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causes, cures and preventions – GravelBikes.Online


You’re riding so mentally high that, in your mind, your pedaling technique resembles that of trail-blooming Elisa Balsamo, and your new overpriced polyester shirt effortlessly hides the curves that cotton tops can’t reach. when Yakety Yak, there goes the back. Again. Your chances of progress are deflated again and you haven’t even had a single stab.

“The incidence of back pain in cycling is difficult to quantify because not all lower back pain is reported and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between cause and effect; i.e. is cycling causing the pain or is it something else, like working in front of a computer for 10 hours a day? That’s the real reason for the injury, but it’s more painful when riding a bike.”

This is Bianca Broadbent, a top physiotherapist and bike rider who has worked with both recreational cyclists and the world’s elite, including Lawson Craddock of the Jayco-Alula team, when asked how common is back pain back to the world cycling group. Broadbent is a scientist and not prone to hyperbole. She is the very definition of a pragmatist. But after pondering the study value of a library in his head, he notices a figure. “About 19%,” he says. “This has been reported on how many cyclists have, or have had, back pain.”

Read more: Tact Position: Why it’s so important and how to get it right

With one in five of us squeaking our way through a journey, if the pain is bearable, of course, it’s nothing to be sniffed at. But that’s nothing compared to professionals, for whom a Norwegian study reported that of 116 elites, 49 had reported lower back pain at some point. That’s 42%. It begs the question, what are the main causes of back pain in cyclists and how can it be prevented in the first place (or at least reduce your chances of enduring time off the bike)? But first things first, it seems obvious, but what exactly is back pain?

Muscle roots…or maybe neural

“As you might expect, it’s generally a muscle problem,” says Broadbent. “It’s the same with the legs: overload them and the muscles will hurt a lot, which can sometimes lead to re-injury. However, it’s also possible to endure neurological pain. Sometimes the position you’ve adopted it causes pressure on certain structures and as a result the back suffers as a secondary structure.For example, you may have nerve pain in the buttocks causing your back pain, or it could be nerve pain radiating from the legs”.

“Multifaceted” is one of Broadbent’s favorite words when talking about back pain, both physiologically and biomechanically, meaning what are its root causes when it comes to angles on the bike? “One of the key assumptions is a high drop,” he explains. “In other words, you may have a bar position that is too low. In turn, this increases lumbar flexion and sacral tilt [akin to pelvic tilt].” This increases the stress on your lower back and you endure pain.

“Another hypothesis [pragmatist Broadbent loves this word, too] is that the rider is at the extreme end of their flexibility and the load is too much. It’s like you fell asleep on a plane. Your neck falls to one side and when you wake up it hurts because it’s not used to that position.”

“And another key reason behind back pain could be the angle of the saddle where the saddle is titled,” Broadbent continues. “Again, this goes back to the hypothesis of increasing wood flex. The shape of the saddle can also play a role, as can the height of the saddle. If it’s too high, you’ll have too much movement in the saddle, which can cause lower back problems. Ultimately, it all comes down to the one common denominator that you’re asking your lower back to do too much.”

Look for a professional

Saddle position, handlebar settings too low… all point to going to a professional bike fitter to assess your experience, flexibility, strength, injury history and riding goals not just for the purpose of converting – make you a more efficient cyclist. but also one of the most bulletproof. This is good for your body, but it may be less good for your ego, as a position that is too aggressive for your driving ability is common. But rolling it up—in other words, perhaps a higher bar position and a shorter stem—could pay big dividends.

In a professional bike fit, beyond the biomechanical assessment of how your limbs sit inside the bike, they will examine the saddle. This opens up a can of worms, as the right chair for you is such an individual choice. Broadbent mentions that Specialized’s Power range of saddles has come off the shelves and is a very good unisex saddle, while in the past I’ve had discussions with bike fitter Phil Burt, who used to work with Team Sky and now runs the ​​a clinic in the shadows of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. “A good starting point for finding the right chair for you is to measure your sit bones to give you an idea of ​​the width of your pelvis,” she said. “You can do this by sitting down on a piece of paper and identifying the pressure points.” Broadly speaking, the width of men’s sit bones ranges from 100mm to 140mm, while women’s sit bones range from 110mm to 150mm. Chair makers will take care of this, although it’s a very broad brush.

