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Cycling and Lower Back Pain

There can be many causes of lower back pain for a cyclist who is without any other problems or history of back pain is often due to mechanical factors (versus intrinsic problems inside your body). The most common is bike fit, then bike fit and then bike fit.

In my experience, many cyclists are riding bikes that are the wrong size for them and they lack proper flexibility and/or their core strength. Take the time and have your bike fitted to your body, not the other way around. Back pain can also arise from anatomical causes like leg length discrepancy, poorly set up cleats, incorrect saddle position all causing misalignment of your spine.

Cyclists spend a great deal of time hunched forward—working on computers, riding bicycles and eating at dinner tables all contribute to bad spinal health. Poor spinal health is common in young cyclists and often due to bad posture (on and off the bike) and injury. If you favor one side of your body or the other due to injury or poor posture, your back eventually takes the strain. An imbalance in the spine will cause overuse of the lower back.

Lack of flexibility, typically caused by hamstring tightness, also contributes to lower back pain. With the average person having a leg length discrepancies (LLD) of three to six millimeters, a good bike fitter will correct an LLD greater than six millimeters. If this is a issue for you, then go to a reputable source who has experience with LLD, because it is easy to over-correct and cause a knee pain that will take you out for months. If you are experiencing any discomfort whilst riding, please get in touch for advice. We work closely with industry leading bike fitters and physiotherapists and can tailor a training programme to suit your requirements.

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