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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Avoid Back Pain While Riding Your Bike

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 01:53 PM

Bikes and Back PainIt’s perfect weather out to get on your bike and exercise. The lower back muscles are very strong. These muscles have to hold your spine and pelvis in place.  If you overwork the muscles in the lower back the trunk of your body will weaken.

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What is causing my back pain and what can I do to fix it?

  • Avoid riding bikes that are too big for you. Take the time to purchase a bike that it fitted to your body size.
  • According to a study 70% of cyclist overextend the area between their pelvis and the lower end of the spine.
  • Core strength is very important in lower back pain. Your core strength includes your back muscles. These muscles all work together to give your core stability. Focus on strengthening your core when your working and that will help with your lower back pain.
  • Injury! If you favor one side of your body due to an injury this will cause back pain. The imbalance in your spine can cause the lower back to be overused and strained.
  • Having poor spinal health due to bad posture (on and off the bike) can cause lower back pain while riding.
  • Lack of flexibility can contribute to lower back pain while riding a bike. Stretch and avoid tightness in your hamstrings and legs.
  • Avoid raising handlebars so that your spine is in an upright position. A straight back doesn't allow any give when you hit road bumps, and will only make your vertebrae jam together, which will aggravate existing back pain.
  • Riding style can cause lower back pain especially when climbing or changing big gears. The angle of your back is increasing and decreasing causing a strain on your back.
  • Make sure your seat is in the right position. Tilt the front tip of your saddle down about 10 to 15 degrees. This little adjustment will pressure off your pelvis and lower spine.
  • Seat height should be so that your down leg is fully extended when the heel of that foot is on the pedal in the 6 o'clock position. Have the ball of that foot on the pedal; there should be a slight bend in your knee in the down position.
  • Don’t lock your knees! Having your knees lock can cause injury and an upsetting feeling in your lower back.
  • On a road bike or hybrid make sure the bar is 1-2 inches from your crotch. On a mountain bike make sure the bar is 3-6 inches from your crotch.
  • Reduce peddling up hills because it can cause a backward slanting of the pelvis that will then strain your back muscles.
  • Always take breaks!
  • Always stretch before doing any sort of exercise! After long bike rides make sure to stretch again; focus on your lower back, hips, legs, and hamstrings.
  • Drink water!!!  

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Topics: Back Pain Tips, back pain relief tips, avoid back pain, tips for lower back pain, exercises for lower back pain, bike riding, lower back pain causes