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Thread: Lower Back Pain

  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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  3. #3
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    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
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    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
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    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.
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  6. #6
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    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
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    Is your seat at the correct height and set foreward or back enough?

  8. #8
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    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.

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    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
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    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
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    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.
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  12. #12
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
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    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)
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  17. #17
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    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
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    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
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    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
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  20. #20
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    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
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    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.
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  22. #22
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    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
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    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.
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    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
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    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

  26. #26
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    archtop.

    is the humping technique the advised method? guess I am asking what is the best body position for climbing on the ss. Maintain a relatively straight spin, a decent grip on the handles and use the legs for all the power?

    at the end of a long ride I was resorting to pulling up the bars while mashing since I had little gas left in me. At the time it/ relieved my lower back some.

    Got a dr. appointment tomorrow morning.

  27. #27
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    Back pain whilst climbing- try a lower gearing, ease the strain on your back before you do some serious damage and herniate a disc or something.

  28. #28
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    32 x 21 on a 29er is pretty easy gearing, I usually puss out and walk when the going gets tough, but get your point. Hence why the geared bike is coming out!

  29. #29
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    BayCat,

    Yeah, it rocks. I got it from a Travis Brown "how to single-speed" article from Mountainbike Fiction, um, Action, about three years ago.

    It does take some practice, but once you've got it down it's also really helpful for jamming through rock gardens, single or multi-speed.
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtop44
    BayCat,

    Yeah, it rocks. I got it from a Travis Brown "how to single-speed" article from Mountainbike Fiction, um, Action, about three years ago.

    It does take some practice, but once you've got it down it's also really helpful for jamming through rock gardens, single or multi-speed.
    Do you have a link for info this info? I knew i wasnt climbing correctly but didnt know what i was doing wrong. We have alot of rooty climbs down here and i end up pulling on the front and mashing and it seems to tire my back quickly. I am new to SS.

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    Interesting

    The rocking hips is preferred over the pulling on the bars.
    Also, my saddle is adjusted so my heal just skims and not firmly rests on the pedal at six o'clock. I fell like I generate more power this way. Is my saddle too high?

  32. #32
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    A visit to a chiropractor worked for me. I've had zero issue since.

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    As a physical therapist I could probably help you but it's near impossible to diagnose lumbar pain over the internet. Sure there is a high probability that the sustained posterior disc pressure while climbing in your position has caused you to have an exacerbation of a disc derangement and also a good probability that lying on your stomach and doing press ups (pretty much the "Cobra" in yoga) will reduce the derangement but it's not sure fire. I would say there are a few key questions to ask yourself.
    1. Are you worse in the AM?
    2. Do you feel like you can't stand straight up easily after riding or climbing?
    3. Do you have the above problem after prolonged sitting or driving?
    4. Do you notice that when standing that you can't extend backwards at your low back as far as you could when you weren't just riding (think hands on hips stretching backwards). This is consistent with the classification of disc derangement but the amount or severity of a lateral component is what makes internet diagnosis impossible.
    My advice is to see a physical therapist that is McKenzie trained. If you are feeling good now due to doing the cobra you may get away with googling "neutral spine," learn what that is. Try to recreate that position when climbing on your bike by working on "transversus abdominis" strengthening. If cobra allows you to fully extend your back when standing and you are able to lock out your arms when doing cobra while exhaling AND you have no pain at any time you likely resolved the derangement. The other good news is that the natural history of disc derangement is that it will resolve in 6-8 weeks unless you continue doing the activity that causes the prolonged posterior disc pressure. If anyone or anything gets you better but it takes 6-8 weeks it was likely the natural course and not the intervention. More then likely riding hills AND something else in your life is contributing, good luck.

  34. #34
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    Never have been able to find

    Quote Originally Posted by The Diesel
    Do you have a link for info this info? I knew i wasnt climbing correctly but didnt know what i was doing wrong. We have alot of rooty climbs down here and i end up pulling on the front and mashing and it seems to tire my back quickly. I am new to SS.
    this article again. I just looked for ANY technique advice about ss climbing, found only one passage that recommends,"do most of your climbing sitting down" which sounds like absolutely horrible advice, dead 180 degrees wrong, IMO.

