Neck pain

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by oneear, 10 Jun 2008.

  1. oneear

    oneear New Member

    Hi Guys,

    I am a recent convert to the cycle at a lardy 40. Doing ok except for neck pain / upper shoulder blade area. I have tried all sorts of adjustments but today after a 4 hour ride its burning! I suspect my handlebars need to be wider as I am broad (48" chest) and feel hunched up but as I am running a cheap roadie for six months upgrading seems pointless. I wondered if anyone with a similar problem had met any success with clip ons? All advice welcomed....

  2. Royalrider

    Royalrider Senior Member

    I get exactly the same sort of pain. It starts(very hard to tell) about the fourth vertebrae down and always radiates left, out and just below the shoulder blade and burns like hell. I ride two bikes,not at the same time!! one a mountain bike and the other a drop bar tourer and it happens on both. I also get the same pain when I play the drums for more than about an hour, as I do in a band occasionally these days. So I don't think it is necessarily the bike but more the shoulders forward and head upright position riding any bike will force you into.
    I put mine down to possible whiplash from a car accident. Could yours be the same?
  3. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    I used to get that and eventually realised it was down to an old muscle injury by the right shoulder blade. OTH not everybody who gets neck pain can have an old injury. You can get rubber bar end covers which are ergonomically shaped to give your hands a more natural grip on the bars. Otherwise it might be an idea to check with your local LBS that your bar width is optimal for your build. I permanently got rid of my neck strain by getting a recumbent but that could perhaps be regarded as a somewhat drastic step.
  4. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    The most likely explanation, i.e. the one to look at first, is that the bike is the wrong size or set up wrongly for you. There are lots of bike fitting sites on t'Internet although Sheldon Brown's website is a good place to start for all things cycling -

    IIRC the recommended width for road bars is the same as your collarbone, nick to nick.
  5. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Don't want to sound unhelpful, but you say you are a recent convert to cycling and your neck hurt after four hours?

    Have you been building up to this length of time in the saddle? The reason I ask is that neck pain is fairly common amongst cyclists and not just down to set up. I can get a stiff neck if I up my time in the saddle suddenly.

    It may just be that you have to strengthen up the specific muscles that support your head in the unusual cycling position. There was an article about pilates in Cycling Weekly's Spring supplement that showed how to strengthen your core muscles (the Cobra position is good for the neck). C+ did something similar too.

    Simply cycling more with get your body used to it too. Also relaxing your shoulders, spending some time looking just in front of your wheel rather than straight ahead and shifting position on the bars will all help.

    So if your setup seems okay then it may just be a matter of strengthening up.
  6. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    You're new to the game and you have a 4-hour ride? It seems quite a long time to be riding for. How's the pain (if any) after a half-hour ride, for example?

    No offence, but maybe it's a matter of building up your strength/stamina over time.
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    my fit at Condor got me wider bars, I'm 6'2" and fairly wide shouldered

    not saying that's what it though, I be guessing at your posture on the bikes, so saddle height and position relative to the handlebars
  8. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    Are you gripping the handle bars real tight? that could be the reason for the stiff shoulders
  9. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    One way of alleviating neck pain is not to look straight ahead, but to cock the head slightly to one side. I used to get the same pain but tilting/cocking my head helped. I alternate sides. You quickly get used to it.

    I also get very stiff thoracic vertebrae. My osteo recommended a self-manipulation for this: loosely clasp the fingers at the back of the neck, with elbows pointing forward, then describe figures-of-eight in the air in front of your face with your pointed elbows. Loosens up the vertebrae and makes me more comfortable.
  10. OP

    oneear New Member

    Thank you

    Thanks for the feedback. I had a chat with a physio at work today who has reccomended raising the handlebars and stretches to do whilst in the saddle. I have built up to the 4 hours over about eight weeks usually doing 23 miles a few times a week over 1hour 10mins. the longer ride was accompanying a mad friend who is riding coast to coast this weekend on his final "steady warm up". Rather him than me.......:wacko:
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