Lower back pain after ~90minutes of riding. Any suggestions?



CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
Easily explained, it has to be independently discovered and I discovered it when I attempted and succeeded in biomechanically combining the upper body muscle power of a hand crank trike rider with the lower body muscles of a road bike rider. I knew I was on a winner and the examples of Anquetil's pedalling on his video confirmed it was identical to his technique. Now frame that. The low back pain that I refer to is cycling related "on the bike only" back pain, which ceases when you get off the bike. As for your canoe, which are stronger and capable of taking the greater strain, the hips or the lower back muscles ?
Please respond to my other post and I will do the same.
 

n crowley

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CapeRoadster said:
While I am very interested in what you are saying, I just think you're saying it wrong. I completely agree that there are ways to take pressure off the low back when pedaling. Pedaling easier is the first thing to come to mind, for example.

And what supports your upper bodyweight when you are pedaling easier ?
 

n crowley

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CapeRoadster said:
While I am very interested in what you are saying, I just think you're saying it wrong. I completely agree that there are ways to take pressure off the low back when pedaling. Pedaling easier is the first thing to come to mind, for example.

You also cannot speak for me because I almost always try to use a horizontal pedaling motion when I pedal, and I do not get LBP from riding. Riding relieves my low back pain. And I have had a herniated L5-S1 disc recently as well. So keep me out of it. My low back pain had nothing to do with cycling when I had it.

In order to transfer power to the hips from the arms, or from the arms to the hips, a rider MUST use the core (lumbar spinal muscles). Listen, man, you can't even BLINK AN EYE unless transversus abdominus is engaged. I'll say it again:

You can't shoot a cannon from a canoe!

So, you're just saying it wrong. I think what you're trying to say is that Anquetil's style used the low back or the core "a lot less" due to heavier use of his arms as stabilizers as opposed to using the core as the predominant stabilizing group of muscles.

The hip muscles CANNOT be used without stabilization from the lumbar spinal muscles! Heavy use of the hips (whatever do you mean by "hips", by the way?) means strong gluteal contraction which can ONLY occur with stabilization of the spine. And it makes sense since the spinal musculature is ADJACENT to the hip musculature. You cannot fire a cannon from a canoe. No stabilization from the lumbar spine muscles (core), then ABSOLUTELY NO strong gluteal contraction (hip extension), and no power generated from the hips!

Say it different, my friend from Ireland! Saying: "There is no need for the use of the low back in this high gear time trial pedalling style." just isn't true, medically or biomechanically. I have some expertise in these topics.


I fire my cannon from a firm hip, you fire yours from the center of a stressed lower back. I repeat there is no need for the lower back with linear (Anquetil's) pedaling. With a special back bracing technique arm resistance flows directly through the back from hand to hip, attempted use of arm resistance with normal pedaling results in hinging in the lower back, creating further strain in that area. Removal of the lower back from the action is only one of the many advantages of Anquetil's method, max power through dead spot area, combined arm leg power, removal of saddle related problems and reduction in knee forces are others. By the way, from what I have seen Coppi was a spinner and the faster you pedal the more likely you are to pedal with the toes down shoe position.
 

CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
I fire my cannon from a firm hip, you fire yours from the center of a stressed lower back. I repeat there is no need for the lower back with linear (Anquetil's) pedaling. With a special back bracing technique arm resistance flows directly through the back from hand to hip, attempted use of arm resistance with normal pedaling results in hinging in the lower back, creating further strain in that area. Removal of the lower back from the action is only one of the many advantages of Anquetil's method, max power through dead spot area, combined arm leg power, removal of saddle related problems and reduction in knee forces are others. By the way, from what I have seen Coppi was a spinner and the faster you pedal the more likely you are to pedal with the toes down shoe position.
You have consistently missed my point to the extent of my not wanting to really keep rehashing it over and over ad nauseum. "Flow[ing] directly through the back to the hip" is one of those biomechanically ignorant expressions that makes me truly wonder about your scientific background. There is no strong hip motion without a strong core. In your scenario, the hip is the cannon, and you're trying to fire it from a canoe. I'm saying that the hip muscles (glutes, etc.) are intimately related to the core, attached to it, and so cannot fire very strongly without it. You have not yet addressed that crucial point. Shall I give up on you?
 

Abernathy

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Trekrider4812 said:
Hi all--

I have been road biking for about 2 years seriously and I'm 18. I am a little over 5' 11" and I ride a 58cm Trek Madone 5.9. After about an hour or and hour and a half of riding, the slow onset of deep, lower back pain begins. At the end of a three hour ride, I am practically miserable with pain.

I am posting on advice for:
1.) What is the cause of my back pain (i.e. poor core strength, wrong size frame, seat too high, etc.)
2.) What I can do to prevent (or hopefully) eliminate my lower back pain (stretches, bike positioning suggestions, etc.).

