Biking is a great activity for people who may have low back, knee, or other lower limb issues because it does not cause excessive jolting like running will do. However, back and neck pain from biking can occur and is a problem that chiropractors help with. Your posture and the bike that you use are common mistakes that people make which may lead to back pain.
Pick the right bike for you. For the newer or casual riders out there, a mountain bike is probably what you are looking for. A mountain bike is going to have more cushion, is more likely to have shock absorbers, and this won’t give you a big jolt with each bump in the road. For the casual rider out there, thicker tires, extra cushion seats, or shock absorbers in the seat or forks of the bike will be helpful.
Pick a bike that is not too big for you. If your lower back becomes rounded then this will increase your chances of injury. Keep chest and head up. When picking the height of your seat, you are looking for a slight bend in the knee (15-20 degrees) when the pedal hits the furthest point away. This will keep you from hitting full extension when riding. Your knee should be getting up to about 90 degrees in flexion when the pedal is at the top. This will help you generate the most speed into the pedal. Keep your handlebars at about the same height as the seat. When riding have a slight bend in the arms; this will help your muscles absorb the bumps in the road and you will have less jarring of the spine.
If you are having sharp pains after riding or if you have pain that lasts more than two weeks, then it is probably time to get it checked out. Our office treats a variety of sports injuries. If you have any area of concern, contact our office at 216-938-7889.
Michael Lozitsky D.C.