“Unfortunately, this is very much a starting point,” he continued. “Take women. They may have wider hips and wider pressure points, but that doesn’t mean they need a wider saddle. They might be more comfortable with a cropped saddle so they can comfortably park their bits in the gap.” He also suggested that saddle discomfort and its potential lower back repercussions could be due to bike choice short and on the chamois pad, “whether it moves with you or works against you,” rather than the saddle itself. It’s complicated. So get fit on a bike.

A handle that is too long is another potential irritant to the lower back, as in the 12 o’clock position, the knee and hip are compressed too much, which can lead to pain in the kinetic chain. A shorter crank will open up both your hips and the angle of your knees and ease the load on your lower back.

Stronger, faster… hurt

“You should also be aware of how your back reacts to changes in intensity,” Broadbent explains. “You should look at a study in the journal ‘Sports Biomechanics’…”

I do. It is titled Effect of incremental intensities on spinal morphology and central muscle activation in competitive cyclists. The catchy headline and research was delivered by a group of Spanish scientists, who analyzed the impact of increased intensity on spine posture and the eight core muscles of 12 competitive cyclists. The findings were no surprise to any of you who have tackled Hardknott Pass or Porlock Hill: “A significant increase in muscle activation was observed in all core muscles” with the rectus abdominis (for those of you with lucky to have one). , this is the upper layer known to some cyclists as a “six pack”!) Also, “as cycling intensity increased, cyclists significantly increased thoracic and lumbar-spinal flexion.”

In short, when you go harder, you’re not only putting your heart, lungs, and leg muscles under greater stress, but your lower back as well. The authors don’t suggest never riding hard, but it’s something to keep an eye on as it might help a bike fitter identify the cause if it becomes a real problem.

Walk or rest?

Which raises the question of when it’s safe to ride through back pain or spend a spell on the sidelines. “If the pain is just on the bike, then see a good physical therapist and/or bike fitter,” says Broadbent. “If you have a problem off the bike as well as with it, you should see your GP who will refer you to a suitable professional. If it gets to the stage where you are losing control of your bowels and bladder, this is considered a medical emergency and you are advised to go to A&E straight away. Again, it’s very important to differentiate between what is an on-bike problem and an off-bike problem.”

Read more: Older, faster, stronger: how to adapt your training as you age

If it’s an issue with the bike, beyond a bike fit and potentially a new saddle, off-bike work will help. Greater core strength and greater flexibility make you a more robust cyclist, so regular gym and stretching work is recommended. Yoga and pilates are two must-haves, and especially as the years go by, it may be best to sacrifice a ride or two for these off-the-bike essentials. They are also particularly beneficial for riders coming from team sports, where the twisting nature of sports such as football and rugby can lead to asymmetry on the bike and, again, potential back problems.

So there you have it. Having a professional assess you as a cyclist and your position on a bike is advisable whether you are injured or not, but obviously if you are suffering it will have health benefits beyond pure performance. You may need a new saddle, and even a new bike if yours is too big or small for you. So there could be expense. But ultimately, with 19% of runners suffering or having suffered from back pain, it would be money well spent.

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143 COMMENTS

    • Wow, thats a dangerous mentality. Ignoring the need for professional help can worsen injuries and lead to long-term problems. Resting is essential for proper healing. Dont risk it just to prove a point.

  1. Sure, because who needs the satisfaction of hard work and pushing our limits, right? Lets just pop a pill and forget about the value of effort and perseverance. Its all about instant gratification these days, huh?

    • Actually, its not that mind-blowing. Anyone with basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology would understand how muscle roots and neural connections play a role in biking. Its common sense, really.

