Help to avoid Back and shoulder pain during long ride

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Rooster girl, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Rooster girl

    Rooster girl New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I need some advice, I've been cycling for a few months and I'm in great shape and I've been doing longer routs without a problem. Recently I've been doing 40 mile rides and as soon as I hit about 30 miles, I get a muscle spasm on my left shoulder blade area and my lower back starts hurting. Nothing else hurts and if it wasn't for that, I could go further. I don't feel like I'm putting a lot of pressure on my hands because they never hurt, so I'm not sure if it's the distance of my bars, or if my seat is not tilted the right way. Since I'm fairly new to this is can use some advice :)
     
    Tags:


  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    There's no simple answer, it could be a lot of things. Your best bet is to find a good local bike fitter or higher end bike shop that does bike fits and have someone look at your overall position on the bike. It could be low bars or too much reach or saddle too far forward or a host of other things.

    Some of it may also be just adapting to more time on the bike. Back in the day it was pretty common to take a lot of time off the bike post season and when I'd start back up with longer rides I'd get bad neck soreness and tightness in my shoulders. It would go away after a while but it happened season after season. I ride more year round and only take a couple of weeks or so at a time away from training post season and I haven't had those early season issues in many years.

    -Dave
     
  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    39
    yes if we discard bike fit as a problem, then it should be a question of getting used to long hours rides, 30 miles to 40 miles are respectable distances to cope with, but first you need to check bike fit of course,
     
  4. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    In my experience the most common culprits are bad fit, poor posture, and poor core strength and flexibility.

    The most important element of fit is balance, which should be over the feet. If you're using your arms to keep your chin from hitting the handlebar, then you need to move your center of gravity back. Level the saddle and slide back on rails. If something feels wrong after doing this, see a fitter.

    Posture is equally intuitive. Do as your mother said and sit up straight. Bend forward from the hip, don't curl the back, to reach the handlebar. Extend the neck forward/upward along the plane of the spine. Hold the torso up using back muscles, not the arms and shoulders.

    Stretch. Lower and upper body. Exercise these parts. Core strength is a hot topic and there are dozens of web sites with advice you can use.
     
  5. Rooster girl

    Rooster girl New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for your responses! I did a ride and I focused on engaging my core since that is actually one o the strong points in my body, and it eliminated my back pain. I was also hunching my back instead of keeping it straight so I was able to do a 40 mile route without any pain. I also realized that I found myself sitting really far back in my seat in order to be comfortable, but my seat won't go further back so I'm going to have to take it to the store to get it fitted for me. Thanks!
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    Cool. Glad you're finding your way through this.
     
  7. JSWin

    JSWin Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well this post has been on here a bit but I am sure some other people can benefit from this. You want to stretch out really well before you start. Just before you get to the 30 mile point stop and get off the bike. Stretch out that area. Left shoulder blade. I've had that myself but not when biking. Remember this part of the body is lined up with the heart. This would indicate you've got some other things to take a look at. Could be something clogged up with an artery, Its a whole other issue than just a back spasm, but just something to think about. Your diet and so forth, maybe have it checked out. Quite possibly there is something clogged up and when the blood is pumping hard for that long you are hitting that point where its trying to pass. If it is muscular you'll just need to stretch out that area. You could also do something before or at another time. Take a low weight and bend forward swing your arm in a circle one way for some reps and then the other way for some more reps. Stand up and do the same in a standing position up over your head in a circular motion. One way for 12-18 reps and then the other way. This is a great one to stretch out under the shoulder blades.
    Any pain or discomfort just stretch it out. Legs walk it off. Walk until it goes away. Stretching and walking can smooth out stuff like this. Then just get back on and go until you've worked it out.
     
Loading...
Loading...