I got my bike fitted by a computer system and approved by a longtime old-fashioned fitter. On the hoods, my nose falls at or slightly behind the end of the handlebar stem (the end that connects stem to fork).

An interesting thing that I've noticed is that when I am in the trainer, I have no back pain whatsoever. I can't believe this. I sat on the trainer for 2 hours and pedaled at the same intensity (and HR) as I regularly do on the road.

Some other information I can provide:
The pain sets in faster if I am in a long road taking me through a headwind (I think I stiffen a little bit to conserve energy and cut through better...).
Even if I get off the bike halfway through a lengthy ride to stretch and feel better, I get back on to be in pain approx. thirty minutes later.
After hanging the bike up and going inside, the pain dissipates in about ten minutes!
I have had no back injuries in my entire life to provoke chronic pain.
I am more flexible than most people.

Question for my curiosity: I know Lance had problems with his back because he cracked something in his lumbar section right? Well I know during his career he had personal masseuses and physical therapists, but still, how did he combat pain during 4-6hour daily rides???

Lastly, for those that post, do you deal with any lower back pain? Is it common? Do the pros have to deal with it and not whine?

Thanks a lot!!

Hard to say anything concrete without seeing you...obviously.
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Sounds to me as if your bike frame is too large and your seat is too high. Cleat position is may also be a factor.
I have mentioned in other threads Steve Hogg's knowledge of the intricacies of the human body in relation to cycling. Check out some of his advice... You can email him, too.
There are plenty of fit calculators available on the web if you can't get to/afford a qualified technician to (re)-sort you out.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/road-bikes is one. Click on the fit calculator down the bottom. You'll need to do some accurate measurements, so get a friend to help you.
This site also has some mad gear (MTB as well) on it to drool over.

You mention no injuries to note that may effect the pain you are experiencing and flexibility seems, well... you state, to be a non-issue so I'd be looking at your bike and your set-up. Lack of flexibility is more likely to rob you of power, than cause you chronic back pain.
 

garage sale GT

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The core muscles keeping your spine in position are tired. I think you should ride until you're pretty sore but not in pain, then rest for a few days as if you had lifted weights.

Riding should strengthen the core muscles but it sounds like you may be overtraining.

Getting a more relaxed fit would be analogous to a lighter workout. Or you could find a way to cycle while upright during your "back recovery phase".

The problem may be poor fit or it may be your back is too weak for normal fit. Strength would alleviate either condition but the first one would still leave you with a poorly fitting bike, cutting comfort and performance.
 

garage sale GT

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I didn't read the entire OP. I did have pain in my mid back but training and a bit of yoga strengthened it. I don't ride in a very extreme position though, or for very long.

Lance and Floyd cycled through the pain but they already had back and hip injuries, and had medical advice.

If you're really wearing out your back muscles, then you may be risking CAUSING a back injury. I am no doctor but I'm pretty sure about this one. I think that when the pain gets really bad, it's no longer just your back muscles. They have grown too tired to support the spine and it is now putting all the weight of your torso on one edge of a disk.
 

n crowley

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CapeRoadster said:
Saying: "There is no need for the use of the low back in this high gear time trial pedalling style." just isn't true, medically or biomechanically. I have some expertise in these topics.




Let's clarify some facts. You claim to have some expertise, where did you get it, % experience % study. What I mean by removing the lower back from the pedaling action is removing the necessity for the lower back to supply pedaling resistance and support the upper body weight. In your opinion what gym exercise machine(s) best demonstrate(s) the muscle(s) used by a rider when applying max pedal power during a time trial on a level road. You say you have a different style, what equipment demonstrates your technique under the same conditions. If I get a reply, I will name the equipment that corresponds to Anquetil's linear technique.
 

CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
Let's clarify some facts. You claim to have some expertise, where did you get it, % experience % study. What I mean by removing the lower back from the pedaling action is removing the necessity for the lower back to supply pedaling resistance and support the upper body weight. In your opinion what gym exercise machine(s) best demonstrate(s) the muscle(s) used by a rider when applying max pedal power during a time trial on a level road. You say you have a different style, what equipment demonstrates your technique under the same conditions. If I get a reply, I will name the equipment that corresponds to Anquetil's linear technique.
Hip extension is what you're arguing, and I don't disagree. What I'm saying is that in order for the hip muscles to fire, the core has to be strong enough for the hip muscles to work against. You can't fire a cannon form a canoe. Exercises for hip extension are numerous: standing hip machine, "hyperextensions", squats, dead lifts, Romanian dead lifts, Swiss ball bridges, step-ups, etc.

