Riding once again has become more and more favoured over the past few years. Some people choose cycling as a type of transportation while some consider cycling professionally as a form of sports. There are many reasons why many people at different ages, from different backgrounds, choose riding, some of them being a health benefit, fitness benefit, and cost-saving benefit.
However, is a road bike good for your back?
Cycling and Lower Back pain in young cyclists
This problem is common, however, is seldom discussed. Back pain in young cyclists is caused by many different reasons. And knowing the exact reason is the only solution to solve the problem thoroughly.
Mechanical causes – Bike fit
- For a young cyclist who has no history of back pain or any other problems, mechanical factors are often the causes, compared to intrinsic problems that come from inside the body. The most common mechanical cause of back pain in young cyclists is bike fit.
- In other words, many cyclists suffer from back pain because they ride bikes that are too big for them. To solve this problem, take your time and get the bike fitted to your physique. Or maybe, you might want to get yourself a bike that’s more suitable for your body.
Other mechanical causes are the lack of core strength and proper flexibility, including excessive hamstring tightness.
There are also anatomical causes that lead to back pain such as misalignment of the spine or leg length discrepancy. An average person has a leg length discrepancy of 3 to 6 mm. If this is your problem as your LLD is greater than 6 mm, go to a reputable authority on the bike to correct it.
Poor posture and injury
Hunching forward when riding bicycles, working on computers, and sitting at the table to eat, learn… contribute to bad spinal health. Injury and bad posture are the main reasons of poor spinal health which are very common in young cyclists.
When having poor posture or injury, you favour one side of your body than the other will make your back take the strain eventually. Spine imbalance leads to overuse of your lower back.
Riding style and lower back pain
Standing up position
You riding style is also one of the reasons that cause lower back pain. The angle of your back can decrease or increase the strain on it.
Lifting a 25-pound object with your back being in an upright position (90 degrees) would take 140 lbs of force. On the other hand, lifting the same object when your back is flexed about halfway (45 degrees) would take 120 lbs which mean, the force decrease along with the decrease of the angle of the back.
Similarly, the standing up position many cyclists use when climbing or during long rides also increases the strain on their backs.
Improving core strength is very important in treating back pain. There is always some type exercise to improve core strength in any back rehabilitation program. Core strength is not your back or abdominal muscles that you can see or touch. Core strength is a collection of hundreds of both small and big muscles that work together collectively to have more core stability.
Although the fact is, the most tangible source of power comes from the legs; however, leg strength without a stable core can’t be used efficiently. There are some gyms where they focus on improving core strength that you can consider going to. There are also some types of yoga that are very helpful for core strength.
Even though the back pain in young cyclists can be caused by many different reasons, the key words here are bike fit, riding style, and core muscle stability. These three factors are likely the reasons that contribute to back pain in young cyclists. Figuring out the root of the problem will help find the solution to solve it.
If you have any symptom of back pain, don’t hesitate and seek medical treatment when it isn’t too late. If you’re a cyclist, seek for help from people who have experience working with athletes, so they know the health and training needs of a cyclist like you. Now you have the answer for question: “Is A Road Bike Good For Your Back ?“
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