    I know I didn't dream the Travis Brown article, 'cause i went back and reread it a few times in the first month I was riding ss. No luck on the MBA site search.

    Anyone else know a link?

    A video shot from a car window on a medium-steep road climb would be nice and clear....

    I don't have a camera or know how to post video, but if anyone living in the sf bay area wants to meet for a ride, I'll show you what I know and maybe we could post a short how-to vid. It really is a useful technique.
    (ps you have to wait for me on the climbs, I'm even slower than usual since getting over the crud )

    Baycat, how's the back?
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  35. #35
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    Its OK still acute pain/tightness. Went on a short ride with gears and it felt good the whole time. Tried bits of standing and climbing to see how it felt on the Pine Mountain climb, slight discomfort.

    Went to Dr., put on a steady diet of heat and 600 mg Motrin for the pain. Have a stronger relaxant for evenings just in case.

    PT is setup for ALL the way in April since my HMO is not the best. I might try and call to see if I can get an earlier appointment or get a referral to a specialist and not my GP.

  36. #36
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    Doctorsti thanks for chiming in.

    1. Yes it does feel a bit worse in the AM. After a lunch time session of stretching and exercise tightness and uncomfortable feeling dissipates.

    2. No problem standing after riding, not so much after climbing. That is what aggravates it.

    3. Feels worse after sitting in the office chair for a few hours in the morning.

    4. No problem bending backwards. During stretching or movement the pain does not intensify at all.

    Read that tight leg muscles (quads?) can have a big impact on lower back region, and to properly stretch.

  37. #37
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    When my core strength gets weak, my lower back pain starts. My lower back has currently been reminding me of this, hence, I'm back doing regular ab/lower back work.

    sParty - thanks for the info on that stretch. It works well for me!

  38. #38
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    I get low back pain when I let my hamstrings and glutes get tight. Some good stretching over a couple of days makes it go away. I'm definitely trying that "cobra" stretch when I get home.

  39. #39
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    I've been having more and more lower back problems recently. Felt more like my kidneys. Especially bad after a day of hard riding. Just figured it was because I was riding hard. 3 weeks ago I urinated a bowl of blood multiple times over the weekend. Went to see the urologist. Just got the results back from an ultrasound. A stone in each kidney both way to big to pass and the one in my right kidney is "massive."

    Not sure if this is causing the pains/stress in my back but my back pains make a lot more sense now... I'd like to here the bike doctors take on this. My urologist is anti-cycling and is trying to encourage me to quit riding. He reminds me of Bobby Bouche's mom (Waterboy) "Cycling is the devil..."

  40. #40
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    Dude... that's SO not good to hear. Best of luck. Hopefully they can shoot some lasers at those things and disintigrate them or something.

    Don't blame the bike. Look how many people ride bikes and don't have kidney stones.

    Drink more water. Wear your Camelbak all day.

    This too shall pass.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus

    Don't blame the bike. Look how many people ride bikes and don't have kidney stones.

    Drink more water. Wear your Camelbak all day.

    This too shall pass.

    --Sparty
    I definitely don't blame the bike. Even the doc doesn't blame the bike but insists nothing good can come from resting your underside on a small narrow wedge. I have no intention on giving up the bike but I may have to take it easy for awhile. I think riding the SS hard might actually be shaking the stones like a maraca. Whatever the case, I'm hoping once all is said and done these back pains will finally ease up some.

  42. #42
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    Ouch man! Kidney stones are no joke, take the time to heal up and then hit the bike. I had them from a football related injury. And they are the worst kind of pain to get.

    edit: if anything ss riding is keeping the jewels of the narrow wedge

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale
    I definitely don't blame the bike. Even the doc doesn't blame the bike but insists nothing good can come from resting your underside on a small narrow wedge. I have no intention on giving up the bike but I may have to take it easy for awhile. I think riding the SS hard might actually be shaking the stones like a maraca. Whatever the case, I'm hoping once all is said and done these back pains will finally ease up some.
    rou
    My dad had these a couple times and I know a few other guys people who had them and it is apparently quite painful. But they all got over them. I might look for a new doc if he's so against biking....would he prefer you sit around and watch telly all day? There are a couple things that they can do these days to help break them up.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  44. #44
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    Having seriously pulled my back singlespeed riding big hills last season, here is what worked for me.

