Leaning over your bike for long rides will inevitably lead to lower back pain or stiffness. Low back pain from cycling can progress if you do not treat it properly, becoming chronic and causing further issues like spinal nerve compression or sciatica. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent and treat low back pain before it becomes a chronic issue.
Firstly, all bikers, from elites to amateurs, should strengthen their core muscles. While cyclists often concentrate on strengthening glutes and other muscles of the legs, having a strong core is the only way to support long hours of strain on the back. In addition to supporting your spinal column, strong abdominal muscles will increase your balance and power.
Once you start experiencing any sort of stiffness, aching or spasming in your lower back, don’t ignore it. Start by icing your lower back to reduce inflammation that occurs when you strain your muscles.
You should then perform simple stretches to alleviate tension in your lower back. hugging your knees to your chest while lying down is a very effective low back stretch. Another is a pelvic tilt, which you can perform by lying on your back with your knees bent and a fist width apart. Tilt your pelvis upward, pushing your tailbone into the ground.
If your symptoms return soon after treating them, it is time to see a pain management specialist like Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky. He can make sure you don’t have any underlying issues such as nerve compression. You can then start a physical therapy program to relieve pain and prevent it from reoccurring during your next bike ride.