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Lower back pain

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Yellow Fang, 30 Mar 2008.

  1. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    When I'm out cycling for quite a long time, say over thirty miles, my lower back tends to start hurting. It's nearly always on the left hand side of my lower back. Does anyone know what might be the cause and how to improve it?
     
  2. mcd

    mcd Well-Known Member

    I had a similar sounding problem with my back. Got it looked at, and the verdict was something to do with facet joints. The bit that hurts is the muscles around one of the vertebrae stiffening up to protect the joint. Or something like that.

    I found that anti-inflammatories, a bit of stretching, walking, swimming & rock climbing (badly) all helped loosen the sore area of my back which stopped it hurting. As for cycling, I used it as an excuse to get a recumbent. No more problems with my back when I cycle - but now I've got to something about the silly grin. :smile:
     
  3. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Could be numerous things: As MCD says, get it looked at. Find a good Osteopath to sort out the joints, then a physio to sort out the muscles or again, as MCD says, some stretching and other excercise can help.

    Nothing worse than niggling back pain. Took me about three years to sort mine out. One good Osteopath was what finally did it, combined with regular excercise and stretching/tai chi - don't ignore it!
     
  4. longers

    longers Veteran

    Without recourse to practitioners I have got rid of lower back pain for myself by inverting the stem*. It would only kick in after 50 miles or so and the more hilly the ride the worse it was but my riding position was not upright enough on longer rides.

    This may not work for you but only my personal experience.

    *This was the only bike in the last ten years I haven't done this on and the only bike that's given me the lower back pain. Not any more though.
     
  5. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    Are you carrying a rucksack?
     
  6. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    No, I was out on a 50 mile training ride with my tri club. I only tend to get it when cycling quite long distances on my road bike. I wondered whether the frame was too big or something.
     
  7. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    Location:
    Mlehworld
    it could very well be muscular. Yoga, pliates etc could work but then so could some good old fashioned sit-ups.
    Of course i'm suggesting stretching. I reckon it works. some don't.
     
  8. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    I used to get it on a bike that was too large for me, i.e. reach too long and overstretched... (Oh, and on my first bike where the saddle height was way too low :girl:)
     
  9. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    This might be stating the blindingly obvious, Yellow Fang, but do make sure that your bike is correctly set up for you - size, reach, posture etc. - before you invest in physios and osteopaths. All the exercises in the world aren't going to help if you have the bars too low or the stem too long.

    There are lots of websites with this info, or you could splash out on a professional bike fitting for the cost of a couple of physio sessions.
     
  10. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Agreed.

    Also, make sure lower back is kept warm. Spin the pedals rather than grind a high gear. Get a larger saddle that allows you to move around on it rather than rigidly fixed in one position, Fizik Arione or my unfasionable (on a road-bike) Brooks B17 are long and allow much more movement to help the back muscles.
    But most of all, get your positioning right relative to the pedals first and then adjust the bars to fit you.
    There is no one best riding position IMO. The position that makes me go fastest over a 10 mile TT or club night is not the same position on the bike I'd use for a 100 miler.
    Stretch hamstrings regularly.
     
  11. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    had a spell of this recently, whacked the seat up quite a bit higher and it vanished
     
  12. nom de plum

    nom de plum New Member

    Location:
    wilmslow ches.
    orrrr...
    it might just be your general core fitness
    I used to get very painful lower back ache a few years ago, especially when climbing steep hills. The more I practiced hills the less the pain. I also swim and do a bit in the gym... I don't get it any more

    Steve
     
  13. yello

    yello Guru

    I'm hoping that's my problem.

    I did a brisk-ish (for me!) hilly 50km yesterday and my back was aching like buggery at around 30km. This on a bike set up for me (ok, 3 years ago!) and that I have ridden for literally thousands of miles without pain. So I got off, and used my banana break as an excuse to stretch a bit. The rest of the ride was flatter and I had no further pain though it remained niggling.

    Still niggling today so I'm staying off the bike to rest it (and watching the Giro on the box :becool: ). I'm hoping it's just my lack of core strength and nothing else.