Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stop Back Pain When Cycling

Cycling is often noted for its healthful benefits. Unfortunately, hours spent in the saddle can also lead to back pain, making further participation in the sport difficult if not impossible. Back pain from cycling can be caused by any number of factors, ranging from bike fit to riding technique. This article will consider all possible solutions to back pain caused by cycling.


1. Stretch before riding. According to, this should be a routine step in your training regimen. Stretch the back particularly, bending with knees fixed and touching the toes. Loosen the hamstrings. Tightened hamstrings pull on the lower back, leading to pain in this region.

2. Increase back strength. Legs may do most of the work when cycling, but lower back muscles play a vital part, as well. The so-called Superman exercise is excellent for strengthening these muscles. Lay face down on the floor, arms extended. Raise the torso and feet, pausing at the top, and repeat.

3. Change position frequently while riding. Remaining in a fixed position while riding will tire muscles and create stress upon the back. Dr. Chad Asplund, from, recommends moving your hands from the drops to the brake hoods to the flats of the handlebar.

4. Adjust your saddle. Ideal saddle position is partly subjective, but a study undertaken by Chaim Sheba medical center in Israel found that a saddle adjusted with a 10 to 15 degree rise decreased back pain symptoms by 70%.

5. Try a different sized handlebar stem. Handlebar stems come in many different lengths. Visit a bike shop and sample different stem lengths. Stems that are too short will lead to a crowded position on the bike, bunching up your back. Stems that are too long, on the other hand, will cause over-stretching of the lower back.

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