Cycling and lower back pain go hand in hand
A cycling habit is great for physical fitness, happiness and social well-being. Cycling gets you out for varying degrees of exercise and lets you access the outdoors in a truly unique way. But, as with all physical activities, you need to be careful that your fitness habit is not causing your back pain. The fact is that cycling, because of the mechanical factors involved in the motion, lends itself to back pain. Indeed, people who have no previous history of back pain find that when they start biking, they also gain a tender lower back. But that doesn't have to be the case! We have identified the factors that matter for keeping you on the road and leaving the back pain behind!
When biking hurts your back
Reason #1 is a poorly fitting bike: depending on the style of riding you are doing (road biking, touring, mountain biking), your back spends varying levels of time in a hunched over position. This increases compression on your spine so it is very important that you select and purchase a bike which has been expertly fit for your body. A properly fitted bike is the number one way to prevent back pain from cycling. Whether your bike is too big or small, it is going to force your body to work harder, and in more questionable ways, than if you have a good cycle.
Secondly, cycling develops the quads more than the hamstrings which creates a muscular imbalance that needs to be addressed off the bike. By adding in balance to your hamstrings, you will create a more balanced set of leg muscles to support your lower spine.
At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are experts in treating back pain in bikers. While we can't control what bike you ride, we can help you improve core muscle stability, spinal alignment and musculoskeletal balance; we can also help you improve your biking posture. All of these factors put together will make you a more effective rider while saving your lower back in the process.