Can Bike Riding cause Lower Back Pain – The cyclist spends a lot of time on the bike, so the exercise requires a good preparation not only of the legs but also of the muscles responsible for keeping the torso in an upright position on the saddle. Therefore, a very serious problem for those who pedal is a low back pain (pain in the lower back). Next, the sports doctor Roberto Ranzini, who is a member of the Brazilian Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, explains what it is and how to prevent back pain when pedaling.
Low back pain is characterized by acute pain in the lumbar region, caused by an inflammatory process that can affect points of the vertebra or the muscles responsible for its support. It is a very common picture in cycling, both endurance athletes and dilettantes who usually ride long distances.
In most cases, the problem comes from degenerative spinal changes or postural defects. In the case of cyclists, the most recurrent causes are muscle imbalance and poor posture due to a lack of proper fit in the bike.
The pain that characterizes low back pain can be acute or chronic. In the first case, it is identified only after exercise. In the second it becomes continuous and can last for a long period if it is not treated. Therefore, when perceiving the problem, the cyclist should look for a specialist.
Usually, the treatment is done on the basis of anti-inflammatory medication – when the pain is very intense – and physical therapy, which can be combined with acupuncture. It also involves RPG sessions (global postural re-education) and Pilates for correction of postural defects and readaptation for the specific sports gesture.
If the problem is degenerative, there are specific exercises that can be prescribed by a professional in the area. If the source is poor posture on the bike, the rider should seek a bike fit specialist for the necessary adjustments. Also important are exercises for strengthening the lumbar, dorsal and abdomen muscles, as well as stretching. Here are some suggestions from the doctor Roberto Ranzini.
The abdominals should be made on a flat surface and with short movements so as not to overload the spine, preferably with the guidance of a physical education teacher.
Lie down with your legs extended and your back flat on the floor. Bend your legs and pull both knees toward your chest until you feel the abdomen contract. The movement should be done in sets of 15 repetitions.
Get on your knees with your hands on the floor. Lift one arm and leg on the opposite side, holding the position for 5 seconds. Then invert the arm and leg, and hold the position again. Do it five times on each side. Be careful not to raise your leg too high. The abdomen should be contracted so as not to force the lumbar.
There are two muscle groups that are essential for the practice of cycling and should receive special attention in the stretches: the hamstrings (posterior of the thigh) and the gluteus maximus. These stretches should be made with the back resting on the floor, trailing the lower limbs against the trunk.
Lie on your back on the floor, keeping one leg bent and the other extended. With the help of a towel, pull the extended leg back and hold the position for 30 seconds. Do this four times on each side.
Lie on your back on the floor and cross one leg over the other. Approach the legs of the trunk until you feel stretch the gluteal region and hold the position for 30 seconds. Do this four times on each side.