Horrible pain in lower back

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by cdaleguy, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got a new bike/seat and have been having killer lower back pain. Is this due to improper seat adjustement or something else? Thanks for any feedback
     
    Tags:


  2. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    35 looks and no reply?
     
  3. dhk

    dhk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not a simple question, but I'll give it a shot. Could be related to your position on the new bike, riding more and harder, or both.

    Does your new bike have you bent over more than the old one? If you've got a longer reach to the bars, or more drop from saddle to bars, that will cause your knees to come up closer to your chest when you are pedaling now.

    Did you increase your mileage a lot since you got the new ride? Are you riding harder, in a bigger gear? Pushing the big ring hard early in the season is a common cause of back pain...for me at least.

    Your lower back has to work hard on the bike and can't be ignored. Core strength exercises for the abs, back and glutes, combined with stretching, is the usual prescription. It's not a quick fix, but if you take 5-10 minutes to do these every day, you should see improvement in a month or two.

    Since your back is hurt now, plan on a couple of weeks of light riding. Don't push anything on the bike now until your back is well, and back off if you feel the pain coming. Forget the speed; your first goal should be riding pain-free.
     
  4. tarczan

    tarczan New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try to make sure that the setuo is the same as the old bike. Also if you're doing hills in a big gear pulling up on handlebars it's an instant backache.
    Is the stem and top bat length same as old? Like the previous poster said it's a lot of things, but either bike fit or overuse.
     
  5. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have definately changed position, versus the old bike. On the old, the frame was smaller (50 vs 52 now) and I had a longer stem on the old bike, decreasing my reach (then), so I now am reaching more, thus stretching my back more than I used to. Also, I think my seat was back a bit too much(now), as I would always have to push myself (my rear) back on the seat so I'm not riding on the nose of it(i have since made this adjustment) and hope that it helps. I had my wife feel my back and she noticed that the muscles in my lower back were tight and inflamed and also some "little knots" about the size of the end of your thumb, and said that they "moved around." Is this what happens with lower-back pain or do i have a tumor?....joke...
     
  6. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html

    other than that maybe sheldon can help you abit, and advise you on posture

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/pain.html#posture

    once you have checked the above get on your bike and try adjusting your seat hight at the bottom of your pedal stoke you should have 5mm clearance between your heel and the pedal, try moving your seat forward a few millimetres to try and reduce your reach, if that ain't quite enough then maybe you need to invest in a shorter stem to allow your back to arch opposed to stretch out and sag.

    the best way to checkyour stem length is when your comfortably seated with elbows slightly bent and your hands on the break hoods, the front hub should be obscured by thehandle bar. this is a realitively upright position andn with time, you may benefit fromalong stem extension to improve aero dynamics thus flattening your back.

    another way to check your stemlengthis to pedal easilyon a stationary trainer and place your hands on the drops as if you where racing or coasting down hill, when your knee is in the highest and most forward position swing your elbow slighly bent toward the knee in the forward position your elbow and knee should brush or have a gap of more up to an inche, if your elbow and knee overlap then your stem may be to short.

    stem sizes also depend upon the length of the frames top tube,although road frames with the diamond shape may look alike, they may be better to be measured with a ruler than the eye. for exampleitalian frames tend to have top tubes the same size as the seat tubes or a cm shorter someamerican manufacturers make there top tubes upto 2cm longer.

    however bear inmind however women tend to have short arms and torso's than men so there top tubes should be shorter than there seat tubes for comfort.

    (LanceArmstrong performance program severn weeks to the pefect ride)

    I hope this information helps you resolve your problem and have you enjoying your cycling opposed to suffering during.

    chris

    over stretching allows the back to sag inwards and cause the vertabrae to compress causing pain in the lower back area
     
  7. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great! Thanks a bunch.
     
  8. dhk

    dhk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like you really did a number on your lower back. I'm no doctor, but believe the "little knots" are likely the result of torn muscles. They could also be fatty cysts, blood clots, or tumors. I would suggest you get your doctor to check these right away and recommend the right therapy to speed your healing.

    Remember most all the fit advice you get will put you in a standard road-race position, which is only good for you if you've got the core strength and flexibility to handle it.

    But bike fit is only part of the issue. Even if you new bike fits perfectly, hammering too hard too soon will take it's toll. Strength and flexibility are the real key.
     
