If you only drag your bike out on weekends or nice summer days, you may find yourself experiencing unexpected back pain after your ride. The likely culprit is muscle strain, although there are some other factors that may increase your risk of suffering from back pain during or after a ride.
Choose the Right Bike
You want a bike that’s going to offer some degree of comfort and support while riding. If you’re getting a new bike, ask the shop staff if you can take it for a short ride to better determine it’s going to be good for your back. If you have a bike stashed away, make sure it’s been properly adjusted and tuned up to avoid placing stress on your back.
Maintain Proper Bike Posture
As with any activity, posture is important if you want to reduce the risk of back pain. Achieve the correct posture on your bike to reduce stress on muscles and joints by:
- Adjusting seat height so your heel is resting comfortably on the pedal
- Sitting in a position with your knee slightly flexed
- Aligning your kneecap vertically over the pedal spindle
- Keeping your hands on the lowest handlebar position
- Adjusting handlebar height so your back doesn’t excessively arch
Get Other Forms of Exercise
You may find yourself experiencing back pain from muscle weakness if you’re not used to being active. Increase the strength of your spine with core strengthening exercises and light aerobic activities between rides.
The good news is that most forms of back pain will go away with a little rest and the use of a heating pad or ice pack. If you find yourself experiencing sharp or sudden back pain or the discomfort lingers beyond a few days, see what a board-certified spine physician has to say before getting back on your bike.
For more information on prevention or treatments for back pain, reach out to The Spine Institute, a leading Los Angeles spine surgery center helping patients return to a pain-free lifestyle. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation today.