As a center for advanced spine surgery in Los Angeles, we work with many athletes who are struggling with some level of spinal pain. For avid cyclists, the most common complaint is back pain from frequently hunching over the bicycle. The consistent pain that is present makes it a struggle for many to stay active and enjoy the exercise. Fortunately, there are a few methods for preventing the discomfort and continuing the sport long-term.
Have the Bike Fitted to Your Body
Lower back pain is often attributed to riding a bike that is too large for your body type. The handlebar height should be anywhere from zero to 10 centimeters with the saddle angle checked with a spirit level. The seat can also be adjusted to where you can comfortably rest the heel of your foot on the pedal when it’s in the downward position.
Improve Your Posture
Poor spinal health can result from bad posture when cycling and can cause overuse with your back. Visit a spine specialist who can provide non-surgical spine treatments as well as techniques to help strengthen your muscles and change how you sit on the bike.
Build Your Core Strength
In order to reduce your dependency on your back while riding, it’s important to increase the different muscles in your core. Consider practicing yoga or Pilates for exercises that will strengthen your stomach and allow you to rely less on your back during the mobility.
Use Shock-Absorbing Tools
To reduce the amount of bumps and jolts that are felt during your ride, use handlebar covers that reduce the shock that you experience on different trails or when on an open road. You can also place shock absorbers on your back and front wheels to ensure that your ride is smoother with less strain placed on your body.
For many cyclists, these tips can help to reduce or eliminate the discomfort caused from the activity. However, if you have persistent chronic back pain that doesn’t respond to conservative methods, it may be time to explore other options. To determine if your back pain could be treated using a surgical or minimally invasive spine procedure, schedule a consultation with The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration by clicking here or call us directly at (310) 828-7757.