Lower back pain from cycling is a common complaint from cyclists, however, is something that is not often discussed. This blog explores causes of lower back pain from cycling. It also contains some suggestions and/or cures to improve your lower back pain.
What causes lower back pain from cycling?
There’s load of things that cause lower back pain from cycling. The cause will differ for each individual, but there are some common causes for most cyclists:
- Incorrect bike set up
- Lack of flexibility or mobility
- Low level of fitness
- Inadequate physical strength or conditioning
Bike Set Up
Trying to identify which bike part needs adjustment can be frustrating and take time. Most bike shops and/or physiotherapists can help you setup your bike to suit your body and needs. Setting up your bike correctly is the first step to improving your cycling technique. Download your FREE Bike Set Up guide here!
Common causes and solutions:
- Stem too low or too long: Puts strain on your lower back as you stretch forward to reach the bars.
- Seat too high: Causes rocking when you pedal, placing more pressure on your lower back.
Try raising the stem/handlebars. If it still hurts, try a shorter stem. Check and adjust the seat height.
Lack of Flexibility and Mobility
Lack of flexibility is a common cause of aches and pains in cyclists. Flexibility allows your body to comfortably reach the bar, pedals and sit comfortably on the bike without strain. It helps bring the balance back into your body allowing opposing muscles to get stronger.
Incorporating a comprehensive stretch program into your routine can help prevent imbalances, injuries should help improve overall performance and power.
Low Level of Fitness
As your cadence increases, your cardiovascular fitness is challenged. In order to maintain your cadence and reach your desired ride time, you need to maintain a fitness level that keeps up with your increasing heart rate.
Inadequate Physical Strength or Conditioning
A common myth is that to improve your cycling performance you need to spend more time on the bike. This is partially untrue. The best way to improve your ride time and speed is to step away from the bike and focus on targeted exercises designed to build or condition your core and muscle strength. This will consequently improve your cycling.
Are you a cyclist? Do you want to reduce aches and pains and improve your performance? BIKEBLITZ is an 4 week program designed specially for cyclists looking to improve their cycling performance. It focuses on gym and home exercises that will improve core strength, posture and flexibility, that will consequently boost your cycling speed and time. The program is suitable for all levels of fitness and is endorsed by Nutritionist Craig Beames and Physiotherapist James McEwan. Purchase the program or learn more here.