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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Lower Back Pain and Mt'n Biken

    Hey once and for all is riding a Mountain bikeg bad or good for your back? I'm 46 and started last year on an old Proflex w/o front or rear suspension. I hammered it 3x per week about 20 miles each ride on mostly rooty single track, no drops or anything. I never had any back problems before, now after taking a winter layoff from riding (do to snow) I am seeing a Chiropractor, PT and reading many books on how I can fix my lower back pain. The X rays indicate typical minimum lower spine degeneration (L5) and minimun arthritis for an active person of my age. Nothing out of the ordinary. I'm just concerned that maybe this new sport of mine is the cause.

    I am building a plush 5 inch travel bike to hopefully be able to ride pain free.

    I can't see doing a sport if I have to always feel the after effects in the back though.

    What are your thoughts?

    David

  2. #2
    Former MTBR Member
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    It's Bad

    Biking causes overdevelopment of your butt (and hip?) muscles and unless you stretch a LOT (or are very young) biking will cause lower back pain. I'm speaking from experience (but I'm no physiologist, just a biker).

    Here's a link with some great stretches http://mtbstrengthcoach.com/hipmobilityvid.html

  3. #3
    Still learning
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    Riding a duallie is just a stop-gap for a more serious problem. You want to be working on your flexibility and core strength, regardless of whether back pain is a problem - and particularly if it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by tom2304
    Yep farkin.net is mostly immature kids asking how to put dual crown forks on hardtails and such.

  4. #4
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    biking is not the best thing for your back. try to reposition yourself on the bike with a different stem that will make you sit more in an upright position. it may not be the most aggressive position, but it may help your back. Also work out on your "core" muscles more. sit-ups are o.k., but they are superficial. there are deeper muscles that surround your back that you need to stimulate.

  5. #5
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    Hey Dave, Your lower back problems could be due to seat and handle bar position.
    It can be expensive but if your having problems I would suggest taking yourself and the bike to your lbs and have them fit you to the bike.
    Proper positioning is just like wearing the wrong size boots for football or using a bat that is too heavy for cricket.
    Fitted to the right equipment will make a big difference.

  6. #6
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    I had a ruptured L5/S1 about 10 years ago. At 42 I started to ride, and became much more fluid from riding. Maybe it was the combination of stretching and riding, but my back has been stronger and pain free for the last 2 years. I do tend to get tight if I miss a few rides.......

  7. #7
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    I doubt one year of riding caused your problem, but it can make it worse on a hardtail. I herniated my l5-s1 joint back in 03, from skiing. I switched to a fully and biking does not bother it. I'd also agree on the points of stretching and strengthening your core. Lots and lots of core exercises, and the occasional chiro adjustment, keep me functional, I'm a firefighter and I function just fine. Bike fit can also make a huge difference. If you have access to one, a sports medicine center that does bike fits is well worth the visit.

  8. #8
    Sign Killa
    Reputation: wu-wei's Avatar
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    Well, this is an old thread, but if anyone is still paying attention...

    Stretching out a couple of times during long rides seems to help me out a bunch (especially since I tend to pound at too low RPMs). Touching my toes for 30 seconds or so plus a little chicken dance to loosen up the lower back does wonders.

    Plus, if you happen to be near the road you can point your ass at the cars and kill two birds with one stone. ;-)

  9. #9
    Team Chilidog!
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    Make sure the bike fits you too. An old Proflex may be too long (TT wise), and definitely get a pro fit. If the bike's not right, change it.

    I ride frames a size smaller because of my back. It's not the most aggressive position, but I don't care because I can ride.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

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