Back Soreness Issue- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Back Soreness Issue

    Today was a unusually hard day of single speeding due to the wet soft muddy conditions underneath a thin layer of snow. It seemed to take alot more effort to get up hills and to even ride the flats.

    I've had minor back pain in the past when I've done my SS'ing this year for the first time, but today it was much more acute and I wondered if it was because of the extra torque required because of the conditions we were riding.

    I'm prepared to live with this condition as I've had back pain in various degrees some years now as a result of my working in the construction trade many moons ago. However, I'm wondering if my technique is wrong or if it could be bike setup.

    My gearing is 32x17 which never poses any problems. My bars, though, are not wide at all in the SS sense of wide. I'm riding full rigid, but I am almost 99.9% positive that is not the reason for this. Cranks are 180's and the bike is a large Surly KM. I'm 6'1" with a 34inch inseam.

    Thanks guys, in advance, for all the good input..

    SS Slave
    Last edited by SingleSpeedSlave; 03-13-2004 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    The torque required to get up some hills can cause strain on lowerback muscles. I used to get the same thing. You need to strengthen your core so that you back doesn't ache as much.

    Do back extentions, both regular and make a circular motion clockwise then counter-clockwise. Back extentions are exactly what they sound like. Hang you body off of a bench with your feet secured to counter balance the weight (many gyms have an apparatus for this). You then start with your back flexed and extend it fully. You can also make a circular motion as discussed above, this isolates a different part of your back.

    Start off with just a few then work up from there. Also strengthening you abs and obliques can help. These exercises helped me alot, but start off with just a few reps twice a week and slowly build from there. Also be sure to stretch before and after riding and the back extensions.

    Winky

  3. #3
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    Stretch.

    You should be really careful now, because the back takes a long time to heal (even a minor injury, like a muscle strain). I've recently "healed" myself of constant lower back pain, and it only took about 10 months. The pain was an apparent result of too much riding and not enough stretching.

    The cure was doing a lot of Yoga (the sun salutation, especially) with a focus on stretching all the muscles around my hips: hamstrings, quads, glutes, back, and all those little side muscles whose names I don't know. I've started doing Yoga for a half hour about three times a week, and its benefits are great on & off the bike.

    If you don't already, you should really get into the habit of doing a good five (or more) minutes of hamstring, back, quad stretches at the top of the first short hill, every ride; then again at the end of the ride. If your back gets stiff while riding, find a place to stop and do a nice, long, easy stretch.

    I'm not a doctor--this is the solution that worked for me, and it worked insofar as it gradually eased my back pain, and it prevents back pain so long as I keep doing it regularly.

    Good luck,

    jJ

  4. #4
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    Fit?

    A good bike fit from a top notch fit person can make all the diff. in the world. Our shop will fit people to their bike using proven methods for a reasonable price. You should be able to find a good person in your area that is doing this. If this is not poss. than check out the fit articles from Zinn and Bonty. A good fit can make a big diff. in riding comfort.

  5. #5
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    It could be a bike fit issue, but normally my back does not hurt when I ride this bike. Most or part of the back pain could be caused by poor technique, I was really torquing those cranks! I'm going to look into getting a wider bar, right now it is 24".

    I will check into it though and see what the results yield. Stretching will also become more of my routine...

    SS Slave

  6. #6
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    I'm right with you. I've been layed up all week with a sore back. This was after racing the SS at the Iron Angel. I REALLY wanted to make every climb so I pushed harder than I should have and I really don't have the SS miles under my belt to get used to the thing.

    Excuse me while a stretch a bit.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  7. #7
    SS Chimp
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    psoas, psoas, psoas...

    just finished up 1 month of sometimes very uncomfortable low back pain that came out of the blue. tons of miles on the ss all fall and winter and then it hits. new frame and 1 weeks later acute pain on the right side of the lumbar spine keeping me up at night. long and the short of it, i raised my bar height about 1" on the new rig and that was enough to tweek my left psoas which in turn caused the pain on in the lumbar spine. changing the pelvic angle that small amount ( 1 - 2mm ) put my psoas in slightly more extension and caused major spasms and this was exacerbated by the constant in and out of the saddle while ss'ing. started stretching the psoas and piriformis on both sides and dropped the bars back down and the pain is gone.

    this may not be what is going on with your back but the psoas a major cause of low back pain in cyclists especially if you are in and out of the saddle alot. a quick cruise of google for psoas and piriformis stretches will hook you up.

  8. #8
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    Maybe you were in a position you're not used to

    I ran into the same thing yesterday. There were spots where the trail was flat, but soft (wet sand). I couldn't stand up straight and pull on the bars, because the rear wheel would dig into the sand, so I had to crouch and pull back to get through these spots. When I was doing this, I could definitely feel it in my back.

    I second the recommendations for stretching/yoga/pilates. I think that's what kept me from a sore back today.

    About the bars - 24" seems kinda narrow. I have 25" bars and I have narrow shoulders (short female).

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    JAK
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    Howdy--

    I too have had that back pain in the past and this year I started riding after already swimming and doing Pilates. When the pain begins now, I just practice breathing through it and that helps a lot. Drawing my pelvis forward while standing and sitting seems to offer a little stretch that takes out some tension related to my back pain. For me, changing up my style and technique here and there really helps.

    GoodLuck
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  10. #10
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    suck it up Marine

    your lower back hurt because the muscles have atrophied from non-use during the winter, simple as that. the more you ride, the stronger your back will get and less it will bother you. meanwhile, take a couple of advil and just suck it up. If I only rode when I wasn't aching somewhere, I'd never be riding.

  11. #11
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    Exercise

    Some good suggestions here. I mostly agree with Winky though. I find that working on the core strength helps alot. You need to work in the front and back. Back extensions and crunches mostly.
    "I've never been better .... nor cared less!"

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