tight, overused, under-stretched muscles in the glutes aren't the full cause, a variety of stretches in the target areas can't hurt.

Take a look at this reference, which is a wonderful compendium of poses and stretches for Yoga.

Yoga Stretches for Improving Flexibility @ Sensational-Yoga-Poses.com.

Specifically, I'd suggest looking at the Pigeon pose, the Screaming Pigeon pose, the Happy Baby hip stretch. These specifically target the glutes, piriformis, hip abductor areas.

Also, consider any of the stretches related to the glutes, hamstrings, groin, and hip flexors. For starters, that'll help get you much more flexible in those areas. All of which, when combined with strengthening, can help raise the bar between your performance zone and the injury point.


* I've dealt with old injuries in the area of the hip-related muscles for decades and rely on these to avoid overworking them, ensuring good flexibility. Without such focus, I'd likely have long since been rendered incapable of walking, cycling, even swimming.

The exercises you suggested might be helpful, but it really depends on the underlying problem. I'm getting over some significant sciatic nerve symptoms. The first physical therapist I worked with ruled out lumbar disc problems and had me doing some pretty gnarly piriformis and hamstring stretches. It turned out that my problem did stem from a bulging disc and these stretches that tend to cause flexion of the lumbar spine were only aggravating the problem. In the end what has been working for me are lumbar extensions (like serpent pose in yoga) and strengthening exercises for my core and posterior chain. (Lots of deadlifts and single-leg RDLs.) If I had insisted on an MRI before starting PT, I think my recovery could have been considerably faster.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by clengman
The exercises you suggested might be helpful, but it really depends on the underlying problem. I'm getting over some significant sciatic nerve symptoms. The first physical therapist I worked with ruled out lumbar disc problems and had me doing some pretty gnarly piriformis and hamstring stretches. It turned out that my problem did stem from a bulging disc and these stretches that tend to cause flexion of the lumbar spine were only aggravating the problem. In the end what has been working for me are lumbar extensions (like serpent pose in yoga) and strengthening exercises for my core and posterior chain. (Lots of deadlifts and single-leg RDLs.) If I had insisted on an MRI before starting PT, I think my recovery could have been considerably faster.
I think I said it earlier in the thread, it all depends on the cause, as back pain can be caused by dozens of issues. Still, exercise can help solve a lot of ills even if that's not the exact cause of the back pain.
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Old 05-14-19, 03:18 AM
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imho, doctors deliver the bottom line which applies to a majority. for those that don't care to dwell there, i say dream, dare, do. think, train, thrive.
your limitations are usually the ones you put on yourself with an extra helping from others. if i had swallowed the doctors gospel whole, i'd be sitting
on a couch watching teevee every day/night and ditched the bikes years ago. no thank you.

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Old 05-15-19, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by clengman
The exercises you suggested might be helpful, but it really depends on the underlying problem. I'm getting over some significant sciatic nerve symptoms. The first physical therapist I worked with ruled out lumbar disc problems and had me doing some pretty gnarly piriformis and hamstring stretches. It turned out that my problem did stem from a bulging disc ...
Yes, of course.

Per the OP's description: "had a little bit of back pain now and again for about 6 months. Nothing bad just the odd ache. The a few weeks back it got really bad."

Could be "aliens" (euphemistically speaking), bad disc(s), sciatica, something out of alignment, poor saddle position, or any number of things.

But moderate stretches can often be a very simple thing to attempt, to see whether it alters the symptoms. Isn't for everyone, no. Won't help everyone, no. Might harm a severe underlying condition, particularly if done blindly hard without regard to suitability. Didn't mean to suggest such things are a catch-all wonderment for everyone. Just meant that it's an easily attempted step that most can do, in situations where the tests/docs aren't showing clear "positive" signs of a specific condition.

YMMV, as with anything.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 05-16-19 at 01:08 AM. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old 05-15-19, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
It's to me, as common sense as scratching an itch, but some people stubbornly resist it like the plague! But you're right, if you don't stretch as you get older, you will start losing your range of movement. It's so obvious to me, yet lots of people think it's a waste of time.
You understand that your first sentence is completely self-contradictory, right?

Your "common sense" is completely non-scientific, and there's plenty of scientific research that shows that stretching is not necessary, and if not done carefully, can actually be harmful. If it works for you, fine, but telling people that have tried it and found it useless that they're wrong because it's "obvious" to you makes you look rather silly.
https://www.painscience.com/articles/stretching.php

The comparison to scratching is pretty funny--there's lots of times when healing actually requires suppressing the urge to scratch. Are you under the impression that scratching is of some sort of therapeutic value?

Was there some reason you felt it necessary to pick this fight again in this thread?
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