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Cycling hurt my back!

mudcow007mmudcow007 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi Guys

i went cycling with freinds 2 days ago, we had been riding about 20 mins, i tried to over take one fo my friends and in doing must have twisted or done something to my back as i got a spasm like pain in my lower back.

i stopped my bike an gently moved around trying to find a position where i would not get pain...i cocultn find any, or if i did within a few seconds i would have a painful spasm.

because i was in the middle of the woods i just had to get back on the bike an cycle to the end, when i got home i noticed i had shooting pains down my right leg, these have now stopped an the pain is easing off (thankfully!)

so what do you think i have done?

im a 28yr old M



  • had to stop because it made my back pain worse. I'm no doctor of course but you may have possibly overstretched your back muscles/discs if this was the first time you've been cycling in ages. When I went cycling I think what hurt me the most was the seating position it forced me into, i.e. leaning forwards. It felt quite unnatural and, to be honest, I bought the bike after not having cycled for over 30 years! Needless to say I took the bike back and have taken up swimming instead.

    Hopefully your back pain will be absolutely fine now that it's had a little time to recover.

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. It does sound like you twisted the wrong way and perhaps touched a nerve that set off a spasm. If it's going away, then rest would be the best thing for a couple of days until it's gone.

    If it doesn't go away, head out to your PCP and get checked out.

    I hope it settles down on its own and was just a wrong movement at the wrong time.

    Take care
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  • Hmmm...your post has me wondering, since you were riding in the woods (no trail?), if your bike bounced up and down over the terrain, which I would imagine could cause pain. But leaning forward? When I went to PT the therapist mad me use a NuStep, a machine you sit on while pumping your bent legs up and down with your feet on movable platforms. That device is, of course, beneficial (and fun), but what about the circular motions involved in pedaling a bike (plus, as I said, possibly bouncing over rough terrain)? I'm thinking of buying an adult trike for use on sidewalks, but your post makes me wonder about the advisability of that, considering my three much improved herniated lumbar disks. Any advice on that?
  • I used to have a fabulous racing bike, but those days are over for me. I can't do the stationary bike, either.

    I've got a slipping lower disc, among other problems & the pedaling motion really pulls things out of whack even more. I've got a compressed L4 nerve root & I feel it in my legs/knees quite a lot, so cycling is out for me.

    In your case, hopefully, it's nothing more than muscle strain & will clear up on its own quickly.

    Only an MRI would tell, I suppose.
  • hi all thanks for all the replies, im hoping i have just pulled/ over stretched something. i have been cycling since early January (trying to loose my christmas belly!), doing about 10 - 14 miles per day

    i first hurt my back about 2 months ago, when i twisted it getting something out of my car, it was the same pain/ spasms that i experienced on saturday, which has got me quite concerned. do back strains re-occur?

    it feels abit better today although im back on my bike today an it still hurts to pedal. i think i may drive home from work

    the trail i was riding on saturday is not really for the faint hearted, it has jumps and drops an really really uneven surfaces. i dont think the train was to blame though as i was riding a full suspension downhill bike!

    i will kep you all posted how i get on, thanks again
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  • MC,
    As Sassy mentioned, it may well just be a one off event, as with everything we have to set off slowly and 20 minutes on uneven terrain may be Ok if you did not have any existing pain.

    Most of the time this is trial and error, to see if the increase in pain is tolerable when riding, do five min and build from that is small changes, if we had pain before we started one would expect some increase and the key is not to go that far so you cannot stand up. Even is you walked eventually one would have to stop, it is not the walking itself but the goals you set, we all think we can do more that reality and live with that decision of goal setting as pain.

    Any physical thing once in constant pain is difficult and needs a more tentative approach, that build up of distance and technique is important to the overall success. Knowing when to stop is not an easy estimation and anyone trying to improve will be supported and encouraged here.

    Ten miles with new symptoms seems too far to me, I applaud you drive and tenacity, could you do shorter distance and find a more suitable surface, even PT will increase pain level and separating more pain from damage or hurt only something you can define. Cycling is good for your heart, cardio and weight loss and a good non weight-bearing activity.

    Take care hope you feel better soon.

    Titanium Hard-tail, me that is !

    John. ps we need a cycling group thread.
  • Hi john

    thanks for the reply, im really hoping that it was a one off!

    im seriously thinking about changing my commuter bike as its ridiculously small (im 6ft 2) an the frame is 14"!! so i dont think that would help if i have "pulled" anything

    the bike i was riding was a Kona Stinky which weighs around 40lb so i dont think thrashing that around the track would help my back either....

  • MC,
    As you say lets hope it was just a one off and that seated position on your Kona you must have looked like a jet plane coming down the track, although my riding position is more upright I am in pain before I get on so always aware of that pacing element, I did for some time carry ballast to increase that resistance and get my HR to its optimum level more quickly and efficiently.

    It is always sad when we had to give up on activity that was once part of our pleasure, many here are versatile and use those PM skills to find new and inventive alternatives and keep trying.

    Stay well and happy days in the sun.


  • Back pains are really dangerous and never to take those lightly. It can hurt you more. So get a diagnosis for this. inversion techniques are also very helpful. so you can make use of those too.
  • I'm also one of those people who tends t keep pushing even though it hurts. I've had more than one lecture from my doctor about how I need to quit pushing through the pain. I get constant lectures from my DH about that.

    It's too late for me, the damage is done. I totally get the urge to keep going & push past it.

    I'm paying a steep price for that now

    I think it would be wise to back off for a bit & get some medical guidance.

    In retrospect, I wonder now if I should have seen a sports medicine doctor. I was misdiagnosed a year ago with IT band syndrome when the pain was really coming from my low back & multiple issues there. I wonder if a sports doc would have figured it out more quickly.

    In any case, please do keep us posted.
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