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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

Does anyone else experience lower back pain during or after a ride? What are some good stretching exercises to help relieve this?

Joel
 

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yeah

I've almost always experienced lower back pain at the beginning of the bike season and throughout the season if I'm not riding enough for those muscles to get used to it. I try to work out my back in prep for bike season about 2 months before things get into full-swing. I mostly do back extensions on a Roman Chair starting out with no additional weight and working up to 25lbs as I get stronger. I find that to help quite a bit. Otherwise, when my back starts to hurt I usually stand up on my pedals and arch my back for a few seconds to relieve the pain. I'm sure there's plenty of stretches to do for your lower back although I haven't needed to learn them yet. Make sure your seat, bars etc are adjusted properly too since that could have an effect.
 

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Best way to fix lower back pain is . . .

by strength training on the opposing muscles (i.e. Abdomabills) good balance is key to good "core" strength.

Gotta get rid of that beer belly.

If that's not it, you could have a compressed disc or some other back ailiment. Time to see a DR.

Work on your stomach muscles and your back will feel better.
 

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try these

http://scc.uchicago.edu/exerciseslowback.htm

I have this page bookmarked now, since lower back pain has been seriously affecting longer rides. Most of these are pretty simple and I do them while watching TV. Now that the TDF is over, I do them while watching that Lance interview on OLN :)

'course I haven't been doing them long enough yet to know if they're effective.
 

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Joel,

As a massage therapist and a cyclist, I've learned that the real culprit with low back pain is over-tightened Quadriceps. Since these are the prime movers for cyclists, they get a ton of work, especially on long rides. Stretching quads has helped me alleviate pain in the QLs (low back). Also, while stretching the quads, strengthening the Hamstrings can help bring the pelvis back into alignment.

The key here is that the Quads attach to the top of the front of the pelvis. As they pull down on the pelvis front, from being tight, they effectively shorten the QLs in the back so that they (QLs) remain contracted. Working the abdominals will help, but not like focusing on leg muscles. It's the affects on the pelvis that cause us this pain, not the strength or lack thereof of the core muscles. Balance is the key.

Hope that helps. You might also play around with your seat height in small increments. Seat height seems to be a factor. Consider pelvic tilt with regards to seat height/angle to the bars.

jakeene said:
Hello:

Does anyone else experience lower back pain during or after a ride? What are some good stretching exercises to help relieve this?

Joel
 

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Ab Workout

I had a similar experience. Relieved the pain thought Ab workouts and strenthening the midsection. Stretching and weight lifting did wonders for me.
]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback.

Thank you to everryone from the feedback. This thread was started in repsonse to a thread on another mtn board (illinoismtb.com) so know that your feedback here has been posted elsewhere to help others as well.

I'll be honest, the beer belly is a contributing factor and I'm working to get rid of that. I'm going to try some of the other suggestions here.

Joel
 

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chad1433 said:
Also, while stretching the quads, strengthening the Hamstrings can help bring the pelvis back into alignment.
Wow, Chad. I've been to a number of PT's for low back and neck pain but none of them have spelled out what you just did. It makes a ton of sense to me. Can you recommend some relatively low impact exercises which will strengthen my hams?

For 7 years I have been starting my day with some stretches aimed at the legs/low back along with abdominal work of various flavors. These have kept my back functional, but it still hurts quite often. I have also noticed that the back/neck give me the most problems when I am either very stressed at work or have got myself dehydrated.
 

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As a longtime sufferer...

The keys for me to managing my back pain have been:

Crunches, crunches and more crunches. (Front, side and extensions)
Hamstring stretches.
Good ergonomics in day to day life.

Finally, a back stretch a chiropractor/person trainer taught me. You lay on your back, pull your legs to the sides of your torso with your arms between your legs, and roll your pelvis toward your torso. Looks pretty stange, but it works.

On the bike:

Standing and pedaling helps. Periodic breaks during rides help. Much of it seems to be conditioning though and working up to a given length ride.

Good luck to all fellow sufferers!
 

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Yoga for back book

I too have lower back pain. I found a book called "yoga for back care"
and have just about taken care of ithe pain altogether. What I found was that
when doing the stretches I IMMEDIATELY knew which stretches would help (it's a good pain :)

the most helpful has been laying on stomach with arms out above head and legs straight
back (in a diving position if you will) and lifting legs AND arms up.

For what it's worth.
 

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Some of us have beer bellys, and . . .

don't drink beer, sometimes it's genes, or just lack of "core" muscle strength. And, sometimes it's just a fact of life if you are at or past mid-thirties and your motabilism just "ain't what it used to be"

The thing that I have found to work the best is to strengthen the "core" muscles and working on the supporting muscle groups. I think that if you don't have spine damage or disc problems, ab workouts help the most, and your posture will be better.

So, that's a good thing right.
 

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jakeene said:
Hello:

Does anyone else experience lower back pain during or after a ride? What are some good stretching exercises to help relieve this?

Joel
40 millimeters of spacers under my short, steep stem helped me out a great deal, as did no longer wearing a Camelbak. Riding no hands helps to stretch, and you can massage your back a bit. Spin. Docs tell me "on paper, it's as bad as it gets." If I had hope that I had a single disk issue, I would have opted for surgery long ago. Best wishes.
 
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