3 Ways to Prevent Lower Back Pain When Biking
Biking is a highly popular leisure activity. It is an ideal way to get in a good workout without being restricted to the confines of a gym. Many people also bike as a form of travel to explore new destinations. While cycling may be your way of taking a load off and enjoying the outdoors, experiencing chronic back pain can be the greatest deterrent. The fear of experiencing recurring pain can be enough to impede on one of your favorite outdoor activities. If you want to continue biking without chronic pain, take heed to these pain-free biking tips.
Practice Proper Form
Proper form is vital when performing any physical activity. Not only can it reduce chronic back pain, it can also prevent unnecessary injuries. Proper cycling form can be broken down into 5 simple steps:
You should be able to straddle your bike with both feet on the ground in front of the pedals. If you are tipping on your toes or can only rock back and forth, your bike is likely too big for you.
Monitor the angle of your knee when at full extension during the downward stroke. Your knee should not be bent at no more and no less than a 10 to 20 degree angle. If so, it is suggested that you adjust your bike seat.
Your kneecap should be placed directly above the ball of your foot during the downward stroke. If not, adjust your seat accordingly (forward or backward).
It should never be too much of a stretch to reach the handlebars from the seated position. If your elbows lock when grabbing the handlebars, the stem is too long and is need of adjustment.
Ultimately, have your stomach pulled in toward your lower back, fully extend your torso, shift your shoulders downward, and keep your chest slightly lifted for ideal cycling form.
Set Up Your Bike Specific to Your Dimensions
As previously mentioned, proper form has everything to do with having your bike set to your specific dimensions. There are certain measurements that need to be taken into consideration relative to your bike for optimal cycling conditions. You should never purchase a bike without gauging how your body fits on it. Allow the salesman at the bike store to help you find the right bike for you. This can help avoid injury and lead to a more enjoyable experience.
Improve Core Strength
Core strength is of high importance for both competitive and leisure cycling. All of the power you generate to propel your bike comes through your core. A strong core can make those journeys uphill and through treacherous terrain simple. Cycling with a weak core can cause you to fatigue quicker and force you to alter your biking style to accommodate for the lack of energy. This is when you are at the highest risk of suffering a back injury or triggering your chronic back pain.
Cycling is a highly effective fitness activity that shouldn’t be interrupted by your chronic back pain. Pain relief can be just a phone call away. Marc Cohen specializes in minimally invasive procedures and has experience working with individuals of the New Jersey area to seek resolution to their chronic back pain. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to schedule your appointment today.