I have been a sports physician for almost 20 years (D.C.). I am an expert witness who testifies at trials on the topic of biomechanics and lumbar spine injuries, among others. I have worked with Olympic, professional, college and amateur athletes for over 20 years. I am currently a team physician for NCAA Cape Cod Baseball League, and have been invited to work with a professional cycing team who must remain nameless at this time.
 

n crowley

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CapeRoadster said:
Hip extension is what you're arguing, and I don't disagree. What I'm saying is that in order for the hip muscles to fire, the core has to be strong enough for the hip muscles to work against. You can't fire a cannon form a canoe. Exercises for hip extension are numerous: standing hip machine, "hyperextensions", squats, dead lifts, Romanian dead lifts, Swiss ball bridges, step-ups, etc.

I have been a sports physician for almost 20 years (D.C.). I am an expert witness who testifies at trials on the topic of biomechanics and lumbar spine injuries, among others. I have worked with Olympic, professional, college and amateur athletes for over 20 years. I am currebtly a team physician for NCAA Cape Cod Baseball League, and have been invited to work with a professional cycing team who must remain nameless at this time.


Like a parrot you keep repeating "you can't fire a cannon from a canoe". You are a jack of all sports and master of none. I did not ask what are the exercises for hip extensions. I'll repeat it, what specific item of gym equipment uses the same muscle power as a rider when applying max pedal power at 2 or 3 o'c ? and how does your application of pedal power differ at 2 or 3 o'c, you stated you pedaled differently from normal riders.
 

CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
Like a parrot you keep repeating "you can't fire a cannon from a canoe". You are a jack of all sports and master of none. I did not ask what are the exercises for hip extensions. I'll repeat it, what specific item of gym equipment uses the same muscle power as a rider when applying max pedal power at 2 or 3 o'c ? and how does your application of pedal power differ at 2 or 3 o'c, you stated you pedaled differently from normal riders.
And like a vertical learning curve you don't get it. I am sports medicine physician and know enough to know when you don't know something very important.

Your question is ill-conceived, since the question doesn't have anything to do with the discussion at hand. We were talking about the necessity of having a stong core to transfer power to the pedals. I don't really care to play your silly game. You show us the proof: the onus is on you, since you're making claims you can neither support with scientific evidence nor simple Englsh.

:eek:
 

n crowley

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CapeRoadster said:
NO! Impossible. It may be lessened, but not "completely removed". No way, not possible. Every biomechanics expert in the world is in agreement with me.


I believe you, they are in agreement with you and that explains why the same biomechanical medical and performance difficulties or problems which were present during the year 1900 are still in existance today. As you are not capable of answering that question on gym equipment, I will answer it for you. For normal pedaling style the leg press machine demonstrates the muscles used when max pedal power is being applied and for this exercise a back rest is vital when resistance is being supplied. For Anquetil's style the manner in which muscles are used is best explained by a special balanced mixture or combination of the seated upright leg extension and standing upright toe/calf raise machines in which the use of the lower back is excluded. Apart from the elimination of the lower back from the action, it is also important to note the range of the power application movement in both cases. All of which goes to prove the root cause of persistant "on the bike" lower back pain is completely eliminated. Q.E.D.
 

CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
I believe you, they are in agreement with you and that explains why the same biomechanical medical and performance difficulties or problems which were present during the year 1900 are still in existance today. As you are not capable of answering that question on gym equipment, I will answer it for you. For normal pedaling style the leg press machine demonstrates the muscles used when max pedal power is being applied and for this exercise a back rest is vital when resistance is being supplied. For Anquetil's style the manner in which muscles are used is best explained by a special balanced mixture or combination of the seated upright leg extension and standing upright toe/calf raise machines in which the use of the lower back is excluded. Apart from the elimination of the lower back from the action, it is also important to note the range of the power application movement in both cases. All of which goes to prove the root cause of persistant "on the bike" lower back pain is completely eliminated. Q.E.D.
You are absolutely wrong. Since cycling is an activity where the hips are flexed approximately 90 degrees when in the drops, the motion of any cyclist's pedaling has almost nothing to do with a standing calf raise or seated leg extension, including Anquetil's. Besides, a seated leg extension also requires adequate core strength.

Let me ask you something, Mr. Expert: Why haven't you published anywhere other then an internet cycling forum? If this is such astounding knowledge, I am sure cyclists would be trying to emulate Anquetil's style, and would have done so for years now. OOPS! Guess what? That isn't happening!

You haven't proved a damned thing.

Now it's time for your quiz:

What muscle must contract first in the body before ANY OTHER muscle can contract?
 

Abernathy

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Well, I can't even BLINK AN EYE unless my transversus abdominus is engaged...

Sorry to butt in. I was like a kid in a classroom with his hand up and not getting the attention I so craved.
Promise I'll just keep listening for a while!
 

CapeRoadster

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n crowley said:
The heart muscles.
Wrong! The heart muscle could be in-between contractions while you're blinking an eye, but not this one.

Let me clarify, what skeletal muscle must contract before you can blink an eye?