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  1. #1
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    Lower back pain - When to get back on the bike?

    I strained my lower back 3 weeks ago on a training ride. The 3 days afterward I was unable to sit/stand/walk without severe pain. I got my back checked out by a chiropractor and he said I didn't do any thing bad and that it was just tight muscles pulling on my lower back. I tried riding about a week and a half after the initial incident and all the pain came rushing back and I was off my feet for 3 days again afterward.

    I've been taking it easy resting and stretching since. When will I know if I am able to get back on the bike? My chiropractor seemed to think it was not unquestionable to ride last weekend if I felt up to it. I'm worried about re-injury. My back is still stiff in the morning but the pain is pretty much gone. I usually feel pretty good by the end of the day.

    It's killing me to stay off the bike since we have had beautiful weather in the mid-atlantic and I'm missing all the early season riding. I want to try to get on my road bike this weekend. Is this a good idea?

    Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    Ride the mountain bike and hit the trails!!!!

    I would also look into getting a good deep tissue massage... you might have some knots in the back which can prolong the pain. The massage works best right before getting an adjustment from the chiropractor.

  3. #3
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    I have gotten 2 massages in the past 3 weeks Swedish, not deep tissue. The massage therapist says I'm not ready for deep tissue yet. I forgot to mention that I had been training pretty hard this off-season for some endurance races hat I plan on participating in this year. I've already missed one due to the back. During my training, which consisted of hours of riding my road on and off the trainer each week and cross fit, I never did any stretching. I'll be adding a stretching routine to my workouts moving forward in hopes that it will stay off a reoccurrence.

  4. #4
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    I would recommend going into see an Orthopaedic Specialist and have them give you an evaluation. This doesn't sound like rest alone will take care of your back anytime soon.
    Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!
    German Engineering in Da Haus, Ja!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd122 View Post
    I have gotten 2 massages in the past 3 weeks Swedish, not deep tissue. The massage therapist says I'm not ready for deep tissue yet. I forgot to mention that I had been training pretty hard this off-season for some endurance races hat I plan on participating in this year. I've already missed one due to the back. During my training, which consisted of hours of riding my road on and off the trainer each week and cross fit, I never did any stretching. I'll be adding a stretching routine to my workouts moving forward in hopes that it will stay off a reoccurrence.
    What was the reason why the massage therapist said that you're not ready for a deep tissue?

    There is a difference in the results of a Swedish and Deep Tissue... the massage therapist can do Swedish and do Deep Tissue on the lower back where necessary....

  6. #6
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    I believe it was because my muscles were too tight and she mentioned something about knots and micro-spasms. This was only my second and third time getting a professional massage so I'm not exactly sure what the reasons were, but I think she said that the muscles needed to be stretched out more to do the deep tissue.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stugotz View Post
    I would recommend going into see an Orthopaedic Specialist and have them give you an evaluation. This doesn't sound like rest alone will take care of your back anytime soon.
    I did have my back x-ray'd and there was no sign of anything to cause concern of a more serious problem. I'm doing stretches lag/back/neck and core strengthening exercises. I'm curious what you think an orthopedic specialist would do to enhance the healing process?

  8. #8
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    I ownly saw you had seen a chiropractor in your original post so I figured it would be a good idea to have an MD check it out. I would shy away from chiropractors as they tend to do a lot of hyper mobilization of the joints and this can lead to other issues... As for other (novice) opinions I would take them with a grain of salt. It's virtually impossible to recommend any type of therapy for your back with out understanding what is at the root of your problem. Getting out on the bike and 'just ride' certainly is not the answer. I hope your able to correct the issues.
    Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!
    German Engineering in Da Haus, Ja!

  9. #9
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    What was the time gap between the Chiropractor and the massage? Once the Chiropractor adjusts your spine, you have anywhere from one day and one hour before your muscles start to spasm again and pull your spine back out of whack. This is the reason why most high-end Chiropractors have massage therapists attached to their offices. When this type of strain happens, you need to look at your body alignment in the mirror. Front and side view. Try to find the changes to your normal posture. The two most common lower back strains are posterior and anterior pelvic tilt. Basically, posterior will pull or thrust your pelvis forward straining the spine. Your hamstring and periformice (sp?) muscles cause the pull and make your a$$ disappear. It also prevents you from standing up straight and can cause severe pain. Anterior is the less common of the two and the complete opposite. Once you identify which, if either, you have you need to target stretch them.

    I used to get a posterior strain every couple months. My military doctors were adamant that it was spine/disk damage even though an MRI revealed little evidence. Fortunately, I'm married to an amazing massage therapist who is studying for her Occupational Therapy degree. With her and her employer's recommendation, I tried soft tissue therapy. I haven't suffered a strain in the year since. The next time you get a massage, skip the Swedish stuff. Opt for the deep tissue, Russian Sports or any other rehabilitating work. Avoid massage chains and drink more water after than you ever have in your life. On average, it took about two and a half to three weeks before I was able to ride or run after a strain.

    I am unable to post links yet but, you should search YouTube for, "Posterior pelvic tilt prevention". Find the video with the little shirtless dude and watch it. They are the best targeting and preventitive stretches around.

    Hope this helps

  10. #10
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    massage envy has been pretty good to me. They haven't once told me that my muscles weren't ready for deep tissue (no pain, no gain, right??)

    My chiropractor doesn't have a massage therapist attached to it... (his wife is also a chiropractor).... but does muscle stimulation with the adjustments. Luckily, he's also a mountain biker (who's trying to find time to compete)....

  11. #11
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    I hurt my back somehow in April 2005. Woke up at 4am in serious pain and drove to the e-room. Some sort of crazy spasums and some muscle tears. Felt fine before I went to bed. I couldnt stand being on a bike for atleast 3 months, but I tried once a week on the trainer. Took 6mo to feel semi-normal again. A full year before I was close to 100%. A doctor found even more muscle tears in my hip and "glute". Honestly, I still don't feel right... been fighting it forever

    I did rehab workouts... still do a lot of back work per physical therapy. The only thing that helps is HGH. Moral of the story... be careful, treat your back well.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  12. #12
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    I too hurt my back a year and a half ago.. but I had fallen playing bball and chipped a vertebrae and have some disc degeneration. Ever since the fall I've been slowly rebuilding my balance and ability. One of the biggest changes was that I stopped sleeping on my stomach. I saw a neuro surgeon who told me to buy a book. Best book I've ever bought. Its called 8 Steps to a pain free back written by Esther Gokhale. I would suggest the 20$ is more than worth it. It has honestly helped me a fair amount. It still takes work... bit I've been able to negate the sciatica that developed partially due to the fall. (Not the first time I had fallen on my tail bone playing bball). Biking is again painless.

  13. #13
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    Get the book: Healing Back Pain by Dr. Sarno, or just google and read the Amazon reveiws first.

    Mojo

  14. #14
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    I use 800MG of Ibuprophen (with FOOD) 3 times a day when my back cramps up/spasms. It works wonders!

    I've had back muscle isues most of my life. Riding also helps. Your muscles heat up after a good 30 minutes of pushing the pedals and that will loosen you up. But rest for a few days first.

    Soak in a hot bath, too. Stay covered, do not go bare back at any time while you are having issues. Heat is your best friend in this case.

    Muscle lotions and hot water bottles also help. Drink lots of water, too. Spasms and cramps can be a sign of dehydration.

    You'll be fine...
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

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