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  1. #1
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    Neck pain issues...

    After trying the search, I didn't find too much information on this topic. To describe the pain, it's not a muscle issue, but seems more to me to be a skeletal one. The pain seems to be in the spine, right around that protruding vertebrae in the neck. I've had this problem for probably 3 years not, with it usually going away with a good amount of rest (2 months or so). I've tried to move my handlebars higher by raising the stem on the steerer but it didn't seem to help. My reach seems about right, and this has been going on with all the bikes I own.

    A problem I have with raising the bars is that it changes the handling so drastically. How do I fix that if I find out I need to raise the bars up. My saddle height seems appropriate and does not cause hip rocking.

    I've had an Xray taken a while back and it showed nothing...according to my GP.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Neck Pain

    First, I think that we would have to figure out where your neck pain is exactly. When you describe it, it sounds like the base of your neck near shoulder height. The "prutruding vertebrae" is likely your C7 area.
    There are several possibilities for your pain, but difficult to say with any certainty given your brief description.

    It is quite possible that you have some degeneration/arthritis in the neck at your CT junction. This is fairly common, especially if your posture is slightly forward. When we are riding, often regarless of small changes in cockpit set up, we are hyperextending our upper neck and hyperflexing our lower neck to see the trail in front of us.

    Some of the riders that I have treated in my area that describe similar symptoms have been noted to have: significantly poor bike set ups, cervical joint dysfunctions, arthritis, upper thoracic issues, difficulty relaxing the upper body when riding...

    We could help you a bit better if you gave us more information.
    Where is the pain exactly?
    When does it hurt?
    What kind of pain is it?...

    Good luck with everything. I think the thing to do would be to find a good manually trained physical therapist, preferably one that rides and begin there. They should be able to help you with the neck and the bike fit if needed.
    BoiseBoy

  3. #3
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    To begin, I'm 24 and race in local races in the DC area. Just recently moved up from Sport to Expert. I've been "seriously" riding for maybe 3 years now, but technically started "mountain biking" about 7 years ago. Any other background?

    As for the pain, it feel like it's coming from the bone, or possibly the spacing. It's a sharp and very localized pain. I can be sitting one minute, feel absolutely perfect, but then if I raise my arms up to reach for something on or go to lift a box to a shoulder level shelf, there's a sharp pain in the C7 area (according to what you wrote). Usually the pain is less while riding, and is noticeably worse after rides and days after rides. As I said before, it takes me a long time to get over this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoiseBoy
    First, I think that we would have to figure out where your neck pain is exactly. When you describe it, it sounds like the base of your neck near shoulder height. The "prutruding vertebrae" is likely your C7 area.
    There are several possibilities for your pain, but difficult to say with any certainty given your brief description.

    It is quite possible that you have some degeneration/arthritis in the neck at your CT junction. This is fairly common, especially if your posture is slightly forward. When we are riding, often regarless of small changes in cockpit set up, we are hyperextending our upper neck and hyperflexing our lower neck to see the trail in front of us.

    Some of the riders that I have treated in my area that describe similar symptoms have been noted to have: significantly poor bike set ups, cervical joint dysfunctions, arthritis, upper thoracic issues, difficulty relaxing the upper body when riding...

    We could help you a bit better if you gave us more information.
    Where is the pain exactly?
    When does it hurt?
    What kind of pain is it?...

    Good luck with everything. I think the thing to do would be to find a good manually trained physical therapist, preferably one that rides and begin there. They should be able to help you with the neck and the bike fit if needed.

  4. #4
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    Hi, I have this exact same pain when I'm out riding for a while. With the way you explained our posture while riding I guess that makes sense and might be related to my pain. I don't know if it has to do with my newer water pack that straps around my chest and waist and is heavier than my old camel back (100 qts vs 40qt pack). Basically after I've road about 8-10 miles I start to get a pain in my neck around my shoulder area while climbing mainly. It's probably C7 if I were to guess . The pain is just uncomfortable but not extreme. My pain usually only exist during my long rides but I'd like to get it addressed. I don't have heath insurance. I used to do a lot of high impact sports like snowboarding and skateboarding. I still snowboard but don't typically do big airs that have high impact. Anyways, appreciated any input on how to address the neck pain.

  5. #5
    mm9
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    Have been going through a diagnostic process with my wife who suffers from chronic neck pain. We've learned a lot. Here is what I suggest:

    1) Rule out any Cervical spine abnormalities, such as herniated discs, bone spurs, etc. The only way to do this is with an MRI - be sure to get high resolution MRI. Get an opinion from one of three types of Docs: Physiatrist (Doctor of Physical medicine), NeuroSurgeon or Orthopaedic. Most cities have brain and spine centers. or a spine clinic. They seem to be the best. If someone feels like you have C-spine abnormalities that need surgery - get second opinions. Probably not the case.

    2) Sounds like you might have an overuse syndrone related to your biking. In this case ther are therapies available. IMPORTANT - deal with it now or it could develop into a very chronic problem. For your therapist, look for an official Neuromuscular Therapist. This is a valid field and medical massage is often part of the therapy.

    3) Keep an ear open and ask questions about Myofacial Pain syndrome. A lot of people develope this from repititive stress to the neck area. It can be managed with a neuromuscular therapist.

    4) Of course the obvious - go to bike fitting experts and get some opinions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm9
    Have been going through a diagnostic process with my wife who suffers from chronic neck pain. We've learned a lot. Here is what I suggest:

    1) Rule out any Cervical spine abnormalities, such as herniated discs, bone spurs, etc. The only way to do this is with an MRI - be sure to get high resolution MRI. Get an opinion from one of three types of Docs: Physiatrist (Doctor of Physical medicine), NeuroSurgeon or Orthopaedic. Most cities have brain and spine centers. or a spine clinic. They seem to be the best. If someone feels like you have C-spine abnormalities that need surgery - get second opinions. Probably not the case.

    2) Sounds like you might have an overuse syndrone related to your biking. In this case ther are therapies available. IMPORTANT - deal with it now or it could develop into a very chronic problem. For your therapist, look for an official Neuromuscular Therapist. This is a valid field and medical massage is often part of the therapy.

    3) Keep an ear open and ask questions about Myofacial Pain syndrome. A lot of people develope this from repititive stress to the neck area. It can be managed with a neuromuscular therapist.

    4) Of course the obvious - go to bike fitting experts and get some opinions.
    Thanks for the info mm9. I should be able to afford to go and see some doctors but I can't afford an MRI right now. Those are like $1,400 for the uninsured. So, I'll try and look into your steps 2-4. Thanks a lot. I love to bike but this is sure bothersome. I might try and switch back to my old camelback for a long 8-11 mile ride and just bring and extra bottle of water. I'm trying to see if it's related to my newer camelback. I just don't know because most my longer rides have been with the newer camelback when I really started to notice the pain. Regards, Chris

  7. #7
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    I started at the chiropracter, then went to the physiatrist, had the mri, then went to the nerosurgeon, then to physical therapy. My mri showed an extruded disc at c-7, bone spurs, and bulging disc at c-5. My suggestion would be to go to the physiatrist who will actually do a physical and possibly give you a predesone steriod pack (this help immediatly for me). From there I've been in PT for about 4 weeks and can not believe how much further along it has come. I know MRI's are expensive, but it is the only true way to see where the problem is. Visit the physiatrist and go from there. I can say that the chiropractor helped at first--I was just too far gone by the time I went to him. One of the above might help you. Almost forgot that I have a home traction unit that really helped too--might have to visit a Dr. to have it perscribed. Good-Luck! Follow what the Docs suggest to get healthy quick!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmgrapid
    I started at the chiropracter, then went to the physiatrist, had the mri, then went to the nerosurgeon, then to physical therapy. My mri showed an extruded disc at c-7, bone spurs, and bulging disc at c-5. My suggestion would be to go to the physiatrist who will actually do a physical and possibly give you a predesone steriod pack (this help immediatly for me). From there I've been in PT for about 4 weeks and can not believe how much further along it has come. I know MRI's are expensive, but it is the only true way to see where the problem is. Visit the physiatrist and go from there. I can say that the chiropractor helped at first--I was just too far gone by the time I went to him. One of the above might help you. Almost forgot that I have a home traction unit that really helped too--might have to visit a Dr. to have it perscribed. Good-Luck! Follow what the Docs suggest to get healthy quick!!
    Thanks for the good info. I just went for a 9.6 mile ride today. It started to hurt a fair amount after about 1.5 miles of straight uphill. After that I tried different adjustments on the straps and tightness on my Camelback Mule. It seemed to help a little but it was still bothersome. I'm just glad the pain doesn't persist after I'm done riding! I'll try and look into a chiropracter and physiatrist ASAP. It sure would make riding more enjoyful! Thanks again, Chris

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