Lower back pain from cycling: Why it happens and how to prevent it.
Back pain is a frequent complaint of the cyclists and often prevents us from doing what we love the most. How many hours a day do you spend sitting? I’ll bet it’s more than you think. And if your job requires that you sit, then those hours really start to add up. Also those who spend many hours riding improperly are constantly compromising their body alignment. In fact, one of the main causes of back pain is the faulty fit of the bike.
The Bike Fit is well publicized and it is rare for the cyclist who does not make a bicycle adjustment according to their morphological characteristics. In fact, the introduction of biomechanics in Bikefitting has significantly increased the comfort and performance of cyclists, since it also considers the dynamics of living tissue (biomechanics) in the definition of the position on top of the bike. But even so, the vertebral column maintained in a position of flexion during long periods tends to lose its function, mainly due to an atrophy of the multifidus and lumbar square muscle.
Generally, the pains are of difficult treatment, but we want to leave here some tips that can help to overcome this problem.
Before moving on to recovery exercises it is important to make sure you do not have a serious injury on your back. Seek a doctor to ensure that you do not have a herniated disc or a fracture in a vertebra, as you may be risking a worsening of the pain with exercise.
How to prevent and cure back pain?
First strengthen the core and prepare it for the stress that is put on road cycling and especially on the mountain bike. Unfortunately, most cyclists only care about this part of the workout after they start to feel the pain. If you already suffer from back pain, of course, you have already realized that doing exercises for the Core with pain, becomes very painful and may even worsen rather than improve. If this is your case you should start with a general body reconditioning plan, then strengthen your core and back.
1.RECONDITIONING PLAN – Myofascial release of the gluteus medius and quadriceps. (foam roller or tennis ball)
First step is to do the myofascial release of the muscle and connective tissue in order to untangle and release the tension, maintaining the correct alignment of muscle fibers and structures.
The muscles that should be the target of our action are the gluteus medius and the quadriceps.
2. Stretching of the Iliopsoas Muscle
The psoas muscle is the deepest and most stabilizing muscle in the human body, which makes the connection between the spine and the lower limbs. When strong and flexible, it stabilizes the spine and provides support through the trunk, in addition to forming a good support for the abdominal organs. But iliopsoas tendonitis is a common pathology in cyclists due to the excessive overload of musculature in the basin area.
Tip: Practice Yoga for greater flexibility and mobility. Chek out our blog!
The main cause of back pain when pedalling is related to a weak Core. The Core is formed by the muscles that surround the abdominal area. Among the muscles most important for cyclists we can highlight the transverse abdominal, oblique and multifidus. Strengthening the muscles of the back and abdomen favors and facilitates the maintenance of a stable and strong position for the back.
Circles on plank on the Swiss ball.
Dig your forearms and especially your wrists into the ball. This alone will increase your core activation 10-fold.Draw in and brace your abs, keep your hips up, and glutes and quads contracted. Then, simply move the ball around in a small circular motion moving only your arms. You can only do the isometry board on the ball or on the ground if you have more difficulties.
Dead Bug with Swiss ball.
Lie on your back with the ball between your legs and arms. Drop one arm along with the opposite leg keeping the abdomen in contraction. Simpler option with bent knees. To get the most benefit from this exercise make sure your legs and arms are always pressed into the ball .
Knee flexion on the Swiss ball.
Lying in the supine position, support both feet on the ball and perform knee flexion. Dig your heels into the ball as your drag the ball back toward your bum. It may increase the difficulty by making the movement one-sided.
Push ups on the Swiss ball.
While doing an arm flexion do the flexion of the thigh. For those who have more difficulty it is necessary to isolate and execute only one of the movements.
Leave in the comments more exercise suggestions.