Would you ride with lower back pain?

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by RSSrsvp, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. RSSrsvp

    RSSrsvp New Member

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    I bent over this morning to just pick up a piece of paper and felt a sharp pain in the left side of my lower back. It has been sore ever since, but I can walk upright. Would you ride under those circumstances?
     
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  2. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    No. You'll regret it if you do. Stretch your hamstrings and calves and try to rest the back. Give it a least a few days before riding. Ibuprofen helps too.

    good luck!
     
  3. RSSrsvp

    RSSrsvp New Member

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    I figured that would be the answer.
    I have naproxen at home. I will start it immediately.
     
  4. meb

    meb New Member

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    No. You hurt your back, that can easily turn into a chronic condition. Rest the back. Friday, I took the day off from cycling for that very reason. I'll be back at it Saturday.
     
  5. drserena

    drserena New Member

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    He's right....rest and also alternate ice/heat/ice. Correct the problem...quit trying to cover up the symptoms. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory which will subdue inflammation that contributes to pain which will help more than Naproxen, but it doesn't correct the problem. Naproxen is just a pain killer. If you get rid of the pain or wait for it to subside without taking care of the actual reason why it started in the first place, the problem could still remain and eventually turn into a BIG problem. Get a massage and get in to see a chiropractor, as they are knowledgable in evaluating and correcting the actual cause of low back and sports associated injuries naturally rather than covering up symptoms. Lance Armstrong and many other professional athletes are huge advocates of chiropractic and rely on it to keep them structurally aligned in the prevention and treatment of injury. Its part of the reason why he does so well. Muscles are under the control of nerves and are attached to bones and vice versa so both the muscles, bones, and nerves need to be addressed.

    Seek out a doctor of chiropractic that specializes in kinesiology (muscle testing). Often these types will also incorporate physical therapy techniques and home rehab suggestions post treatment.

    Hope this helps.

    Dr. Serena
    Denver
     
  6. RSSrsvp

    RSSrsvp New Member

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    I took the naproxen, iced, applied heat and also stretched like crazy. This morning while doing side to side stretching I felt something pop back into place in my sacroiliac joint. Since then the pain has slowly disappeared. I will attempt a ride tomorrow on fairly level terrain if I feel ok in the morning. I sincerely appreciate the feedback given by everyone.
     
  7. pinoy

    pinoy New Member

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    This is just my reactions to your post and not a diagnosis. Sharp pain is an indication of nerve involvement outside the spinal column. It could be a nerve irritation along the "Paralumbo-sacral" area, depending on the pattern of the pain. One of the major causes of LBP is wrong posture and muscle imbalace along that region. You can check with your doc and ask him if he can give you some referrals to a Physical Therapy clinic for further eval. In the meantime you can apply heat or ice which ever helps you. Whenever you pick up stuff from the floor dont bend over instead bend your knees and lower your body.;)



    Pinoy P.T.;)
     
  8. RSSrsvp

    RSSrsvp New Member

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    I am wondering whether this had anything to do with the soreness that I experienced in my right hamstring a liitle while ago? Could I have over compensated for this and thrown my left SI joint out of place?
     
  9. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

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    Hi,
    it really depends how bad it is, really.
    I picked up a new bike from the workshop a few weeks ago and rode it home like a mad man. The next day, I was, well... bike shaped. :eek:
    The pain was unbearable at first, but I realised that the only position that didn't hurt too much was when I was riding. So, very carefully, I did a bit of streching and got back on the saddle and made sure to stretch and wiggle about a bit. :eek:
    Very quickly, it proved to be the right answer. A lot back pain is just muscular and can be easily cured with a bit of mild stretching and VERY gentle exercise. Saying that, it all depends how bad the pain is: If you find it's so bad you can't ride, then consider seeing a chiropractor (spelling?)
    But many people think I'm some sort of bike masochist, so... :D

    Let me know how you're getting on.
    f.