  9. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    But i do agree before you continue riding you should get your back assessed by a doctor, it could be scar tissue, and regular massage usually helps move them about and break it up. but if its fatty deposits then there ain't anything they'll do about it anyway. So get it checked out, sort out your bike correctly for comfort maybe you could throw in 1 or 2 back exercises to help strengthen your lower back 2 or 3 times a week, you don't need a gym membership or anything for a number of exercises. if you don't know of any that you can do, maybe i or others can point you i the right direction.

    hopefully, the doctor will say that your okey to continue, but i'm sure like a number of pepole on here they would suggest seek the doctors advice before you continue. i'm sure you wouldn't want to make matters worse and hopefully all being well you'll be ready to ride in comfort come spring.

    best of luck
    chris
     
  10. Lama

    Lama New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks closesupport

    I was getting very similar back pain - especially during climbs - i then read the links, made the adjustments, and so far so good. I was getting the pain about 25 mins into a ride, have done a few 1 hour rides since - no problem so far.

    It turns out that i had to drop my stem by 1/2" and raise the saddle by 3/8" and subsequently move it forward 1/4" and tilt it forward..... back to comfy riding!!

    cheers
     
  11. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    your welcome, I'm glad i could be of help
     
  12. cavvycav

    cavvycav New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I noticed you also posted a question about rocking hips. Is this correct? If so, I think these probs are very much related. First, check positioning. I know other kind members have given you some advice already on the topic. So check that first. If the problem persists, check for things biomechanically wrong with your body. Do you have one leg longer than the other? Do you have overly tight muscles in your legs or back. Third, maybe some alignment issues haven't been addressed. Are you hips tilted? Is your back crooked? (Everyone's is somewhat, you just don't want it to be abnormal). If your in good health, I would bet that the answer is easier than you expected.
     
  13. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I went for a massage for my back (which was wonderful....i coulda kissed the lady). Anyway, she said that my "knots" were normal....normal for somebody with a jacked-up back. Anyway, she rubbed me down and made me feel better. I adjusted my seat a bit (forward tilt and moved seat forward) and hope that this will help. I haven't been riding since the day I hurt my back. I'm trying to let it get good and healed first. Thanks for the advice.
     
  14. Reynoldsouzopro

    Reynoldsouzopro New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also went thru some low back pain issues this past summer. I went from no recent training to riding over 100 miles/ week in 6 weeks, (no joke), anyway sounds like there was good advice given for positioning as well as the suggestion to get a dr's opinion. My suggestion is that you also seek out chiropractic care. There are Chiropractors with diplomates in sports medicine that can diagnose and get you going if you continue having problems. Remember it was Jeff Spencer DC that was the Postal team doctor for the 2004 Tour. Just thought I'd mention it since no one else did.
    Those knots were probably trigger points due to overuse but you could still have some joint dysfunction that will need some attention by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
    Thanks for reading and good luck with your future training.
    Dave
     
  15. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    i notice you showed a little concern about rocking hips, this you'll find is cause the seat is to high for you, if you happen to have a cycling jersey and you put some coins in the rear pocket and you ride your bike, if the coins jingle as you are pedalling easily you'll probably find that the seat is to high and making your hips rock as you reach for the pedals, if you adjust your seat hight a little at a time and continue to the point where the coins stop jingling then you'll find that your hips will have stopped rocking, also if you spend most of your time riding with your hands on the drop bars or in a tucked Aero postition, if you point the nose of your seat some 5 degrees from straight 'away from your strongest leg' you'll find your pedal stroke that little more comfortable.
     
  16. Brian Cotgrove

    Brian Cotgrove New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    0
    G'day cdaleguy, mate your ready for the scrapp heap by the sounds of what you've posted, only kidding.

    I concur with what the others have posted, my suggestion would be to make sure your "Saddle is Level" or just slightly raised at the nose, maybe a degree or two but no more. You should be able to slide back easliy when your riding and sit on the wider part of the seat. This is where you get your power when climbing, by gripping the saddle with the thighs you are able to power more without getting off the seat.

    Raise your handlebars up at the rate of 10 millimetres each time until you feel comfortable when sitting on the top of the bars, you might see a lot of guys with handle bars at extreme low position, usually it is the traight of the continentals to ride a smaller frames anyway, this allows them to have lower handle bar positions.

