Improper bike fit, bad posture, muscle strain and poor riding style can all contribute to bicycle-related lower back pain. In addition, some medical conditions such as spine misalignment, osteoporosis and sciatica can also trigger back pain while cycling. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to treat lower back pain right from home.
Use Proper Posture
To treat lower back pain, maintain a proper posture while bike riding. Always arch your back like a bridge instead of allowing it to sag downward between your shoulders and hips. This way, when you hit a bump, your back will safely arch a bit more. With bad bike riding posture, if you encounter a bump in the road, your back will bow even more inward, resulting in lower back pain.
Strengthen Core Muscles
Strengthening the core muscles in your lower back, pelvis, abdomen and hips can ease and prevent back pain while cycling. In addition, strong core muscles can help treat and prevent bicycle injury by improving your stability and balance while bike riding. You can incorporate core strengthening exercises such as the abdominal crunch, plank or abdominal press into your exercise routine. Or consider yoga or Pilates, which often focus on strengthening core muscles.
Progressive Relaxation Technique
According to MayoClinic.com, progressive muscle relaxation can help counteract lower back pain as soon as it starts. To use this technique, lie in a comfortable spot and tense the muscles of your entire body. Slowly and gradually relax each muscle group, starting at your toes and working your way up to your head. If you feel that your lower back still hurts, consciously relax just that area, allowing it to sink back into the surface beneath you.
Apply Heat or Ice
Reduce pain and any inflammation by applying ice or a cold pack to the lower back. Rub the ice into the injured area, stopping when you feel the skin go numb. To prevent skin injury, wrap the ice in a towel or plastic baggie or apply baby oil before massaging it into your skin. Do this for about 5 minutes, three times a day. You can also apply a warm towel or heat pack to the lower back or soak in a hot bath to ease pain.
- SheldonBrown: Bicycling and Pain
- "Road Bike Action Magazine"; Health and Fitness: Ask the Couch; Katharine McCoy; August 11, 2009
- Cycling Performance Tips: Breaks and Sprains
- MayoClinic.com: Core Exercises: 7 Reasons to Strengthen Your Core Muscles
- MayoClinic.com: Slide Show: Core Exercises
- MayoClinic.com: Back Pain