    1.) core exercises to build some armor around the lower back, sides, and front - not just situps (abs), but hyperextensions (lower back), and side crunches (external obliques). The muscles all work together and complement each other. Asymmetrically developed core strength is almost as bad as no core strength.

    2.) When climbing - the hip-throwing thing works great. So does pulling on the bars. What is BAAAD JUJU is when you do both at the same time. When you pull on the bars, your butt should be tucked back, behind your shoulders. Same as when doing a squat with freeweights.

    3.) spend some time on a geared bike as well, especially pre- and early-season. Give yourself a break, and diversify your workout portfolio. Cardio is a key component to climbing. SS climbing has such high resistance that a lot of it is experienced at redline, anaerobic levels of exertion, and not really a good cardio builder. A ton of really good competitive SS riders use the road bike to build base fitness in the winter and early spring.

    4.) Listen to your body. Don't overgear until you are ready for it. When you climb in too tall of a gear and don't dismount, you tend to spaz and do stupid/risky moves to try to get over stuff. That's when you get hurt.

    I'm sure this advice will get picked apart by the peanut gallery, but that's what I have to offer.

  45. #45
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    Standing

    After reading this thread, I made an effort to stand when ever my cadence was forced to slow and it made a big difference. I am a new SSer and thought that if I could push the gear, I could remain seated. I now realize how much pressure my lower back was under. I also rode much faster on the hills. I will be off the bike for 3 days. Hopefully my knees will start to recover.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenut316
    After reading this thread, I made an effort to stand when ever my cadence was forced to slow and it made a big difference. ...
    The only thing I can add to this is to suggest that standing, alone, is not enough. Again, bike fit comes into play. I raised my bars (and widened them) to the point where I felt completely natural while standing and pedaling. That is to say my posture is very good & as upright as possible while I'm climbing out of the saddle. Pedaling while standing feels very natural and comfortable to me as my bike is set up these days.

    It came to me that if I'm going to spend a larger percentage of my time out of the saddle, I needed to set my bike up to not only be comfortable while climbing this way, but to make going from seated to standing position as easy as possible as well. A steep seat angle helps in this regard. My bars are approximately the same height as my saddle nowadays. Formerly my bars were much lower than my seat.

    Oh, one more thing. A hydration pack that allows the rider to place its weight very low on the back (like a fanny pack) helps a lot. The WingNut packs allow this. What a huge improvement in comfort, both while riding and post-ride.

    --Sparty
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    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    The only thing I can add to this is to suggest that standing, alone, is not enough. Again, bike fit comes into play. I raised my bars (and widened them) to the point where I felt completely natural while standing and pedaling. That is to say my posture is very good & as upright as possible while I'm climbing out of the saddle. Pedaling while standing feels very natural and comfortable to me as my bike is set up these days.

    It came to me that if I'm going to spend a larger percentage of my time out of the saddle, I needed to set my bike up to not only be comfortable while climbing this way, but to make going from seated to standing position as easy as possible as well. A steep seat angle helps in this regard. My bars are approximately the same height as my saddle nowadays. Formerly my bars were much lower than my seat.

    Oh, one more thing. A hydration pack that allows the rider to place its weight very low on the back (like a fanny pack) helps a lot. The WingNut packs allow this. What a huge improvement in comfort, both while riding and post-ride.

    --Sparty
    I found bike fit to be important also. I am in between sizes and went with the larger frame. At first I thought it was a mistake. If it was a geared bike, the smaller frame would of worked also due to the limited amount of standing. With the SS, the larger frame lets me stand very comfortably. I am experimenting with bar width right now. 25 inch bars are too narrow for SSing and 26.5 inches is great for climbing but throws my handling off elsewhere. I may shorten them by a 1/2 inch but that's it. Bar width for climbing takes presedence over everything else.

  48. #48
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    The Travis Brown article is in the July 2006 MBA. There is no online link. You can order back copies of MBA for online viewing. The reader is called Zinio. You can subscribe online and get delivery through Zinio. Just recently BIKE added the Zinio option for subscriptions. Goodbye paper copies. My library of back issues is my hard drive.

