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neck pain on long downhills

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neck pain on long downhills

Old 08-01-20, 08:48 PM
  #1  
Symox
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neck pain on long downhills

Wondering if there are any tips for the neck pain I experience when riding on the drops and going down hills. I look pretty far down the road which causes me to lift my head. I usually get a pretty stiff neck and have to go to the hoods to give my neck a break.

I am not the most flexible person (can't touch my toes) so I'm sure that is part of it.

I will be working on stretches to improve things.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:02 AM
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Same. My neck and back were broken almost 20 years ago, and reinjured in 2018 when a car hit me. C1-C2 are permanently damaged.

Tweaking my bike fit helps. Check out the Bike Fit Adviser channel on YouTube for tips. Best info I've found online.

Along with bike fit I've found it helps to use a helmet that doesn't have a thick or low overhanging brow, and glasses without frames over the brow of the lenses. If I can peer upward without needing to crane my neck it's more comfortable. My POC helmet is a bit too thick and low on my forehead to be comfortable with my road bike, so I mostly wear it when using my hybrid. Ditto sunglasses -- I had to shop around to find some bifocal sunglasses/safety glasses that didn't have a frame over the tops of the lenses (Dual F1, no longer available but there are others). Even a slight difference in neck angle can affect comfort over longer rides.

Ditto physical therapy, starting at a clinic last year for a few months. I've continued on my own at home. Check out the Bowflex channel on YouTube for concise video tutorials on exercises that require no special equipment.

And I use a percussion massager and topical analgesics to relieve some of the tension.

Took awhile but now I can stay in the drops for several minutes at a time. At first it was torture to use the drops at all.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:37 AM
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That is one of the big reasons people switch to recumbents. Neck pain will disappear. As will pain in hands, wrists, shoulders, lots of places
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Old 08-02-20, 08:56 AM
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Its a DF bike problem.
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Old 08-02-20, 10:25 AM
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See: Shermer's Neck
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Old 08-02-20, 11:11 AM
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Not sure how long you have been descending like that but for me when I began long descent my neck fatigued quickly too. After a few months it is gone. so for me it was just a posture I needed to get used to.
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Old 08-02-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Its a DF bike problem.
Had to Google that one. can't say I agree that it is strictly the case though.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:13 PM
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Smile more, that is make sure you’re relaxed.

If your shoulders are all hunched up I’m sure that can contribute.

Then, like timetrialers, keep your head low but roll your eyes up so you’re not holding your head up at as much of an angle but it is more or less inline with your spine. As mentioned previously some cycling glasses are better for this posture than others.
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Old 08-02-20, 01:42 PM
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I have significant arthritis in my neck, and riding in the drops for extended periods was not comfortable. I found that changing the stem to raise the handlebars helped a lot. Perhaps I sacrificed some aerodynamic advantage with a higher position in the drops, but it is decidedly more comfortable now. That, and a helmet-mounted mirror so I don't have to turn my head to check behind are the two best accommodations to my arthritic neck.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:10 PM
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All you guys need to go into the gym and do some stretching, pillates. Hold the body in reverse position of what the cycling is doing to you to balance things out.
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Old 08-03-20, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ksingh123 View Post
All you guys need to go into the gym and do some stretching, pillates. Hold the body in reverse position of what the cycling is doing to you to balance things out.
Tell that to my orthopedic. Exercise and stretching are vital the more you ride, but once the vertebrae become compressed stretching only minimizes the progression and won't eliminate it.
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Old 08-03-20, 07:57 AM
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A couple things you might try:

First, instead of staring straight ahead, cock your head towards the side as if you're looking 45 degrees from straight ahead to the side. Rock your head from side to side a few times a minute. (You'll also see more scenery this way!)

Second, maybe you don't need to be in the drops. Try riding on the hoods, and bend your elbows as much as you're comfortable riding. Yeah, you may get burned at the stake in some groups for committing such heresy, but really, who's riding your bike?
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Old 08-03-20, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Had to Google that one. can't say I agree that it is strictly the case though.
Ryda's point was that it doesn't happen with a recumbent, only with a "Diamond-Frame" (road bike.) I suppose it would also be an issue with a Prone bike, but how many of those are there?
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Old 08-03-20, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Ryda's point was that it doesn't happen with a recumbent, only with a "Diamond-Frame" (road bike.) I suppose it would also be an issue with a Prone bike, but how many of those are there?
yes, which is why i don't strictly agree that it is a DF problem. seems more physiological to me, not everyone experiences this. i would say that the DF does not cause it, it just provokes it.
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Old 08-03-20, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
yes, which is why i don't strictly agree that it is a DF problem. seems more physiological to me, not everyone experiences this. i would say that the DF does not cause it, it just provokes it.
Ride long enough and you will. And if you ever rode a recumbent you would clearly see the difference.

Visibility of the world around you is one of the true joys of a bent.
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Old 08-04-20, 01:50 AM
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Your bars are almost certainly too low, and possibly too far away.

If you can't ride comfortably in the drops for a while, your bars are too low. The whole point of drop bars is that they offer a bunch of places to put your hands. All of those should be comfortable. Adjust the position of your handlebars until this is true.

Also, if your helmet has a visor, try removing it. Trying to look around a visor can make one's neck very unhappy.

Bike fit is weird, and individualistic, and there aren't any rules... only guidelines, and hints, and trying different things and keeping the things that work.

--Shannon
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Old 08-04-20, 07:54 AM
  #17  
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Raise the bars so that the drops are more usable? If you are not comfortable in your drops for very long, your bars are probably too low.

Also, if you concentrate on bending at the hips (tilt your pelvis down) rather than your waist, your spine will be straighter, and thus be more upright at your neck, so your neck does not need to bend back so far. This helped me a lot in all my riding.
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Old 08-04-20, 11:41 AM
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Are you using traditional deep drop bars, or compact bars?
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