Cyclers' Lower Back Pain: Causes and Prevention
Many people find that riding a bicycle or motorcycle is a thrilling way to spend their time. Riders experience a rush of excitement and an incredible sense of freedom when they are out on the open road.
Even though it's a lot of fun, cycling can be tough on your back, particularly if you already had some back problems before you started riding a bike or motorcycle. A motorcycle back brace would be a great help for cycling lovers.
In a study that polled more than 1,200 novice Italian cyclists in 2021 and was published in the “Journal Sports Medicine” discovered that more than 55% of respondents had experienced lower back pain at some point in their lives, more than 26% had in the previous year, and nearly 11% had in the previous four weeks.
What Causes Lower Back Pain Among Cyclists?
Cycling has a lower injury rate than many other sports, but riders still need to take care of their backs. Back pain is certainly the most typical complaint among cyclists.
- Poor Bike Fit, such as an uneven saddle or wrong saddle height
- When the knee bends less than 25% at the end of the stroke, the rider must shake their pelvis from side to side in order to generate enough power at the bottom of the stroke. stressing the low back's muscles
- Cycling with handlebars that are too far forward can strain the low back.
- Too much hip flexion puts the lower back in flexion and compromises the ability of the core abdominal muscles to function effectively.
- Utilizing large gears, or a slow pace, a speed of 90 RPM is ideal. Your back muscles are put under more strain by additional force at a slower pace.
- Lack of hamstring length causes the spine to rotate into flexion and pulls on the pelvis.
- Having weak core muscles puts extra strain on the lower back
- For bikers with aerodynamic bars in particular, the position on the bicycle when the neck is arched back might cause neck and upper back pain.
- The spine is exposed to more jerking and compression over uneven terrain, which can result in back pain.
- Length of weekly cycling
Prevention and Tips for Lower Back Pain Among Cyclists
When it comes to discomfort that is caused by sports or other activities, prevention is the key. Before beginning any plan for cycling or going on a ride of considerable distance, make sure to prepare yourself with the right training and equipment.
According to experts such as Noah Porter, MD, an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, there are several effective steps in order to prevent cycling related back pain.
It is going to be the first thing that the majority of folks who work in the medical sector are going to tell you for a good reason. In most cases, rest is effective, at least in the short term. If not, then try be careful not to let yourself become too inactive; instead, think about engaging in some lighter, lower-impact activity like walking or using an elliptical machine.
Using Cold and Heat Pads for 2 Days
If there is inflammation in the back or the pain is quite severe, applying ice for a few days followed by hot packs, heating pads, or warm washcloths can be beneficial. You are free to begin applying heat if you do not find that ice provides any help.
Proper Saddle and Handles
Incorrect setups of the saddle and handles not only reduce the amount of work you can get done on the bike, but they also pull your body out of the neutral alignment that is essential for avoiding injury. If your saddle is excessively high, it may cause your hips to rock from side to side, most often without your awareness. When the pedal is at its most forward position, your knee should have a minor bend in it, between 25 and 35 degrees of flexion. If these factors are addressed it will lessen the possibility of having back pain. Additionally, A trip to a bicycle store will be well worth your time because the experts there are able to evaluate your gear, provide recommendations for optimizing or changing your gear, and examine any potential safety risks.
Work Your Core
When you're on a bike, your core acts as the foundation. If you have a weak core, the muscles in your lower back may try to compensate by working harder than they need to, which can lead to overwork, stress on the joints and ligaments within your spine which may cause stiffness and pain.
Using Motorcycle Back Brace
Some riders find that wearing a motorcycle back brace while riding is useful in reducing the amount of discomfort they experience and the amount of exhaustion they experience. Motorcycle back braces can protect your back by absorbing a significant amount of the vibrations caused by driving and by helping to keep your back in a stable position.
Boost the Suspension
Your bike's suspension, or its ability to absorb shocks, can have a surprising effect on your low back pain, especially if you ride on surfaces other than smooth roads. This is especially true for riders who regularly engage in off-road riding. These violent movements can be particularly stressful on muscles that are already in a completely contracted state. You can purchase equipment at the local bike shop, such as padded bike shorts or tires with a greater tread depth. Riding on terrain that is less bumpy is also beneficial.
Do Pre-ride Stretching
Tight hamstrings are particularly frequent among cyclists because the act of cycling can cause the pelvis to be pulled downward, which in turn causes the low back to curve more than it normally would. Back discomfort can also be caused by tight leg muscles, quadriceps, and piriformis muscles, amongst other muscles. The more flexible you are, the less likely it is that you will experience positional pain and the greater your efficiency will be. The downward dog, legs raised vertically in the air, crossing one foot over the other knee, and leaning forward are three of the most fundamental stretches you can do to get started.
Consulting an Expert
Request the assistance of a cyclist with greater experience to critique your form. They might spot issues that a newcomer to the field might miss.
When it comes to preventing back pain when riding a bike, the prevention you use can vary somewhat depending on where you are in the process. Take frequent pauses and be sure you stretch. Just doing these two things can help you avoid back problems while you are on a long bike ride.
It is to your benefit to continue working out even if doing so requires the use of a motorcycle back brace or some other kind of assistance. However, be careful of slipping into the trap of assuming that such tools address all the problems and can enable you to push yourself to your physical and mental limits, which may even be beyond what is healthy for you.