    The article discusses climbing (moving the hips for throwing the bike) and descending (momentum is important).


    Quote Originally Posted by archtop44
    this article again. I just looked for ANY technique advice about ss climbing, found only one passage that recommends,"do most of your climbing sitting down" which sounds like absolutely horrible advice, dead 180 degrees wrong, IMO.

    I know I didn't dream the Travis Brown article, 'cause i went back and reread it a few times in the first month I was riding ss. No luck on the MBA site search.

    Anyone else know a link?

    A video shot from a car window on a medium-steep road climb would be nice and clear....

    I don't have a camera or know how to post video, but if anyone living in the sf bay area wants to meet for a ride, I'll show you what I know and maybe we could post a short how-to vid. It really is a useful technique.
    (ps you have to wait for me on the climbs, I'm even slower than usual since getting over the crud )

    Baycat, how's the back?

  49. #49
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    do more crunches Ryan. Stronger abs for a stronger back.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    do more crunches Ryan. Stronger abs for a stronger back.
    NOBODY should do crunches. Far too much posterior disc pressure not only in your low back but also in your neck. There are SO many things that you can do to train the appropriate abdominals (not the rectus abdominis by the way). See my post above for appropriate muscle to strengthen. Better strength does not improve low back pain, it may help with prophylaxis but that's all. If you want a quick and easy exercise to work your core correctly you can try planks and side planks, BUT you must do them correctly and that is by keeping neutral spine and pulling in the transversus. This guy needs a mechanical evaluation not ab strength.

    A proper fitting by a qualified/trained person would be helpful for prophylaxis as well. Fix the problem then make sure you stop the activity or at least the way you did the activity that caused the problem. Too big a frame is a fair guess. Likely too big a frame is the straw that broke the camels back (no pun intended) and there is something else that would be elucidated in taking a good history.

  51. #51
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    Popular thread.

    Laying off all forms of physical activity (including stretching) until I get better. Lower back pain has moved north and now is in the area of my shoulder blades and elsewhere. My GP was no help, and the meds I am on are OK, but going to see a Physical Medicine specialist next week to hopefully get some help.

    Xrays show nothing wrong with the spine, so I think it is just some pulled muscle(s) in the back. Once I am healthy got some help from a personal trainer friend with some core strengthening exercises, plank is one of them. My core strength was fairly solid prior so this will be a boost.

    The bike might have been the culprit, but doubtful it probably made the condition worse. Frame is a custom fit so it is sized to a T. But playing around with the geometry once I can ride so I maintain a straight spin while climbing.

    Riser stem, new handlebars with different hand postions and some other changes in store.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Popular thread.

    Laying off all forms of physical activity (including stretching) until I get better. Lower back pain has moved north and now is in the area of my shoulder blades and elsewhere. My GP was no help, and the meds I am on are OK, but going to see a Physical Medicine specialist next week to hopefully get some help.

    Xrays show nothing wrong with the spine, so I think it is just some pulled muscle(s) in the back. Once I am healthy got some help from a personal trainer friend with some core strengthening exercises, plank is one of them. My core strength was fairly solid prior so this will be a boost.

    The bike might have been the culprit, but doubtful it probably made the condition worse. Frame is a custom fit so it is sized to a T. But playing around with the geometry once I can ride so I maintain a straight spin while climbing.

    Riser stem, new handlebars with different hand postions and some other changes in store.
    I will put money on the fact that it's not a "pulled muscle." Plain film X-rays and MRI are only helpful in identifying pathology, that is tissues that are abnormal, and they are not even perfect at that. Of course an X-ray is normal, unless you had a terrible fracture or large tumor one would expect to see nothing on them. From what you are saying I would say the bike is not the culprit at all and likely not your core strength either. There is something else that a good therapist could classify and treat. My advice is find a good physical therapist that is McKenzie MDT certified and stay away from personal trainers until you are very very healthy. PM&R is going to see you, throw you in an MRI and find small herniations and normal degenerative findings. This will result in a diagnosis of degenerative disc disorder or some other such nonsense and you will bug out because you now have a diagnosis. I am assuming you are over 20 years old here. Hopefully you see a good PM&R doc but get this figured out and see the PT. PM&R will most likely send you to PT anyway. If you go to PT and they do heat, a little ultrasound, electrical stim, and massage your back, RUN, don't walk to another clinic.

