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Exercise: Biking

mrs.coopmmrs.coop Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am 25 years old and have 3 herniated disks and spinal stenosis. My life has become very sedentary and it's something I am willing to experience pain to change. I have a husband who just lost 75 lbs and a toddler who is always on the go. I have done everything possible to monitor my eating habits and have been steadily loosing weight since the steroid injections two years ago. We will be going camping at the end of May. I would love to go hiking and biking. Do you have any advice on how I can do these things with my family and not have to be completely drugged up to endure it? Before my back got bad I bought a mountain bike with an extra padded seat. Would this be acceptable or do I need to look into a new kind of bike?


  • My 2-cents worth is that you need to practice good body mechanics.

    Biking - I've had 2 back surgeries and recently tried a bike. Tips - keep abdominial muscles tight, try to stay on flat surfaces as hills may have you straining on your back. Hopefully the camp site has some nice flat bike routes on rail trails or just flat road. The mountain bike is probably good b/c it has shock absorbers which road bikes don't have. Of course, I wouldn't go crazy on dangerous trails but I've had surgery.

    Hiking - I find this easier to do without the pain. Just have to be careful on the hills. Also, maybe invest in hiking poles to help you maintain balance. I have a set which I purchased before I got injured and they were just great for long day hikes for stability. On the up hills, I was able to use my arms more and on the down hill, they helped ease the 'pounding'.

    Your biggest challenge is probably going to be sleeping. Consider a cot that is firmer than the ground or air mattress.

    Try to have fun. I am thinking of giving camping a try again this summer.
  • I have had 4 back surgeries, 3 fusions and have been able to ride my bike after the surgeries. I have several bikes and I start out on my commute bike which gives me a very upright position and doesn't put stress on my back. A mountain bike should provide the same. Good luck!!


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in, PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol which barely touches the pain.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • MeeshaMMeesha Posts: 55
    edited 08/23/2012 - 2:06 PM
    I've had 1 surgery for sciatica, but I've always had low back problems. They weren't too bad until I started doing longer-distance biking this year. And then I really messed up and did a long than usual run in the morning, and biked that day too. So now my back is worse. But it's true I think a lot of uphill riding makes it worse. I do have a mountain bike with shocks.
    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
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