Home » Frequently asked Questions on Health » Can I ride a bike while suffering from lower back pain?

Can I ride a bike while suffering from lower back pain?

Q: I have a lower back pain problem. I did 10 days of physiotherapy after medication. My physiotherapist suggested cycling to strengthen my muscles. What do you suggest?

A:You have not mentioned the cause of your backache, which makes it a little difficult to give you a positive answer. Well, assuming it’s a normal muscular backache, cycling does help in relieving back pain, but there is a catch here. There are many factors that dictate your recovery to normal with cycling. 1. Your height and the length of your legs are important. Combination of long thigh, shallow seat angle, short body and handle bar stem well down in the head tube can mean a more acute angle between the thigh and the body when the leg is at the top of the pedal stroke. This can put excessive strain on the muscles of the back of the thigh that help drive the thigh downwards leading to backache. 2. If your handlebars are too far forward, it will strain your back. Higher handlebars will force you to put more weight on the saddle. 3. If you are riding a bike, see to it that your back should be arched so that if bumps cause the spine to flex a little more, it is harmless. 4. If you ride sway backed, the bumps will cause the back to bow even farther in the forward direction which will cause lumbar pain. 5. Do not sit ‘upright’. This is counter productive as a ‘straight’ spine has no way to “give” when the bike hits the bumps. 6. Road irregularities will jam the vertebrae together. 7. A properly fitted bike should allow you maintain riding position with acceptable comfort level and greatest pedaling economy. Posture Tips:

  • Your knee should be slightly bent (within a degree or two of 30°) when you are at the bottom of your pedal stroke. Your hips should not rock while you are pedaling.
  • Change your hands frequently for upper body comfort.
  • A higher pedaling speed using easier gears will help you achieve better pedaling skills. Your goals should be 80-90 rev/minute.
  • Riding position should put 60% of your weight on the back wheel and 40% on the front wheel for bike control and comfort.
  • Keep a check how your body reacts to cycling and make position improvements where necessary.
  • Flexibility of your muscles and joints is very important.
  • Good flexibility of hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles is crucial as these muscles generate the majority of the pedaling force.
  • Proper stretching, flexibility and balance exercises are important for coordination skills of cycling such as breaking and cornering.
  • If your muscle strength is not sufficient or you do not adopt proper postures while cycling, you might end up with neck and back pain, rather than relieving a back pain.
I suggest you a get a proper evaluation of your muscle power of your legs and posture and then follow the above tips. You can try swimming and strengthening exercises for your legs and back as another alternative.


................... Advertisement ...................




Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
Choose Topic

Latest stories

Woman Gives Birth To 'Miracle Twins' Naturally, Discharges Self Hours Later

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:30:15 IST
Apparently she had no idea that she was giving birth to twins and then the natural delivery of the kids made the doctors describe it as "miraculous". The kids are joined at the abdomen and share an umbilical cord. Doctors say that they "desperately need surgery".

Shocking Rise In Premature Baby Deaths, Reveals Study

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:33:03 IST
There has been a tremendous rise in the number of neonatal deaths in connection with premature births and babies with low-birthweight over the period of past 15 years even though the country has witnessed decline in early deaths from infections, according to health officials.

Hyderabad: Senior Doctor Attacked At Gandhi Hospital, 250 Juniors Boycott Duties

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:30:47 IST
Doctors tried to save him but he succumbed to the attack, post which, his family attacked the doctors saying that they did not pay much attention to the patient.

Woman Revived After 30 Minutes Of Death!

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:30:16 IST
She suffered a cardiac arrest just before the surgery began and it was no less than a miracle when the doctors were able to revive her 30 minutes after she suffered a cardiac arrest.

Regional Cancer Centre Gets Clean Chit From Government-Appointed Panel

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:30:13 IST
Kerala Joint DME Sreekumari's team has given a clean-chit to the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) with respect to the allegations that a 9-year-old girl patient who was admitted to the RCC, was given HIV-infected blood.