Neck pain

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Phileas
Posts: 192
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Neck pain

Postby Phileas » 1 Jun 2016, 5:36pm

So I've just finished my first tour and one of the issues I've encountered is an unusual kind of neck pain which is still causing an annoyance while cycle-commuting.

It's very localised to the most prominent vertebra at the base of my neck and it's quite a sharp, stabbing sort of pain.

It's not constant and it more or less disappears soon after getting off the bike.

Does anyone recognise these symptoms?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17414
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Neck pain

Postby Vorpal » 2 Jun 2016, 2:30pm

My supposition would be that you have too much weight on your hands. This often leads to people hunching their shoulders when tired, which in turn can lead to the kind of pain you describe.

The solution is probably to move your saddle back & down, then (if necessary) adjust your handlebars to compensate.

See viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985 for more information.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Phileas
Posts: 192
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Neck pain

Postby Phileas » 2 Jun 2016, 5:04pm

Thank you, that's very helpful.

wheel71
Posts: 95
Joined: 4 Nov 2015, 12:25pm
Location: SW Ireland

Re: Neck pain

Postby wheel71 » 3 Jun 2016, 9:39am

I have arthritis in my neck (too many years BMXing), being relaxed on the bike is the only thing that helps. Obviously good bike set up too.

iandriver
Posts: 2197
Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 2:09pm
Location: Cambridge.

Re: Neck pain

Postby iandriver » 3 Jun 2016, 11:09am

wheel71 wrote:I have arthritis in my neck (too many years BMXing), being relaxed on the bike is the only thing that helps. Obviously good bike set up too.


+1 for forcing yourself to relax your shoulders on the bike,especially when climbing. Make yourself drop your shoulders and loosen up the upper half of your body. Amazing how many people tense up when on a bike in the shoulders (used to be me too).
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

simonhill
Posts: 2590
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Neck pain

Postby simonhill » 3 Jun 2016, 11:20am

Maybe useful to say what sort of bike. Drops or flats, this makes a difference.

My mate had neck problems and ended up with a very upright position on his flats. He also used a mirror to avoid turning his head too far.

Due to his recent death, I have inherited his bike. It is only one size bigger than mine (2 cms), but feels massive compared to my much lower flat bar position.

Phileas
Posts: 192
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Neck pain

Postby Phileas » 4 Jun 2016, 3:42pm

I've adjusted the saddle position back and down. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but here's a couple of photos showing me on the bike. Is my knee a bit too bent at the bottom of the stroke?
Image

Image

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12536
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Neck pain

Postby 531colin » 4 Jun 2016, 4:37pm

Image

Image

Those images are from my guide to bike set up, which you can download from here...http://wheel-easy.org.uk/ride-calendar.html
I think I'm sitting a bit further back than you, and you can see that I have very little weight on my hands.
It would be difficult to get much more upright that you are, on a bike with drop bars.

Phileas
Posts: 192
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Neck pain

Postby Phileas » 5 Jun 2016, 8:27am

Thanks. I do seem to be somewhat upright. I'm not sure how much further back I can put the saddle on that post. I'll do some more fiddling.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17414
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Neck pain

Postby Vorpal » 5 Jun 2016, 9:10am

Phileas wrote:Thanks. I do seem to be somewhat upright. I'm not sure how much further back I can put the saddle on that post. I'll do some more fiddling.

Some seat post / saddle combinations don't allow the saddle to be set back far enough. You may need to get a different seat post

More links to other threads... :)
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=37587
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=101711
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=104331
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=89739

Lots more than these. Lay back seat posts come up quite a lot on here.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Phileas
Posts: 192
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Neck pain

Postby Phileas » 5 Jun 2016, 9:43am

Thanks again.

I put the saddle back as far as it goes and went out for a ride with a couple of Allen keys. Not surprisingly, the weight on my hands is much less and I can easily ride on two fingers.

The position felt a bit strange so I adjusted the saddle height and slope a few times and I think I'm getting there.

The uprightness "issue" is, I guess, less important? I can play with handlebar height and I think I've got a longer stem in the shed I can try.

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12536
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Neck pain

Postby 531colin » 5 Jun 2016, 9:20pm

I assumed you were as upright as that deliberately, because of neck pain.
I would say, only look to get lower when you are certain you have fixed the neck pain, it takes a while to adapt to riding.

MikeDee
Posts: 576
Joined: 11 Dec 2014, 8:36pm

Re: Neck pain

Postby MikeDee » 16 Jun 2016, 11:37pm

Vorpal wrote:My supposition would be that you have too much weight on your hands. This often leads to people hunching their shoulders when tired, which in turn can lead to the kind of pain you describe.

The solution is probably to move your saddle back & down, then (if necessary) adjust your handlebars to compensate.

See viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985 for more information.


I disagree with this. You shouldn't change your saddle position to make up for reach to the bars. That will screw up your pedaling position and lead to other issues with the knee, crotch, or lower back. Seems like a shorter reach to the bars (shorter stem) and/or raising the stem is in order. Maybe handlebar width. I recommend you get a professional bike fit though.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17414
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Neck pain

Postby Vorpal » 17 Jun 2016, 7:15am

MikeDee wrote:
Vorpal wrote:My supposition would be that you have too much weight on your hands. This often leads to people hunching their shoulders when tired, which in turn can lead to the kind of pain you describe.

The solution is probably to move your saddle back & down, then (if necessary) adjust your handlebars to compensate.

See viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985 for more information.


I disagree with this. You shouldn't change your saddle position to make up for reach to the bars. That will screw up your pedaling position and lead to other issues with the knee, crotch, or lower back. Seems like a shorter reach to the bars (shorter stem) and/or raising the stem is in order. Maybe handlebar width. I recommend you get a professional bike fit though.

But saddle position is a more likely reason than reach to have too much weight on the hands.

If the problem is reach, you are correct. But if the OP has too much weight on his hands, that more likely to be saddle position than reach.

It's not a good idea to maove a saddle to compensate for a reach problem, but it's also not a good idea to move handlebars to compensate for a position problem.

Anyway, it seems to be helping the OP to move his saddle down and back.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

bainbridge
Posts: 205
Joined: 26 Oct 2014, 7:19pm

Re: Neck pain

Postby bainbridge » 19 Jun 2016, 8:47pm

Dumbell exercises resolved my neckache.

Just did the exercises on the sheet that came with the dumbells and slowly increased the reps and weight and the neck pain disappeared.

In the run up to a tour I start reducing the weight and increasing the reps so by the time of the tour I'm just doing lots of reps with the just the bars.