  2. Comment: Ive tried walking, resting, and seeing a pro, but my muscles still hurt. Any secret remedies, guys?

  3. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its all about finding the right balance between training and rest. #ListenToYourBody

  4. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its all in our heads, literally! Neural connections play a bigger role than we think in muscle pain. #MindOverMuscle

    Look for a professional – Cant agree more! Dont be a hero, seek help from the experts. #ProAdvice

    Stronger, faster… hurt – Ah, the bittersweet reality of pushing our limits! Pain is just a reminder of our progress. #NoPainNoGain

    Walk or rest? – How about a compromise? Walk while resting, its a win-win situation! #ActiveRest

    • I totally agree! Our mind-body connection is powerful. Seeking professional help is crucial for proper guidance and avoiding unnecessary risks. Embracing the pain as a sign of progress is indeed bittersweet. And your suggestion of active rest is genius! Keep up the great work! #MindBodyConnection

  5. I read the article on GravelBikes.Online about muscle roots and professionals. Interesting stuff, but Ill stick to walking and resting!

    • Muscles are essential for physical strength and endurance. Neural pathways might help with cognitive abilities, but they wont help you lift heavy objects or run a marathon. Dont underestimate the power of a strong body. #MusclePower #PhysicalStrength

  6. Ive tried resting, walking, and seeking professional help, but my muscles still hurt! What gives? #frustrated

  7. Uh, Im sorry but I think you may have misunderstood the purpose of this comment section. Were here to discuss and share relevant information, not make random and unrelated statements. Lets stick to the topic at hand, shall we?

  8. Article: Causes, Cures and Preventions – GravelBikes.Online

    Comment: Anyone tried cycling while juggling? Maybe its the secret to preventing muscle pain!

  9. Muscle roots or neural? Maybe its a mix! Who needs a professional when Googles got our back? #DIYdoc

  10. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its a combination of both! Our bodies are complex systems after all.

  11. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its all about finding the right balance between strength training and rest days.

  12. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I say its a mix of both! Cant ignore the mind-body connection, folks! #StrongMindStrongBody

  13. Hey there! I love discussing the science behind muscle pain. While muscles play a significant role, lets not forget about the neural aspect. Its a fascinating topic that deserves exploration. Cant wait to hear everyones thoughts! #ScienceGeeks

    • Who cares? Well, apparently those who want to understand the root cause of their pain and find a long-lasting solution. Massages can provide temporary relief, but addressing the underlying issue is key. Ignoring it is just a band-aid approach.

  14. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its all about finding the right balance between strength and flexibility.

    • Oh boy, relying on Dr. Google for medical advice? Thats like asking a random stranger on the street to perform brain surgery. Please, consult a real doctor instead of diving into the abyss of misinformation. Your health is too important to play around with.

    • Wow, thats some reckless advice right there! Walking it off and resting might work for a minor scrape or bruise, but when it comes to serious injuries or health issues, seeking professional help is the smart choice. Dont play doctor, buddy.

    • Rest is essential for recovery and avoiding injuries. Pushing yourself too hard without rest can lead to burnout and setbacks. Take care of your body, listen to its needs, and find a balance. #SelfCareMatters #ListenToYourBody

  15. I think the article missed mentioning the power of unicorn tears for preventing muscle soreness. #magicalremedies

  16. Hey everyone! Just read the article on GravelBikes.Online about muscle roots and neural causes. Mind-blown! What do you think?

  17. Sorry, but Im going to have to disagree on this one. While honey may have some health benefits, I highly doubt its a cure for muscle pain. Proper rest, stretching, and over-the-counter pain relievers are more likely to do the trick.

  18. Hmm, I read this article on GravelBikes.Online about muscle roots and neural connections. Interesting stuff, but do we really need a professional for every little ache? #DIYtherapy

  19. Wow, this article really made me think about the importance of seeking professional advice for muscle pain! #NoMoreDrGoogle

    • Well, to each their own! Some of us prefer a leisurely stroll to take in the surroundings, while others enjoy the thrill of cycling. As long as we find our own ways to unwind and enjoy the sunset, thats all that matters. Happy wandering!

    • I get where youre coming from, but I believe theres a fine line between pushing ourselves and risking our health. Prioritizing proper training techniques and injury prevention can help us achieve our goals without unnecessary pain. Stay safe and keep pushing!

    • Gravel biking may be exhilarating, but lets not dismiss the importance of medical advancements. While its great for physical fitness, it wont cure diseases or heal injured nerves. Lets celebrate both gravel biking and scientific progress instead of pitting them against each other.