  53. #53
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    I used to have lower back pain on the single speed. Stretching and strengthening my core fixed it.

  54. #54
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    Hey Ryan,

    Is this your way of getting out of doing 8hrs of Boggs?

    I kid! I kid!

    Hope to see ya out there.

    Kevin

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Popular thread.

    Laying off all forms of physical activity (including stretching) until I get better. Lower back pain has moved north and now is in the area of my shoulder blades and elsewhere. My GP was no help, and the meds I am on are OK, but going to see a Physical Medicine specialist next week to hopefully get some help.

    Xrays show nothing wrong with the spine, so I think it is just some pulled muscle(s) in the back. Once I am healthy got some help from a personal trainer friend with some core strengthening exercises, plank is one of them. My core strength was fairly solid prior so this will be a boost.

    The bike might have been the culprit, but doubtful it probably made the condition worse. Frame is a custom fit so it is sized to a T. But playing around with the geometry once I can ride so I maintain a straight spin while climbing.

    Riser stem, new handlebars with different hand postions and some other changes in store.

    Sorry to hear of the pain. What meds are you on??

    I take simple Calcium and Magnesium at night before bed to act as a natural muscle relaxant. Helps a ton and are just electrolites. Aleve is better in the long run over ibuprofen. Can't speak to true pain killers. Try to take the holistic approach when I can. Ice pack.. Watch my posture and core strengthing has been key for me.. Plank, work with a Swiss ball and a Bosu ball etc.. Huge benefits. Massage helps. Yoga. Anything to relax but I remain as active as I can.

    Spinning helps me on the bike this early. Big gears when I'm strong during the summer.

    Bar to saddle height is an inch under on the Mtn and three under on the Road. Professionally fitted and very comfortable. I'm not one to use a setback seat post. I think they put you to far back over the pedals.. yada yada..

    Get well.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctorsti
    NOBODY should do crunches. Far too much posterior disc pressure not only in your low back but also in your neck. There are SO many things that you can do to train the appropriate abdominals (not the rectus abdominis by the way). See my post above for appropriate muscle to strengthen. Better strength does not improve low back pain, it may help with prophylaxis but that's all. If you want a quick and easy exercise to work your core correctly you can try planks and side planks, BUT you must do them correctly and that is by keeping neutral spine and pulling in the transversus. This guy needs a mechanical evaluation not ab strength.

    A proper fitting by a qualified/trained person would be helpful for prophylaxis as well. Fix the problem then make sure you stop the activity or at least the way you did the activity that caused the problem. Too big a frame is a fair guess. Likely too big a frame is the straw that broke the camels back (no pun intended) and there is something else that would be elucidated in taking a good history.
    I don't read what others write... 'specially long-winded technical hub-bub. I just post willy nilly and offer up bad advice and sometimes crass remarks.

  57. #57
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    Have you been doing any running?? Cause I know when I tried to run as an off-season training program, it caused all kinds of hurt in my lower back, just from the jarring of the ground.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    The Travis Brown article is in the July 2006 MBA. There is no online link. You can order back copies of MBA for online viewing. The reader is called Zinio. You can subscribe online and get delivery through Zinio. Just recently BIKE added the Zinio option for subscriptions. Goodbye paper copies. My library of back issues is my hard drive.

    The article discusses climbing (moving the hips for throwing the bike) and descending (momentum is important).
    Awesome! Thanks, Pacman.

    ...and I'm still up for making a video if someone near the east SF bay wants to... be nice to have something like that on youtube, might save some people a little back or knee pain.

    I watched some poor girl sit and grind her 63inch gear fixie up a pretty steep hill the other day, doing about 8rpm's. Made my knees hurt just watching her.

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

  59. #59
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    too bent over and you wil get lower back pain. Find a more upright postion on your bike. Stem is best bet.

    Little bit will go a long way!!!!!

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