     
  10. drdrtony

    drdrtony New Member

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    NO! Two years ago this month I was biking around 6,000 mi/year. For several weeks in May I had lower back pain, but pressed on. In fact, biking sometimes made it feel a bit better. Then, in early June I took a day off because it was hurting. Next day my left leg buckled on me and I had extreme pain in my lower back. To make a long story short, the next day my wife called 911. Four paramedics and eight shots of morphine later I was in the ER with a herniated disk at L4. That was the worst pain I have ever experienced! After an overnight stay at the hospital I went home. Couldn't walk 75 yards. Started physical therapy about four weeks later and some 3 mile rides about a month after that. Physical therapist said my recovery was fast because I was in good shape from biking. However, my previous biking had overstrengthened hamstrings and other muscles pulling the whole lower back out of whack. I now do a series of exercises to strengthen the antagonist muscles as well as post-ride stretches. I got back up to 4,500 miles last year and am on track for maybe 5,000 this year. However, I do have some permanent nerve damage in my left leg (numbness on the outside left) but it does not affect my cycling. I am 60 years old and I guess I just didn't believe that age might catch up with me since I was cycling well. Don't push your luck. Believe me, you do NOT want a herniated disk! Get it checked out!! Good luck!!!
     
  11. CharlesR

    CharlesR New Member

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    I ride with back pain every day. I herniated two disks, something you really don't want to do. Had the whole numb feet, calves with the odd bit of toothache like pain thrown in. Tried all the physical therapy nothing worked. Finally broke down and had discectomies and now everything that used to be numb is painful. I don't consider it a very good swap, but I still ride 6-7000 miles a year a lot slower and not as big of gears as I used to. So take it from someone who has been to the darkside, if it is still hurting in a few days get it looked at. Stay off the bike or at least only ride nice and easy. You really have to take care of your back it is a very important piece of equipment and when it goes life is not very pleasant.
     
  12. drserena

    drserena New Member

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    Hi there,
    In regards to the right hamstring affecting the left sacroilliac joint. Yes, possible. How? A sore muscle is not in a "supportive" state. As a kinesiologist and a doctor of chiropractic I can share what I see but may not be consistent for you. Generally a sore muscle will present as weak and spasmed. The other side or the same side will usually be affected to some degree or manner, altering muscles hypertonicity and strength on the opposite side as well as bone alignment, to then create joint dysfunction and then possibly disc involvement or nerve impingement. Every person is different. Bending over and feeling the sharp pain is a classic presentation I see but is not the start of symptoms usually. Sharp can mean many things-nerve, disc, bone, joint, arthritis, fracture, pathology, muscle, etc. Sharpness is not alone a muscle problem....more often if a muscle is sharp its due to altered bone and joint dysfunction. Both should be corrected appropriately. The problem is usually there for some time and all it takes is putting the body in just the wrong position at the right time to cause "dis-ease".

    It would be important to address this soon, as after 48 hours the body develops memory cells to the positioning and sets up inflammatory reactions that begin laying down scar tissue. If you decide to try chiropactic, generally a very thorough history will be taken followed by a diagnostic exam to evaluate for vertebral misalignment, muscular involvement, nerve impingement, disc involvment, etc. Even many disc cases can be treated conservatively with chiropractic. Some chiropractors just treat the spine. Others treat the spine, extremities, muscles, perform rehab and therapy, prescribe nutrition, etc. Since your a cyclist, maybe you'd be a fit with someone who specializes in sports injuries as well. Chiropractors also work with other healthcare providers to do what's best for you.

    I had a patient that was a duathloner that continued to race with low back/sacroilliac pain and he fractured his sacrum during the race....pain doesn't mean "work through it". If your bike was making screeching or grinding noises, would you continue biking until it goes away? If you want to be sure your cycling when your 65, keep moving but don't bike as it puts your spine in a compromised position.
     
