Can I Cycle When I Have Lower Back Pain? Should I..?

Can one go cycling with back pain? Well, biking is a form of aerobic exercise that is recommended by most medical practices for a number of reasons. It is good for stretching, great form of exercise, it?s a leisure activity and it stabilizes the back muscles.

How to cycle safely to avoid back pain

However, some form of biking can bring back pain unless you get a good bike fit. This means that when you go looking for a good bicycle, you should get a professional to choose a good one that you can comfortably reach the bars and you?re sitting up right. Also, if you already have a bicycle that you feel may be the culprit for your back pain, you can get spacers under your bicycle stem, adjust the height of your seat and the distance of your handlebars.

Your hands need to be straight with a slight bend at the elbows for flexibility. You should definitely consult with a professional to do the adjustments for you.

However, you should know that not all back pain is brought about by cycling. Some of it can be brought about by personal health issues, your lifestyle when you are off the bike, your general posture and how you choose to ride your bicycle.

You could try to do some stretches on a regular basis, eat healthy meals, stay hydrated and do some general body strengthening exercises to keep your body pliant.

With the proper bike set up, good posture and the right bike size, cycling can be a good exercise to help with your back pain.

Bikes that are good for preventing back pain

If you are out here wondering what kind of bike to get to ease your back pain or generally avoid back pain, there are comfortable bicycles to get. These are the semi-recumbent bikes. Read more about them here and decide if you want to buy one. We also covered them on Cycle Tech UK here! If it’s an age issue, we also covered the best bikes for people in their fifties and sixties.

Otherwise, you’re safe sticking with the tips shared above.

How to recover from lower back pain

In case you are a cyclist and you are here due to a back injury, there are tips on how to take care of that back and get you back on the pedals again. Hopefully these tips are what you need.

1. Rest

This is what most people do when they get any kind of injury, whatever cause or part of the body is affected. A few days of rest is recommended depending on the nature or severity of your injury. After a day or two of non-straining activity, eating healthy and staying hydrated, you should be feeling much better.

But if you are well rested and you are still in significant pain, you should probably call your doctor and schedule an appointment.

2. Be careful on your bike

Regardless of your injury, bicycles should be handled with care and not to be mismanaged no matter how good you are on the pedals. This can be assured by wearing the proper footwear, knowing your route and the kind of terrain you are about to take, avoid having excess baggage on a bicycle that cannot take it all, hydrate sufficiently and carry an extra bottle of water when cycling and wear safety gear like a helmet or a reflecting jacket for your safety. If you are doing this wrong, this could be the nature of your injury.

3. Exercise, exercise, exercise

Some lower back exercises may strain or strengthen your spine or lower back. Back exercises are good for cyclists, especially those that are always on the bike commuting to and fro. It can be a generally good exercise for your body, but you need to restore flexibility to your injury.

You should consult with your doctor first, whether your injury is acute or chronic, so that you can get the go ahead.

4. Cool, then heat

If you have felt some lower back pain, you could try to place an ice pack on the area. Ice is good for any kind of swelling and it numbs the area. Do this until the swelling goes down. Afterwards, you can now apply some heat. This may be after a few days, or even hours, of ice pack application. You can try using a heating pad, soaking in hot water and gently massaging the area or using a hot wash cloth by placing on your injured area and apply a bit of pressure by using your hands. There should be some relief coming your way.

5. Go to physical therapy

After a check-up from your doctor, you will most probably be referred to a physio therapist. Physiotherapy entails a lot of exercise that will focus on your injured area. Depending on the injury you have, you may be introduced to one of the following forms of therapy:

  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Electrical stimulation on the affected area
  • Massage therapy
  • Ultrasound

You are most likely to find a stationary bike where you?ll be doing your therapy session. Down the line, your physiotherapist will ask you to try it out and see how it affects your back. Physiotherapy takes a few weeks or longer depending on the nature of your injury and how often you?re committed to physiotherapy.

Hopefully, this article was helpful to you and you?ll be happy cycling again.

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