Back injury ended my SS riding (temporarily I hope)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Back injury ended my SS riding (temporarily I hope)

    I took up single speeding 2 summers ago when I broke my derailleur hanger and had to single speed that bike to get out of the woods. It wasn't geared optimally and was difficult but it was a blast! So I built a single speed HT to ride after work and saved my geared FS for the weekend's longer rides,

    This past June I injured my back @ work - diagnosis: lumbago. I took me off my bikes for 3 weeks. Problem is every time I ride my SS and stand to grind up a hill it leads to a painful back spasm. The last one stopped me cold and I nearly tumbled over. I can sit and spin up climbs on my geared bike without pain, but I love the personal challenge of SSing on my favorite trails.

    Have any of you experienced anything like this? What did you do to overcome/heal/rehabilitate and get back to SSing?
    >>"Every chance I get!"

  2. #2
    Trail Junkie
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    Yes, but mine was due to improper sized bike and improper fit. At it's worst, I could only walk 10ft at a time with out going to a knee.

    You need to do a lot of stretching of your core (abs, pelvis, lower back, and side) before riding, and stretch again afterwards. I was treated by a chiropractor and she gave me this book for free..its cheap, but worth it. There are some very good stretches in there! Great for self rehabilitation!

    Also, if you aren't racing..maybe drop the gear ratio to something more manageable. Who cares if you spin out of gear..you aren't racing..
    Or I could haunt you with the idea of the Lenz Sports Milkmoney (sorry for planting the seed)

    Treat Your Own Back - Fix Your Own Back Pain | Hammer Nutrition

    Lenz Sport :: The best full-suspension mountain bikes :: Milkmoney 4.0
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Intense Spider 29 C
    Cervelo S2
    Trek Boone 5 Disc
    Spech Tricross Expert
    Raleigh RX 1.0

  3. #3
    singletrack bound
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    I had been riding only singlespeed for years and had a really bad disc herniation L5 measuring 17mm displacing exiting left nerve root. That kept me off the bike for around seven weeks (sciatica) but after two epidural shots two weeks apart and after several weeks of P.T. I was able to get back on the SS. slowly but was able to climb everything I was used to climbing, just more cautiously.

    I certainly am now more aware of my core and keep up on that fairly regularly and I know that has helped tremendously.

    That will be three years ago this coming February.

    I am currently splitting time on the SS and a HT 1x10 and it has been going good ever since.
    Still really like the feel of the SS though. Got three rides last week on it!

  4. #4
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    i suffer from a bad back simimalr to tone no balone. I changed my gearing to a lower ratio so i dont have to grind as much. i dont race or anything so i dont mind slowing down a little. If i push to big of a gear i start to tighten up and its no fun. Also i do core exercise and stretches and the muscles seem to get stronger and get used to ss riding after a few weeks.

  5. #5
    CB2
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    Jam Econo
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    Work on your core so you have a strong foundation supporting your back. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, loosing them will also help.

  6. #6
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    Core, core, core!!

    Suffered from the same problem for YEARS! Problem for you now is that your muscles will be quick to go into spasms. Have to work on lower back endurance AND gluteal recruitment. Also, hip flexibility. It seems like just a lower back problem, but it is much more complicated than that. Look up different exercises that target the glutes--and soon you will learn that when your lower back muscles are inflamed, you will not get any power from them. I would also suggest your experiment with saddle height. I actually lowered mine a little, it I could feel the additional gluteal recruitment, and I worked for a long time initiating my pedal stroke from the glutes. You have to be careful not to go too low, or you will strain your hip flexors, and involve your knees (which will get bad when your hip flexors get tight). I went from having a back spasm about every 3 months and dealing with a weak and tight feeling lower back to feeling great. I do have to be careful, because I can slip right back into that bad muscle pattern. Learn to "feel" your glutes recruit in walking, standing, running, everything you do and you will begin to see the difference. Not only will you feel better, but you will feel like you are riding a motorcycle when you develop the power from the glutes. I think Fabian Cancellara is the most "glute-oriented" pedal stroker I have seen, and it's hard to argue with his power.
    Here's a great article I found on a while back while researching your very problem:
    The Truth About Low-Back Pain | Sports Injury Bulletin.
    And stretch hip, hams, groin, every day. People who say that doesn't help are young. I will be 50 soon, and it is a necessity. Best of luck--hope you get back to enjoying the SS!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Thanks for all the helpful advice. I will work on strengthening my core.

    dubdryver>> thanks for the links. i'll be picking up that Treat Your Own Back
    >>"Every chance I get!"

  8. #8
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    Good luck

    And remember to work on your riding position. I rode for years slumped over like I sat in my office chair. Keep that back long and straight, and learn to feel that squat position on your bike that engages the glutes. Hopefully that will all work out--once you get your muscles in a bad firing sequence, develop trigger points, and all that stuff, you work your body unevenly--that's when the herniated discs start, knee problems, hip--you name it. Keep up the stretching, learn to work out the trigger points in your glutes and hips with a baseball to keep them loose. Best of luck to everyone, my back isn't perfect, but I feel very fortunate to be riding largely pain free.

  9. #9
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    Physical therapy
    CORE
    Get a proper bike fit
    proper ergonomics at work, sitting in the car, at home, etc
    Good luck

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitzhym View Post
    This past June I injured my back @ work - diagnosis: lumbago.
    Lumbago is not a diagnosis, it just means 'back pain'

    But +1 for the advice from previous poster.
    Ride more!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slohr View Post
    ...Here's a great article I found on a while back while researching your very problem:
    The Truth About Low-Back Pain | Sports Injury Bulletin.
    And stretch hip, hams, groin, every day. People who say that doesn't help are young. I will be 50 soon, and it is a necessity. Best of luck--hope you get back to enjoying the SS!
    Foam Roller! Without typing a long winded anecdote, the foam roller saved my back and my quality of life. Google foam roller back exercises. Glute, hamstring, calf and ITB rolling will also be a big benifit, since all these muscles can be tight and affect your back also.

  12. #12
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    The pain will go away and the SS will help! You will get stronger.
    Try inversion

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