  13. big-o

    big-o New Member

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    Hi, I have chronic lower back pain, due to a scoliosis in my spine. However I also damaged my knees badly so that I cannot run or jump very much without that getting real sora. Since I love to do sports the knee issue pretty much had me driven to my bike. I love it, but I have to take it easy usually, I am now training my abs and back muscles in order to support the bike position. seeing a chiropractor wil help absolutely, I do it myself about twice a year. but as one of the people earlier on already mentioned you have to work on the issue and that is the back muscles and the abs. If you have those trained properly they will pick up the forces from the exercise and not the spine and pelvis bones.
    So start working the abs muscles, I hate it, but it works!

    good luck!
     
  14. n crowley

    n crowley New Member

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    Why do so many cyclists suffer from lower back pain ?
    Because the natural lazy pedalling styles including circular and mashing force the lower back to supply most of the pedalling resistance. There is only one sure way of eliminating cycling's back pain, in the same way as weightlifters let the hips, thighs and arms do all the work and keep their backs free from strain, cyclists can do the same with the linear pedalling style. High gears need not be a cause of back pain, if they are, they are simply demonstrating and magnifying the already existing faults in the style of pedalling that you are using. With the correct technique, the higher the gear used, the more beneficial it can be to the lower back. It should be a case of back to the drawing board for all researchers in this area.
     
  15. hawkwind dave

    hawkwind dave New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Having read this thread, it got me to wondering how is it best to set my bike up (saddle, bars, stem) with regards tio the best position for my back. I've searched for this before, but the majority of info is along the lines of setting up a bike for the tour de france, or down hill mountain biking and not for long term comfort.

    Any info would be much appreciated :)

    cheers, dave
     
  16. waterford

    waterford New Member

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    I ride to alleviate my low back pain -- and my neck and shoulder pain as well. Riding is one of the few activities that actually relieves the pain. I been to the usual array of docs -- a chiropractor, family doc, neurosurgeon, sports medicine, neurologist, plus four great physical therapists. Almost to a man, they agree -- get your pain checked, and then, if you can ride comfortably, do so. They point out that for some cyclists, the pain increases. These individuals should stop. But if the pain decreases, isn't that better than Vicodin and Naproxin? I must say that all of my problems are due to severe degenerative disc disease. My 60-year-old spine looks on X-ray to be about 80. At one point, my PT asked me to ride for him, simply because he didn't believe that I could ride a road bike. But I can, partly because it is a bit more upright, a la Rivendale, with a larger frame and a higher stem. For example, I'll be at RAGBRAI next month. With my doc's blessing. How that's for riding with back pain?

    So I am riding proof that back pain does not necessarily mean the end of riding. Try to find a doc who exercises or treats athletes. They have a better sense of when to stop and when to start exercise. If you get the OK, then listen to your body. It might tell you some nice things.
     
  17. big-o

    big-o New Member

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    My lower back pain stems from a long time ago way before I was riding the roadbike I have now. Ik is something from that lingers ever since i had a growth spurt in my teens, not from riding the bike. However, I am very interested in that linearpedalling style you talk about, where do i find more info on that.
     
  18. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    It is true that a lot of cyclists have a poor pedalling style, but that is not the only cause of back pain. Is linear pedalling the only answer? I don't think that I use it but my back is very strong and free from pain, which I attribute to the benefits of cycling.
     
  19. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    That does depend so much on the type of riding that you do. The ideal aero position on a short wheelbase road bike is not either the most comfortable or the best for efficient pedalling, but it does let you go faster.
    When speed and therefore air resistance are not the overriding concerns your upper body should be relaxed.
     
  20. n crowley

    n crowley New Member

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    Natural pedalling puts the lower back under continuous strain but if you have a perfect lower back it should be able to cope with that strain if you stay clear of the very high gears. It is those with the imperfect lower backs that suffer the torture and further injury which has forced many out of the sport.
     
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