Advice on Back Pain

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by HyunSeo, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. HyunSeo

    HyunSeo New Member

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    I've been riding for two months and get a pain in the lower back after about an hour of riding. Does anyone else have this problem? I tried raising the handle bars and flipping the stem to an upward angle, which helped, but since I want to have a racy position I re-flipped the stem. Is there any hope that the pain will ever go away, or should I try to adjust the bike? Thanks for the advice!
     
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  2. hippy

    hippy New Member

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    Google for some hamstring stretches. If you have tight hamstrings, they tend to pull your lower back out of alignment (so I've been told) so stretching before and after a ride will
    eventually allow you to adopt a nice position with no pain..
    Get your position checked by someone with a clue too - it could
    be a poor fitting bike or poor setup that's causing the pain.

    hth
    hippy
     
  3. tyler_derden

    tyler_derden New Member

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    There are a lot of ways to answer this one. Bicycles are generally uncomfortable and riding them often leads to back pain (and neck and shoulder pain, and hand and foot numbness, too). You may have a fit/adjustment problem with the bike, you may have a physiological problem, or maybe both.

    There are three almost sure fire solutions if adjusting seat and bar positions doesn't work:
    1) Quit riding.
    2) Get a recumbent bike.
    3) Do what I am doing and send your wife to osteopathic medical school. She "practices" on me all the time and my back is better than it has been in 10 years. Now if she could only fix my right knee...

    There is no shame in not being able to ride because of a physiological problem. I don't know how old you are, but it is quite normal as time passes to have to give up some things because your body just refuses to do them anymore. I'm 45 and there's a bunch of things I do that are starting to become too difficult due to age related physical changes. I intend to grow old gracefully and give up things that I can't do before I do some serious damage by ignoring pain.

    TD
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Don't get old! I speak from experience.
     
  5. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    Meanie! ;)
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Thats how it is when you get old. You get mean.I think it comes from the back pain.:(
     
  7. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I had a lot of backpain last year. I kept doing hamstring stretches, and it would immediately go away, but I would have to get off my bike about every 3 miles, it seemed, to do more stretches. Eventually, the back pain went away. My muscles had adjusted.

    Well, finally this year, I have been doing quite a few more miles--80+ a day on occasion. I came down with saddle sores, but I still had no back pain.

    It turns out that all of my problems, the back pain and the saddle sores, were everything to do with my seat setup. I hadn't tried to zero it in exactly to proper measurements when I bought the bike used last summer. It just seemed that it fit so well. It turned out, as I looked at it closely, that the seat was angled off about 1 cm to the right at the tip of the seat, and the worst thing was that it was not set from front to back properly. The seat angle vertically was off considerably also.

    The seat was a good 7 cm too far back. This is I'm sure what was causing my back problems which I eventually adjusted to. Now that I have corrected it, my average speed has gone up quite a bit. I'm going to measure that pretty soon, but I know already by looking at my splits that I am riding quite a bit faster.

    You see, you cannot apply maximum torque in the optimum portion of the pedal stroke unless you have the seat set properly from front to back. To check this, you use a plumb bob (I just used dental floss and a climbing pin) and dangle it from the front of your knee at the bottom of the kneecap downward. It should hang naturally to the center of the pedal where the post sticks out from the crank. When I did it at first, it was back about 7 cm behind this point. This means I was not getting maximum power in the greatest power portion of the pedal stroke. Instead, I was underpedalling, using my hamstrings too much. This explains the tightening of the hamstrings and the resultant low back pain. It's amazing to me that my body even adapted to that, but it did. I didn't catch the problem until I got the saddle sores.

    Good luck. I hope this is your problem because if it is, it will only take a couple of rides to get your beautiful spin motion back again, and you'll feel the difference right away.
     
  8. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    I know its crass.


    But sex really helps. swear!!!! I mean aerobic sex not...

    oh never mind.

    yeah stretching helps too. :)
     
  9. drwood

    drwood New Member

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    Well I happen to be a Chiropractor and a cyclist and I deal with this all the time.

    Certainly riding position affects the muscles in your low back but you have to distinguish pain from discomfort. What kind of pain? Achey? Sharp? Radiating? Etc.

    You may have a biomechanical dysfunction. Leglength inequality. It could be reflexive. Have you had x-rays. Perhaps a mild scoliosis. A pelvic torsion. It hard to say without more info.

    I live in Marin County California...just a few miles north of San Fran. or go see a Chiropractor that uses a Cold Laser like me and Lance Armstrong's Chiropractor.
     
  10. drwood

    drwood New Member

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    Well I happen to be a Chiropractor and a cyclist and I deal with this all the time.

    Certainly riding position affects the muscles in your low back but you have to distinguish pain from discomfort. What kind of pain? Achey? Sharp? Radiating? Etc.

    You may have a biomechanical dysfunction. Leglength inequality. It could be reflexive. Have you had x-rays. Perhaps a mild scoliosis. A pelvic torsion. It hard to say without more info.

    I live in Marin County California...just a few miles north of San Fran. or go see a Chiropractor that uses a Cold Laser like me and Lance Armstrong's Chiropractor.
     
  11. drwood

    drwood New Member

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    Well I happen to be a Chiropractor and a cyclist and I deal with this all the time.

    Certainly riding position affects the muscles in your low back but you have to distinguish pain from discomfort. What kind of pain? Achey? Sharp? Radiating? Etc.

    You may have a biomechanical dysfunction. Leglength inequality. It could be reflexive. Have you had x-rays. Perhaps a mild scoliosis. A pelvic torsion. It hard to say without more info.

    I live in Marin County California...just a few miles north of San Fran. or go see a Chiropractor that uses a Cold Laser like me and Lance Armstrong's Chiropractor.
     
  12. drwood

    drwood New Member

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    Oops! That was my first attempt at this new forum. Sorry about the repeats.
     
  13. HyunSeo

    HyunSeo New Member

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    Thanks to everyone who replied...I think my dull achy pain will go away if I readjust my seat and see a chiropractor while having aerobic conjugation with a cold laser shooting through my plumb line...and how do you do a hamster stretch?
     
  14. drwood

    drwood New Member

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    Sounds like your on your way to being healthy and fit!
     
  15. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Heh heh. We forgot about garlic. Isn't that a cure all? Maybe put a little of that in a skin cream; work it in real good. You might find yourself able to drop wheel suckers a lot easier.:D
     
  16. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I find my back is worse when pottasium levels are high and magnesium is low if I eat something green (like brocolli) or take magnesium the pain fades away.

     
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