    A lot will depend on whether you have a long back or torso or a short one, whether you have long arms or short arms. Whether you have long legs or short legs, really, what is needed is for you to seek out a coach somewhere near to where you live, surely there must be someone with sufficient knowledge to assist you. What about a reputable bike shop, and I mean a reputable one, not one just wanting to sell you the latest heap of shite?

    Get the wife to have a good look at how you are, just standing up straight, from behind, take your cloths off to do this, she won't mind after all she's seen it all before? you should have even shoulders not one side up and one side down. Your hips should be even as the shoulders, your spine should be straight not curved to one side or the other. When you stand upright your fingers when relaxed and extended should be approximatley half way down your thighs.

    The crank lenght is also important, how tall are you and what lenght cranks is also a determining factor, however it is not something to be over worried about, as peddaling action with short legs and longer cranks can be an advantage. Leverage assist in climbing, and can be accomodated by having a slightly lower saddle height.

    For instance in my case I'm only 5'8" tall and have always ridden with 175 mm cranks, my inside leg length is only 29" without socks or shoes, however I'm as tall as my mate sitting down and he's 6'2". I ride a longer top tube but have my bike frames custom made.

    Some dimension regarding my frame just as an example? Top Tube 57.5cm, Seat tube 53cm, pedal to seat height 85cm with 175mm cranks, handle bars extension is 120 mm, I have ridden this set up for nearly 48 years and have never experienced a back ache ever. As I said this is just an example of how complex this science is, once you get it right, you'll wonder what the fuss was all about, don't give up, ask more questions.

    If you belong to a bike club, surely you'll have a resident coach or at least a person of "SOME EXPERIENCE" who can give you some "GOOD ADVICE".

    if any of this can assist you well good luck, don't give up?

    Incidentally try hanging from a bar, (I have one in the edoor frame at the top of the door) gripping the bar with your hands and raising your legs up till they touch your chest. Do this exercise daily it will give your abs the strenght to overcome back problems. By hanging you extend the spine and it is more friendly on the cartillage between the vertebrea. start with ten repetitions and three sets, building it up till you can hang and do twenty reps with three sets.

    Keep the wheels in motion, and don't look back, unless it's to see who you dropped on the last climb? TBC
     
  17. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    Crunches would do pretty much the same if you didn't want to dangle from the door frame,

    just lye on the floor arms extended above your head toes pointed, draw your knees in to your chest, raise your shoulders and touch your toes and repeat or
    you can touch your elbows on your knees, throw in a twist and touch your elbow on the opposite knee.
    you can also do one leg at a time as long as you touch the opposite elbow on the opposing knee, when your abs get stronger then you will be able to put your legs back straight keeping your feet an inche or so from the floor then repeating your sets.

    when you can do those then you should be able to add raised sits, thats just a situp with your feet an inch or so above the floor without resting your feet on the floor.

    then you have V sits these can be done one legged or two legged. One legged being the bestway to start your strengthening exercises until you can complete them all keep one heel on the floor raise your leg to 45degrees straight and raise your shoulders from the floor to touch your knees hold for a second then return to your start position, when you can do both legs at once then you should be holding your feet above the floor before returning to the 45Degree position, hold again then return to start. these are killers for your lower abs also you'll feel them in your upper most quads, or hip area.

    Have fun
     
  18. dhk

    dhk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    0
    All good stuff, but would caution that double leg lifts and V crunches can be hard on a back already overstressed and in pain. Best to go slow and easy with crunches and one-legged lifts until the muscles start to improve and the pain is gone. You want to help your back grow stronger, not work it so hard that you keep hurting it.
     
  19. n crowley

    n crowley New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0



    I don't know whether you got a new saddle or a new bike with different
    saddle. Taking exact measurements of old bike set-up can save a lot of
    pain and experimenting.
     
  20. Reynoldsouzopro

    Reynoldsouzopro New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you are confused. I did not address the persons positioning, others did. I also did not mention anything about my own positioning. I am well aware of these things.. In fact if you re-read my comment I said that OTHERS have given good avdvice on positioning I was more concerned that knowbody even hinted at Chiropractic care.That's all :)
     
Loading...
Loading...