Neck and headaches post ride

Lee_M

Guru
As the title says, after a ride I am getting massive headaches, brought on I think by neck stiffness, and when I say massive I mean it puts me to bed for the rest of the day, ice packs, pain killers, the lot.

Ive tried exercises, both before and after a ride, far too many painkillers, (and also no pain killers - same result), massage, acupuncture, and I ve also tried specific neck exercises to build up my neck. I drink plenty on my rides and also use electrolite drinks and take food with me

None of it works, to the point that I now dread riding as I know the rest of the day will be agony and a wasted day.

I've had several bike fits, and tweaked my position in various ways, but nothing works, I have a neck support I sleep in, and use neck pillows, and I have a traction device arriving from amazon today.

I'm at my wits end with it now, and my wife is getting worked up that its something serious (like cancer) - it isn't as I've been checked out, but has anyone got any ideas before I give up completely or resort to a recumbent (please god no)
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Go see a doctor or better a physio to get diagnosis (and even a referral to a specialist neurosurgeon for an MRI if it isn’t just muscular)
If muscular/postural, maybe get more regular proper deep tissue sports massage :okay:
Have you tried heat packs several times a day followed by gentle mobilisation? Voltaren gel rubbed into the affected muscles in spasm?

How old are you? Does it only happen after cycling?
 
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OP
Lee_M

Lee_M

Guru
Go see a doctor or better a physio to get diagnosis (and even a referral to a specialist neurosurgeon for an MRI if it isn’t just muscular)
If muscular/postural, maybe get more regular proper deep tissue sports massage :okay:
Have you tried heat packs several times a day followed by gentle mobilisation? Voltaren gel rubbed into the affected muscles in spasm?

How old are you? Does it only happen after cycling?
Seen my gp previously - no help, will he asking for a referral when Im sllowed to see them again.

Yep seen physio lots and done lots of exercises and doesnt help, also lots of deep tissue done with no effect either.
And heat packs, and ice packs.

Generally about 3 hours after cycling.

I'm 58 so generally at the worn out body stage.

I guess I'm looking for a miracle to stop me just giving up cycling
 

Moodyman

Guru
You say it happens after about 3 hours. Have you looked up Shermer's neck? It's a condition that plagues many long distance cyclists. Could your symptoms be a prelude to this?

Common neck pain can also be silly things like too long a reach or wearing a peaked cap which forces you to raise your neck to see ahead.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Seen my gp previously - no help, will he asking for a referral when Im sllowed to see them again.

Yep seen physio lots and done lots of exercises and doesnt help, also lots of deep tissue done with no effect either.
And heat packs, and ice packs.

Generally about 3 hours after cycling.

I'm 58 so generally at the worn out body stage.

I guess I'm looking for a miracle to stop me just giving up cycling
Can you just do more shorter rides?
3 hours would leave a lot of cyclists with a sore neck!
Can you raise the bars on your bike? Do you wear a helmet as that may be affecting the angle of your neck.
How’s your core strength?

you can still talk to your GP and request a referral to a specialist
 

Mo1959

Legendary Member
I suffer a bit too. I blame wear and tear in my neck discs. Road bike is probably slightly worse, but even the hybrid can set it off too on a longer ride. Without being aware of it, I sometimes hunch my shoulders and feel tense and when I remember I concentrate on relaxing and it helps a bit.

I've also gone through hundreds of pounds worth of pillows! Currently using a Tempurpedic shaped one which I will stick with as it's about the best so far.
 
OP
Lee_M

Lee_M

Guru
Can you just do more shorter rides?
3 hours would leave a lot of cyclists with a sore neck!
Can you raise the bars on your bike? Do you wear a helmet as that may be affecting the angle of your neck.
How’s your core strength?

you can still talk to your GP and request a referral to a specialist
Sadly I've already reduced my rides down to about 90 minutes and still get it.

Yep my core is rubbish and working on that.

Ive got several bikes (obviously) and get it on all of them, despite very different setups.

Yes my intention is to see my gp, but I've just moved and I can't see a gp until I've seen the practice nurse and the practice nurse isnt seeing anyone due to covid (its north wales, they don't do joined up thinking!)
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
I had very similar fairly consistently on my old Giant; turns out the geometry was really quite aggressive with a lot of reach to low bars with a lot of drop./ I think causing too much neck angle and weight on the hands. I fitted some less severe bars (shorter reach and less drop), and a shorter, flipped stem to further reduce the reach and increase the stack) - pretty much killed it.

Also be mindful of your posture - try to remain relaxed with bent elbows and a gentle grip on the bars; tensing up for long periods will make the muscles uncomfortable in their own right; on top of the greater potential for shock transfer.

Good luck ;)
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
A photo from the side of you sat on your bike looking down the road would help a lot. You shouldn’t be worn out at 58.
57 here and starting to suffer more with neck and upper shoulder pain. Just think various amounts of damage is starting to catch-up with me. Syill good for 100 milers tho...but have had to raise bars and shorten reach....
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Without starting a massive debate - do you use a helmet on these rides? If so, you might want to try without.
I had the problem with the first helmet that I owned. That old helmet weighed about double what modern helmets do. It is surprising how much difference a couple of hundred grams makes. (400-odd rather than 200-odd.) I don't get it with the current helmet.
 
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