Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 59

Thread: Lower Back Pain

  1. #1
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478

    Lower Back Pain

    Anyone experienced lower back pain while on sustained climbs on a single speed? And how did you deal with it?

    Getting an uncomfortable, for riding, tightening of the lower back above the tailbone but not to far up the lower back. Currently looking over the geometry of the bike, riding style, exercise regime and more to identify any problem areas but like to hear what others had to say.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ravencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    57
    Could it be the angle of your body as you are riding? Maybe your handlebars are a bit low and causing you to lean too far forward
    Ne quid nimis.
    Nothing in excess.

  3. #3
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478
    edit: bars are about equal with seat height. There is a good amount of sweep on the bars though.

    My mashing position when climbing out of the saddle could also have an impact on it I feel. If I am leaning to far forward hunched over on climbs. Been trying to ride a bit more "straight" and not bending over.
    Last edited by Ryan G.; 03-08-2009 at 06:18 PM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    503
    I just experienced the same pain and pretty much solved it with a shorter stem. I went from a 110mm 6 degree to a 70mm 7 degree. I dont think that the stem made my back not hurt when climbing but i think that it helped keep my back from getting tired while riding so that when i had to stand and mash, my back was ready for it. Now i want to try bars with a little bit more rise.

    Do your hands hurt or get numb?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ravencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    57
    I would highly suggest getting one of the adjustable stems. You can change the degree of rise so that you can experiment with what makes you feel best. Plus, they are cheap. Like $20-30. Also, start playing with your seat adjustment. My back was hurting until I lowered my seat and raised my bars. I don't hunch over near as much.

    *edit* After reading your last post, it sounds like you might have strained something. If everything was great up until now, and nothing has changed in the adjustment, I don't really see what else could have caused the pain. I guess just adjust things for now, and hope you don't have a problem with a disc in your back.
    Ne quid nimis.
    Nothing in excess.

  6. #6
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478
    No numbness. I will play around with the stem. Currently it is a 90mm with 0 rise. Got a rise stem laying around I can quickly throw on.

    Do you guys have your bars at a higher level than your seat?

    Been riding the same single speed for some time without this problem, until a ride a few months back that was 5k of climbing and a good 35 miles. And with winter my riding has gone down. So hoping not an injury I have not healed from.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    503
    Is your seat at the correct height and set foreward or back enough?

  8. #8
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478
    I assume so. Feet are flat through the pedal stroke and my knee is not bent to much or stretched out to far. Got a layback seat post for my bike to put on and put myself a bit further back. Right now the seat is pushed back a bit on the rails and not centered. Know it is never easy to diagnose an issue over the internets so any personal stories, feedback is appreciated.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    503
    Im by no means an expert but i just went through this fitting thing. From what i understand,if you put your heel on your pedal and put the pedal closest to the ground, your leg should be completely straight without having to stretch or lean to reach it. This will give you your seat height. To find the forward/rear placement, the nub/bone just under the knee on the outside of our leg should be in line with the bolt where your crank meets your bottom bracket when the pedals are parallel with the ground. The handlebars and stem are personal preference depending on comfort.

    I followed this and found that the ride is much more comfortable now and i didnt have to spend money on a professional fitment. Still not perfect but its getting there.

  10. #10
    meatier showers
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    7,331
    I bulged a disc in my lower back (L7/S1) due to riding my mountain bike back in 2000. My seat was too high. Way too high.

    I wasn't a singlespeeder yet back then. The bulge was bad enough that my doctor could not tell me whether I'd be able to ride a bicycle again. After three months I bought a recumbent and rode it (on the road) a lot. My back pain (mostly sciatica) subsided so I returned to riding my conventional mountain bike, but paid a lot of attention to bike fit and my posture while riding.

    The next year (2001) I trained hard and earned a Cascade Cream Puff finisher's hat (top 25 finish no less). Much of my training was on the recumbent. The following year (2002) I'd pretty much given up the recumbent and I rode singlespeed in the Cream Puff -- another finisher's hat.

    By paying attention to bike fit & posture on the bike (and doing my back stretches), singlespeeding has been no problem for me. In fact, the more I ride, the less my back bothers me.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org
    Remember who
    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ravencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    57
    Sparticus just reinforced what I believed earlier. If nothing has changed as far as geometry, and you now have a pain, it could be something wrong with your back. Go see a doc just to be sure, because you really don't want to make a spine issue worse.
    Ne quid nimis.
    Nothing in excess.

