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By ChiefHoser (Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 03:49:43 AM EST) (all tags)
Question that concerns biking.


I bike quite regularly (almost exclusively road biking), I have a decent length ride to and from work and I also regularly go out on decent length rides on the weekend. Other than my ass getting sore after a long ride I never had much of a problem other than getting tired (in great shape I am not).  Recently my back has been starting to bother me fairly early on in a ride, perhaps 16km in or so where this was never a problem.

I have not switched bikes, or tires, or changed the height of my seat or handle bars (the first thing I checked to see if this was the issue). I have the same handle bar grips.  I have no history of back problems, have not injured myself recently, etc. etc. I am at a loss to explain why all of a sudden my back is starting to bother me. 

Anybody have any ideas as to what the problem might be?  I am not old enough for my back to be giving out so I highly doubt that is the problem.

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Ask Husi: biking | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Backs are weird by motty (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:06:46 AM EST
Mine started giving out when I was eighteen and working on a date plantation on a kibbutz. A lot of the back exercises I was told by doctors to do then turn out to be very similiar to a lot of the yoga I've been doing more recently, and when I stop doing yoga, the back is the first place I feel it. So I have no idea what is up with your back, but would recommend (gentle) yoga as a way of making sure your back stays exercised. Or some other specific back exercises. Hopefully that would stop it playing up when your cycling (which doesn't directly exercise your back, iirc).

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T
what part? by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:09:19 AM EST
also, have you been particularly tense lately? occasionally, when i'm stressed, physical activity or holding myself in a certain way (like it may on a bike) can make the muscles tighten up.

however, if its a deeper pain and doesnt just feel like muscle ache, that's a bit different.

that's just back advice. i've had a bad back for about 3 years now. i haven't been biking that long.
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Back by ChiefHoser (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:14:18 AM EST
It is just in the lower back, and isn't overly painful, but it is something.  More of an ache, almost as if I had twisted it (which to my memory I have not).  The ache goes away pretty quickly after I stop biking.  I just can't figure out why all of a sudden there is a problem where there never used to be one.
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Chiefhoser
[ Parent ]
i dunno. by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 10:53:29 AM EST
sounds sorta just like muscle fatigue. maybe see if there are short exercises you can try to tighten those up?
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[ Parent ]
I couldn't tell you the exact problem. by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:25:13 AM EST

But, as we age, we tend to loosen up any muscles that aren't continually worked. For myself, road biking is only possible AT ALL if I do a lot of crunches before, and a lot of crunches after. This exercises the front muscles that correspond to the back muscles that are continually tense during a road ride.

A lot is a relative term here. If I'm going to spend an hour in the saddle, sixty crunches before and sixty after will do. If I'm going to spend five hours in the saddle, a hundred or more is pretty much required. And if it starts to bother me mid-ride, I'll stop somewhere and do a few more. Not only do they give the body some semblance of balance, they also help loosen up the back a bit.

If you're already a crunch maniac, then I don't know what to tell you.

Crunches by ChiefHoser (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:27:58 AM EST
I do crunches daily, but not incredible numbers of them.  That was a first thought I had, was that my ab muscles were weakening (or something) so that more strain was being placed on my back.  This caused me to up the crunches, but so far it hasn't helped noticeably.
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Chiefhoser
[ Parent ]
Might just be age then. by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:39:11 AM EST

I would recommend trying a chiropractor, but some of them actually make biking related back stress worse. If you lived closer, I'd know exactly which ones to direct you to.

Any minor tweak of the lower back can really flock you up on a road bike.

One other thing to consider, have you changed brand or type of biking shorts lately? I've heard the subtle difference in chamois between brands can be enough of a change to have to modify seat height.

[ Parent ]
Shorts by ChiefHoser (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:46:35 AM EST
Well, that is the only thing that has changed. I just assumed that the miniscule different from one type to another wouldn't make a difference, but I guess at this point I shouldn't discount anything.

On the other hand, maybe this is the excuse to convince the wife that I need a new bike.
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Chiefhoser

[ Parent ]
Maybe. by Awakened Dreamer (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 04:59:41 AM EST

But check the chamois for your own piece of mind. If there's a difference in them, you'd notice it first in the lower back. And if you've changed them, then had back problems, that's the first place to look.

[ Parent ]
Ask Husi: biking | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback