Lower Back Pain From Cycling – Explanation, and Prevention

After a bike ride, do you find yourself as if needing a cane to walk? Okay, maybe it isn’t that bad but you might be experiencing significant pain in your lower back. If this is the case, don’t worry you are not alone. Many people experience some type of pain or lower back pain from cycling after a ride, however, if it is consistent or is getting worse, you might need to do some adjustments or make some changes to prevent this from happening.

Reasons For Lower Back Pain From Cycling

First things first, why is this even happening? Lower back pain from cycling is more common than you think and the reason can be a bit surprising. Here are some of the possible reasons why your back is aching after a bike ride:

Wrong Bike Fit

This is one of the most common reasons why you experience pain in your lower back from cycling, you have the wrong bike fit. This can be anything from the actual frame of the bike being too big to your seat being too high.

When getting a bike, it’s important to know your leg length and as well as your bike inseam, which is the length from the groin’s underside to the ankle’s bottom side. The right bike fit can be the difference between you standing upright and being hunched over after a bike ride.

Improper Posture

Do you find yourself hunching your back or being ramrod straight while you are on your bike? You need to have the proper posture when you are riding your bicycle. The posture will depend on your bike too as some models will require you to be leaning forward, like the road bike. Or even actually sitting as if on a chair if you have the best recumbent bicycle for touring.

Riding Style

Your riding style can also be the cause of your lower back pain. What kind of riding style do you have when you go uphill or downhill? Do you utilize the gears properly on your mountain bike? You might be pedaling way too much with the wrong gear when going up and this can significantly cause a lot of stress on your lower back.

Low Core Strength

It seems like a paradox, you want to get fit by cycling but to go cycling you have to be fit. That’s not really the case, however, if you have low core strength, you shouldn’t exert too much effort. You also need to do exercises that are specifically for your core without a bike if you want to get rid of the dull, aching pain in your lower back.

Prevention of Lower Back Pain From Cycling

Now you know some of the culprits of lower back pain from cycling, it’s time to find out what you can actually do about them.

Get the Right Bike

If you are just borrowing a bike or using an old one, it might be time for an upgrade. Getting a bike that is the right fit for you can do wonders. Not only will you prevent lower back pain but you can experience a more enjoyable ride. If you can’t buy a new bike, then you might just need to do some adjustments to your old one.

Improve Your Core and Flexibility

You need to do exercises before you hop on your bike. This can be simple exercises like crunches, dead bugs, and bird dogs. Simply getting on your bike while having a mostly sedentary life is one way to get an injury. Even simple stretches during work breaks can help.

Always Start Small

As much as you want to challenge yourself, it’s important to take it slow. Before you go climbing up a mountain, why not try a hill first? Going on cycling trails? Stick to beginners if you are a beginner. Don’t go challenging yourself on an intermediate or expert one right away.

Don’t Forget Warm Ups and Cool Downs

The importance of warm-ups and cool-downs must be emphasized. You need to do stretches before you hop on your bike. Don’t forget to cool down after a ride, no matter how long or short.

Find the Correct Position

Switching up your positions while cycling is important. This way, you can learn what is the right riding position and style is for you. At the same time, switching positions during long rides can prevent immense pressure on specific body parts.

Final Thoughts

If you continue to experience lower back pain from cycling, it might be time for a check-up. There are some issues that can’t be fixed right away. Most of the time, your bike isn’t to blame for your lower back pains but rather it could be you. This can be anything from anisomelia, wherein you have a leg length discrepancy, to spinal problems. For cases like these, you need to go to an expert.

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