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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Tips for Avoiding Back Pain When Cycling

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Fri, May 16, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

back painWhen you suffer from back pain it can take the enjoyment out of just about everything. Once you suffer from back pain it is likely that the pain will be reoccurring. When back pain strikes it can lead to a number of responses on your part, with a few of them being:

  • Withdrawing from hobbies or interests which may irritate your back or be hard to enjoy with pain
  • Enduring a great deal of suffering and uncomfortableness when back pain occurs
  • Taking charge and finding ways to improve your posture and back strength to avoid back pain

It has been reported that more than 70% of people will likely suffer from back pain during some period. Exercise is often said to be a good way to help prevent flair ups, although some people find that cycling actually brings on their back pain. Luckily, there are some things you can do to avoid back pain while you are cycling.

How Can Cycling lead to Increased Back Pain?

Cycling is considered to be a leg-based form of exercise. However, when you are cycling you are actually using many other muscles. Such joints as your knees, hips, and ankles may be the primary joints involved and muscles such as the calves, gluts, and quads are also used, but your upper body is also involved. When you cycle, you will experience a pulling motion in which your leg requires the use of your hip flexor muscle to push down on the pedal. This same muscle is also directly connected to your lumbar spine.

When other muscles used start to tire, such as your obliques and quadratus lumborum, your smaller core muscles will step in to compensate. This can lead to a muscle strain and you experiencing back pain while cycling. It’s important to learn what you can do to avoid back pain by learning techniques you can use when cycling.

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What Can a Person do to Avoid Back Pain when they are Cycling?

One of the first steps you can take to avoid back pain when you cycle is to be sure your bike is a proper fit for you. It also needs to be set for your range of motion. If you are trying out a cycle, you really need to be on it for a good length of time.

You Want to Use the Following Approximate Guide to Set up your Cycle Correctly:

The Seat Height: You want your seat to be adjusted so when the ball of your foot is on the middle of the cycles pedal your knee will be slightly flexed.

The forwards and backwards position of the seat: When the ball of your foot is on the middle of the pedal in the front and the pedals are horizontal, you want your kneecap to be over the pedal spindle.

The height of the handlebar: When it comes to the height of your handlebar, it will greatly depend on your own preference. Most cyclists prefer their handlebar to be set at anywhere from 0 to 10 cm below the height of their seat. In order to avoid back pain, you may want to try them a bit raised.

The width of the handlebar: You should set your handlebar width to the width of your shoulders.

The handlebar-saddle distancing: This can depend on your own posture and abilities. First, begin with your hands on the low part of your handlebar with your upper arm about 10 degrees from the vertical position with your forearms at about 45 degrees from the horizontal position.

The foot position: You want the ball of your foot to be over the middle of your pedal spindle and your foot aligned with the direction of your cycle.

Are There Other Things That Can Be Done To Avoid Back Pain When Cycling?

Yes, there are other things you can do in order to avoid back pain while you are cycling. You can have another person watch you while you cycle. You want to ask them if your knees are moving out. Also, ask if your hips tilt or they notice your body is swaying over toward one side. You want to be sure you are using correct posture at all times to avoid back pain.

If you aren’t able to find someone to watch you, then you can video tape yourself. You can also set your cycle up in front of the mirror so you can observe yourself. If you find you are suffering from acute back pain then it is always advisable for you to make an appointment with a qualified professional. Cycling can be a great exercise for you once you do your part to avoid back pain.

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Topics: Back Pain Tips, Back Pain, exercises & stretches, back exercises, exercises for back pain relief, exercise back pain, cycling