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When I ride for short periods of time, I'm fine, but when I ride for an extended period, say, 2-3 hours, I get tremendous pain in my neck. It doesn't bother me with left/right movement, but up/down movement.
I stretch my neck muscles as much as possible before and during the ride. I'm starting to think that its a riding position thing.
Here is the best pic I have of my riding position.

I do not feel like I am too hunched over. I don't feel like I'm over reaching for the bars.
So how can I solve this issue? Is it simply caused by weak neck muscles? Will it go away as I ride more?
My current bar is a Titec Hellbent XC bar with very little rise or backsweep. Would switching with a higher rise and more sweep help? If so, what do you guys suggest?
What about my saddle? Would lowering the seat help? I don't feel like it's too high at all. If anything I feel like it's too low.
 

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Get a high riser--Check into the easton's or raceface. Might help it helped me with numbing hands and stiff neck. These bars allow you to take pressure off your hands and less abuse on your neck--Give it a shot.
 

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It may not have anything to do with riding position, but damage in the neck itself. If you are like me, you have fallen off your bike on your head a couple of times. These injuries add up and can cause premature degenerative changes in the neck. This will make it more painful when you ride due to position and the jarring action of riding. See a chiropractor to get checked out.
 

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Absolutely

mlepito said:
It may not have anything to do with riding position, but damage in the neck itself. If you are like me, you have fallen off your bike on your head a couple of times. These injuries add up and can cause premature degenerative changes in the neck. This will make it more painful when you ride due to position and the jarring action of riding. See a chiropractor to get checked out.
Be careful of the chiropractors. There are a lot of reasons for neck pain, and if it is a ruptured disk, they can jack it up.

The big problem is that it takes an MRI to really see what is going on, and most doctors/insurance companies don't want to spring for one until you ARE really screwed.

I have exactly what mlepito describes: I had ruptured disks, and I ended up having two disks removed and my neck fused. You don't want that.
 

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Actually honkinunit the idea that chiro will cause more disc injury is a common misconception. In many cases chiropractic can be the best treatment for disc herniations. However, I'm not a blind homer. In your situation where there was multiple disc herniations that may be causing cord compression surgery can be a nessesitiy. MRI is good idea but a good physical exam is the first step.
Sorry you had to get a fusion, that sucks. Does it still hurt? any nerve damage?
 

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Disk herniation

Two of my disks (C5-C6 and C6-C7) were totally ruptured and the Annulus' were blown. The nuclei were pushing against one nerve root that controlled my left arm. I had no strength in my left tricep at all, my fingers were numb, and the pain was excruciating. Because I was lucky and had an MRI immediately after I finally went to the ER, I was diagnosed and given my options, which basically were surgery or steroid injections that had very little chance of making any difference long term. I chose surgery. Because the condition was only in place for about 10 days, my nerve was saved.

I ran into a guy at the grocery store last week wearing a soft collar like the one I had to wear. I took a chance and asked him what was going on. He had just had one of the new titanium disk replacements installed. The problem was that because it was still considered experimental, he had to fight his insurance company for five months to get approval, and in the meantime, his nerve was severely damaged. His pain was gone, but the numbness remained. It will be 18 months before he knows if the feeling will come back or not.

The bottom line to me is if you have any arm or hand weakness or numbness at all, it is time for an MRI. If it is just pain, maybe the chiro is a first step.
 
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