Ruth is a cyclist and asked the guru about her lower back pain

July 1, 2014

Hi Guru

I have recently been getting some lower back pain.

I cycle a lot, I have recently got a new bike and wondering if this could be causing it.

Over the years I have had sporadic flare ups of lower back pain that make it hard to move around and last for a few days. It’s not always clear what causes it, like it’s not necessarily possible to link it to an event I could say, that’s when it happened, something went etc. It’s not stopping me doing things at the moment but I’M worried it will develop into something worse.

I’ve been doing regular stretches that will strengthen my core, suggested by a pillates teacher, sit ups, plank, hand and knees opposite arm and leg lifts.

I swim regularly but mostly breast stroke, read a post on here that it’s not the best, but I do wear goggles and try to keep my head under water and my body as straight as I can. I also do back stroke.

I started Kick Boxing which might be causing it too?

I have to lug a lot of stuff around for work. I try to lift with arms not back etc.

Tend to be aware of my posture etc

I’ve recently started rolling on a foam roller. A pillates teacher told me to roll over my ‘hip flexers’, so I’m rolling on my thighs, upper leg muscles. It’s painful so only for a few minutes at a time!

I’m thinking of doing a 120 mile bike ride (super long way) but worried it will make things worse

Do you have any advice?

Many thanks!

Six Physio Website

July 1, 2014

Hi Ruth

Lots of different things going on – I prefer the simple life by either confirming or denying what you think is causing your back pain.

Your back pain is just (ha!) a symptom and due to all of the below your really need to find out the cause.

I think starting with your bike is a great idea. There’s no issue at all (at the mo) with you doing a 120M ride – and as long as it’s not in the next few weeks, then not cycling for the next 10 days or so will tell you of it’s your new bike setup which is causing your issue.

If your back feels better (as in you’ve confirmed the cause) then you’ll need to do something about it – if it’s the same then we’ll have to rethink.

Just a little word in your ear – things like sit-ups and planks in the same sentence as back pain relief don’t seem to make sense. Having strong tummy muscles will not prevent you from have back pain. If anything the strength generally causes more rigidity and compression around the spine rather than giving it stability and control….

1 thing at a time – bike first!

Let me know how it goes.

The Guru
Six Physio

Guru Responded

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