Back pain and cycling

One of the most common problems we see in the clinic as a result of cycling, aside from crashes, is back pain. There are a number of reasons this can occur. The Physiotherapists at Sydney Sportsmed and Ergoworks can help you to identify the cause of your lower back pain. Some common problems include:

  • Cycle set up. Incorrect bike set up can reduce your performance and lead to injuries. Backs typically become painful after being in a sustained flexion position causing load to the ligaments and muscles around the lumbar spine. Bike set up can induce this increase in lumbar flexion. Having the seat too low increases the amount of hip flexion required, increasing your lower back flexion as well. Having the seat too high can induce tilting of your pelvis when your knee extends. Having your saddle too far back or your handlebars too low can increase the amount of flexion required to reach the handlebars. Correct pedal, handlebar and saddle set up allow optimal body position and power production. Get your bike set up by a professional before you begin training to improve your performance and prevent injuries.
  • Poor hip mobility. Having restricted hip mobility into flexion means the lower back has to flex for your knee to come up. Repeat this a few thousand times when cycling and your back can become tight and tired. Possible tight structures include hip flexors, hamstrings and the hip joint.
  • Poor core control. Keeping strong and active core muscles reduces the excessive amount of pelvic and lower back mobility when riding. Being able to control your pelvis also improves your ability to drive through the leg, improving your power output and helping to improve your performance

If you are experiencing back pain related to cycling, book an appointment with one of the Sydneys Sportsmed and Ergoworks Physiotherapists to get to the root of the problem and get you back on your bike pain-free.

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