  20. Ive tried everything, but my muscles still complain. Maybe I need a professional masseuse on speed dial? #MusclePains

    • Oh please, stretching and hoping for the best? Thats just lazy advice. Understanding the root cause of the issue is essential for effective treatment. Consult a professional who can analyze your specific situation and provide targeted solutions.

  21. Hey guys, I totally agree that looking for a professional is key! Dont mess around with muscle roots or nerves. Safety first!

    • I couldnt agree more! Its just not worth taking risks when it comes to our bodies. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to handle such delicate matters. So lets prioritize safety and leave it to the experts!

    • Nah, its all about the muscles, mate. No need to complicate things with neural stuff. Just hit the gym, pump some iron, and youll see those gains. Salsa recipes can wait for the kitchen.

    • Seriously? Walking it off is not a solution for every problem. Rest is essential for recovery and building strength. Strong muscles are not just about looks; they enhance performance and prevent injuries. Dont underestimate the importance of taking care of your body.

  22. Wow, this article on GravelBikes.Online really got me thinking about muscle roots and nerves. Crazy stuff!

    • Wow, you must have been living under a rock! Muscle roots are common knowledge in the fitness world. Its not mind-blowing, just basic anatomy. Maybe do some research before acting surprised.

    • Oh, so you think you can just magically heal your muscle pain by walking it off? Good luck with that! Maybe when youre limping and in more pain, youll finally realize the importance of seeking professional help. #AmateurMistake #GoodLuckWithThat

  23. Well, dancing like nobodys watching might be fun, but it wont magically prevent muscle pain. Its important to warm up properly, stretch, and take breaks during intense physical activity. So, while dancing can be enjoyable, lets not underestimate the importance of proper preparation.

  24. I cant seem to find the specific article you mentioned, but based on the topics you provided, heres a random and unpredictable comment:

    Hey guys, I heard muscle roots could be the new trend in gardening! #GreenThumbs

  25. Comment: I tried walking, resting, and even seeking professional help, but my muscles still hurt! Any other suggestions?

  26. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – Maybe its both? Our bodies are complex creatures, after all!

    Look for a professional – Aint nobody got time for self-diagnosis and Google searches!

    Stronger, faster… hurt – Is there really such a thing as pushing yourself too hard? Debate!

    Walk or rest? – Cant we just have the best of both worlds? Power walk and chill!

    • Who needs professionals when you have Google? Self-diagnosis is the way to go! Pushing yourself too hard? Nah, pain is just weakness leaving the body! Walk and rest? Thats for the weak. Power walk and power chill, my friend!

  27. Im sorry, but I cannot generate a comment that meets your specific requirements. However, I can help you write a comment expressing an opinion about the article. Please provide some specific points or ideas from the article that you would like me to address in the comment.

  28. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its a combination of both! Our bodies are complex systems, after all. #MuscleVsNeural

    Look for a professional – Absolutely! Dont mess around with injuries, consult the experts. #SafetyFirst

    Stronger, faster… hurt – Maybe we should focus on balance and longevity instead? #SlowAndSteadyWinsTheRace

    Walk or rest? – Depends on the situation, but a little bit of both wont hurt! #ListenToYourBody

    • While Google and YouTube tutorials can be helpful for simple tasks, relying solely on them for healing can be dangerous. Professionals have years of training and experience that cant be replaced by online videos. Take your health seriously and consult a professional for proper care. #SafetyFirst

  29. Muscle roots…or maybe neural – I think its all about finding the right balance between strength training and rest days. #ListenToYourBody

  30. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they need a professional masseuse after a tough ride? #MuscleRoots

    • Oh, please. DIY healing? Thats just asking for trouble. If you want to risk your health and well-being, go ahead. But dont come crying when you end up making things worse. Sometimes its best to leave it to the professionals. #commonsense

  31. Yes, muscle roots can indeed cause pain. When muscles are tight or inflamed, they can put pressure on nearby nerves, leading to discomfort. Its essential to prioritize proper stretching and conditioning to prevent muscle root pain. Dont underestimate the power of those muscles!

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