  12. #12
    utilitarian biker
    Reputation: Mountain Medic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    463
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I bulged a disc in my lower back (L7/S1) due to riding my mountain bike back in 2000.
    ...
    Not to be an ass but I think you mean L5/S1, there is no L7. Herniations are no fun. I've got two L4/L5 and L5/s1. Just returned to work after 9 months off. Riding hasn't been too much of an issue, but yes fit is very important. My road bike was not setup right and it hurt me to ride. A quick stem change and now I can ride all day.
    Long live long rides.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    503
    Could it have something to do with the muscles being used while climbing? Sometimes i feel like im using my back too much when i climb.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    72
    For me stretching everyday has strengthened my lower back and stopped the ache that I had for quite some time. When riding I used to feel it after a hard slog but now its more my lungs coming out the top of my head.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Medic
    Not to be an ass but I think you mean L5/S1, there is no L7. Herniations are no fun. I've got two L4/L5 and L5/s1. Just returned to work after 9 months off. Riding hasn't been too much of an issue, but yes fit is very important. My road bike was not setup right and it hurt me to ride. A quick stem change and now I can ride all day.
    Me too brother...both herniated and bulging (the three little toes on my right foot are apparently permanently numb). My back kept me off the bike for the better part of a decade.

    My back bothers me on the SS once in a while. I don't think it has anything to do with my disk problems, 'just muscle fatigue. The discomfort/pain is not as localized as when my back is screwed up and it is more of a "sore" muscle feeling than a "pinch" type thing.

    My bars are set about an inch, or so, higher than my seat height. I do pay close attention to my form when climbing and especially avoid tossing the bike from side to side when climbing. Keeping the hamstrings and lower back loose is also a key activity...

    When it comes to my bad back, crashing is my #1 concern and is the only time "real" back pain has been a problem for me since riding again.

  16. #16
    meatier showers
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    7,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Medic
    Not to be an ass but I think you mean L5/S1, there is no L7. ...
    No, I mean L7. It's just that I'm really, really tall.

    Okay, I admit it's L5. "L7" makes a square when you write it on a piece of paper, so I always get those two mixed up. Not only that, but "El Seven" is Spanish for "The Seven" which reminds me of The Magnificent Seven which is an old movie with Yul Brynner in it; that guy was bad ass -- like the bulged disc in my back -- so you can see how I might easily get confused by 5's and 7's.

    --sParty
    (actually ghost written by Ernesto, with spelling, punctuation & grammer clean-up by Sparty)
    disciplesofdirt.org
    Remember who
    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  17. #17
    Happy in Happy Valley
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    681
    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Anyone experienced lower back pain while on sustained climbs on a single speed? And how did you deal with it?

    Getting an uncomfortable, for riding, tightening of the lower back above the tailbone but not to far up the lower back. Currently looking over the geometry of the bike, riding style, exercise regime and more to identify any problem areas but like to hear what others had to say.

    How is your core strength? I find that if I have lower back pain strengthening my abs/obliques helps immensely.
    Rigid Surly 1x1 650b--------Fixed CrossCheck--------Surly Pacer-------Salsa Ala Carte

  18. #18
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478
    Regularly go to the gym during the week with spin classes & weights since I cannot get much riding in. So it should be strong, but I could have aggravated it in the gym somehow. I can still ride the bike so I am not sure if it is at bulging disc phase yet. A trip to my lovely HMO is in the works if it worsens.

    Sparti what are some good back stretches you use?
    Last edited by Ryan G.; 03-09-2009 at 10:03 AM.

  19. #19
    meatier showers
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    7,331
    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    ...

    Sparti what are some good back stretches you use?
    Many that were suggested seemed to do more harm than good. The only one I found worked (and worked very well) was the cobra stretch. I occasionally still do it to this day, sometimes even stopping in the middle of a long ride to get off the bike and spend the 30+ seconds it takes to ease any back discomfort I may feel. Don't have to do this very often anymore, tho.

    I lie on the floor face down. Then I push my shoulders upward, but not like a regular pushup where I would keep my body tense and straight -- for this stretch I bend at the waist (where the bulged disc is). Then I prop myself up on my elbows and relax, letting my stomach feel the floor. All I do is hold this relaxing position for 30-60 seconds... there's no muscle tension involved at all. Easiest stretch in the world to do and it helped me the most by far. I would feel the benefit immediately.

    Good luck,
    Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org
    Remember who
    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  20. #20
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    8,478
    Sparti well that helped some. It was tight all morning sitting at the office, during lunch did the Cobra stretch 2x for ~45 seconds, went to spin and feel a bit of relief. Will try it the following days and see how I feel.

    Tried taking some OTC Advil or something and that did not help. Any OTC meds that work better for this kind of pain?

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ravencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    57
    Well, I had this nice long medical response until the forum got too busy. Arg.

    Tylenol/Panadol- otherwise known as Acetaminophen
    Advil/Motrin- otherwise known as Naproxen Sodium
    Aspirin- known as itself
    Orudis KT- otherwise known at ketoprofen
    Ibuprofen- known as itself

    There are also a number of topical pain cremes that are effective (but can be messy)

    Note that acetaminophen and naproxen sodium can be combined because they have different effects.
    Last edited by ravencrow; 03-09-2009 at 02:34 PM.
    Ne quid nimis.
    Nothing in excess.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cygnus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    451
    another big time disc problem here. i had extreme sciatica 4 years ago confirmed by the MRI which showed my blow out (herniated) disc in my lower back (same L5S1). still have some numbness in my foot. this is a weakness in human anatomy: remember, we haven't been upright all that long.

    i hate to say this, but i think the extreme torque in SS riding probably contributed to this injury. the day it blew, i went on a very hard ride. it's impossible, however, to say this was purely a result of SS riding or a history of sports injuries and working (and falling) in forests. i've abused my body in many ways, including SS riding.

    my solution: strengthen my core, ride 1/2 time on the road (SS, well, actually using the unmentionable 2x2)) and 1/2 time in the dirt (SS).

  23. #23
    SSolo
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,503
    If it is bad enough go see an MD before doing any of this other stuff....just to be sure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Many that were suggested seemed to do more harm than good. The only one I found worked (and worked very well) was the cobra stretch. I occasionally still do it to this day, sometimes even stopping in the middle of a long ride to get off the bike and spend the 30+ seconds it takes to ease any back discomfort I may feel. Don't have to do this very often anymore, tho.

    I lie on the floor face down. Then I push my shoulders upward, but not like a regular pushup where I would keep my body tense and straight -- for this stretch I bend at the waist (where the bulged disc is). Then I prop myself up on my elbows and relax, letting my stomach feel the floor. All I do is hold this relaxing position for 30-60 seconds... there's no muscle tension involved at all. Easiest stretch in the world to do and it helped me the most by far. I would feel the benefit immediately.

    Good luck,
    Sparty
    X2....this (Elbow Props) is a great back stretch exercise and along with a couple others has helped me lots! Half Sit-ups and Single Leg Raise are two other great back exercises that have helped me. Walking at least 1/2 hour per day and GOOD chiropractor once per month all help me.....and MTB'ing has helped too!

    Here'a a link to the pamphlet that I have:

    http://www.mercksource.com/pp/us/cns...z1003_01zPzhtm

    Quote Originally Posted by ravencrow
    Tylenol/Panadol- otherwise known as Acetaminophen
    Advil/Motrin- otherwise known as Naproxen Sodium
    Aspirin- known as itself
    Orudis KT- otherwise known at ketoprofen
    Ibuprofen- known as itself

    There are also a number of topical pain cremes that are effective (but can be messy)

    Note that acetaminophen and naproxen sodium can be combined because they have different effects.
    Advil, Motrin and Ibuprofen are all the same thing.....Ibuprofen is the drug and Advil and Motrin are trademarked names for the drug.

    Icy Hot or some other form of this gently massaged into my sore spots (back, arms, legs, whatever) helps me. Advil works well for me too....some people some meds work better for. I would definitely NOT mix different pain meds though!
    Last edited by Natedogz; 03-09-2009 at 11:35 PM.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by ravencrow
    Orudis KT- otherwise known at ketoprofen
    Ahh...Orudis KT...it was the only thing that worked for me when my back was acting up. To bad you can't get it anymore.

    A regular dose of Orudis KT is 25mg of Ketoprofen and it seems the smallest dose you can get is 50mg by prescription. And that is just enough to screw up my stomach. Emptied half the capsules for awhile but just gave up Only when my back is *really* bothering me do I take ketoprofen anymore...

  25. #25
    Now wr rollin on a Boom!
    Reputation: archtop44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    279
    BayCat, are you doing all the hip-throwing stuff when you're climbing?
    (please ignore this if you do all that)
    I mean how you're supposed to throw your hips forward on every power stroke, then pull hips back to sling the bike forward over the "dead spot" at the top of the pedal stroke, then forward again on the power stroke, etc., etc. Sort of looks like you're (pardon me) "humping" the stem, to put it crassly but accurately.

    If you're not, then pulling up on the bars while mashing the gears is pretty close to the ergonomics of bending over at the waist and lifting, say, a big TV set a few hundred times. ...like they always tell you not to do in the lower back-pain advice: "lift with your knees", etc.

    Do see a doctor, btw.
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •