Back pain on one side

Jd843
Posts: 37
Joined: 20 Feb 2020, 7:48am

Back pain on one side

Postby Jd843 » 20 Dec 2020, 10:46pm

Hi

I’ve been getting mid/lower back pain during/after riding lately, but just on one side of my back. It’s in the muscle just next to my spine, possibly the erector spinae.

I’m not sure if I should get a bike fit, see a physio or someone else. My concern with getting a bike fit is that they’ll just give me the standard service and make everything look right on paper, but won’t necessarily fix whatever is causing my pain. On the other hand, I’m not sure if a physio would be able to help with a cycling related issue. I also wonder if my pain could be related to a foot or chiropractic issue, in which case a physio would probably just charge me lots of money but not have the right expertise to fix the issue.

Any advice anybody? Equally, if you can think of anything I could try tweaking with e.g. cleats, saddle setback, etc that could help, I’m willing to try anything at this point as it’s making me a bit miserable during and after rides!

rotavator
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Location: North Wales

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby rotavator » 20 Dec 2020, 11:35pm

Whenever I get lower back stiffness and pain I do stretching exercises that were given to me by a sports physio and these sort me out within a few days. I could scan them and send them to you if you like.

I suspect getting an appointment with a physio in person will be difficult or impossible at present. You could try seeing your GP but in my experience they are useless at sorting out such pains.

peetee
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Re: Back pain on one side

Postby peetee » 20 Dec 2020, 11:41pm

Start by checking the condition of your saddle and if the bars are perfectly in line and, if you ride on the hoods a lot, that they are level. Then try some articulation movements and stretches to see if you have even flexibility on each side of your body. If you have any discrepancy at all then do some excercises specific to that area.
I am seeking professional help for a shoulder issue. The source of the problem could be muscular or skeletal and medical experts exist for both of these and their treatments vary. What they do agree on is supplementary exercises and I am trying some internet-derived stretches and yoga with some success.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
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pwa
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Re: Back pain on one side

Postby pwa » 21 Dec 2020, 5:46am

Logic would suggest that if your position on the bike is a long established one that hasn't caused problems in the past, and if nothing on the bike has changed position, the problem is a change in you, not the bike. If you need the help of a professional it should therefore be a physio.

Jd843
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Joined: 20 Feb 2020, 7:48am

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby Jd843 » 21 Dec 2020, 6:34am

Thanks all

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531colin
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby 531colin » 21 Dec 2020, 9:34am

pwa wrote:Logic would suggest that if your position on the bike is a long established one that hasn't caused problems in the past, and if nothing on the bike has changed position, the problem is a change in you, not the bike. If you need the help of a professional it should therefore be a physio.

Hmmm...I'm 73 and I "change" ...ie....deteriorate....all the time.
how old are you, JD?
Another thought is that I don't sit "straight" on the bike, but I don't think I ever have.
Thread here about people sitting on the bike other than straight..https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59332&hilit=string
JD needs somebody who rides with him regularly to observe if JD's riding stance has changed recently....but most people are not sufficiently observant.

Jd843
Posts: 37
Joined: 20 Feb 2020, 7:48am

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby Jd843 » 21 Dec 2020, 10:31am

531colin wrote:
pwa wrote:Logic would suggest that if your position on the bike is a long established one that hasn't caused problems in the past, and if nothing on the bike has changed position, the problem is a change in you, not the bike. If you need the help of a professional it should therefore be a physio.

Hmmm...I'm 73 and I "change" ...ie....deteriorate....all the time.
how old are you, JD?
Another thought is that I don't sit "straight" on the bike, but I don't think I ever have.
Thread here about people sitting on the bike other than straight..https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59332&hilit=string
JD needs somebody who rides with him regularly to observe if JD's riding stance has changed recently....but most people are not sufficiently observant.


I’m 27 so hopefully not deteriorating yet!

The pain is something I’ve had before from other activities like lifting at work, but I never used to get it with cycling until very recently. It’s a new bike so more likely that something is off with the setup but I’m not sure what.

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby Jdsk » 21 Dec 2020, 10:34am

As above: get someone else to have a look at your riding position.

Please don't avoid seeking medical advice because of the outbreak. Starting with your GP is a good idea and that can be done remotely. You're likely to end up with an appointment with a physiotherapist.

I wouldn't try to work through it/ tough it out etc. How about making some small changes to your position and seeing if they help?

Jonathan

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Back pain on one side

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 21 Dec 2020, 11:35am

Hi,
pwa wrote:Logic would suggest that if your position on the bike is a long established one that hasn't caused problems in the past, and if nothing on the bike has changed position, the problem is a change in you, not the bike. If you need the help of a professional it should therefore be a physio.

+1
in the past I've blamed the bike and started fiddling with it.
But it's not the bike it's just you.
A physiotherapist Diagnose you professionally and tell you that you have a weakness, it might have come from an injury or it might have been there all along just waiting to happen.
Backs are very complex, And need professional guidance.
I always tweak my bike not change it.
Good luck.
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You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

pwa
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Re: Back pain on one side

Postby pwa » 21 Dec 2020, 2:56pm

Jd843 wrote: It’s a new bike so more likely that something is off with the setup but I’m not sure what.

Do you still have an old bike to compare it with? In the past I have set my saddle exactly at the same height as always, with the distance from saddle to bars just as always, but the position has still been incorrect for me because I didn't make sure that the saddle nose is the same distance behind an imaginary vertical line that passes through the centre of the bottom bracket. If you change that, you change your position.

Pneumant
Posts: 204
Joined: 7 Oct 2010, 8:25pm

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby Pneumant » 21 Dec 2020, 4:17pm

Jd843 wrote:Hi

I’ve been getting mid/lower back pain during/after riding lately, but just on one side of my back. It’s in the muscle just next to my spine, possibly the erector spinae.

I’m not sure if I should get a bike fit, see a physio or someone else. My concern with getting a bike fit is that they’ll just give me the standard service and make everything look right on paper, but won’t necessarily fix whatever is causing my pain. On the other hand, I’m not sure if a physio would be able to help with a cycling related issue. I also wonder if my pain could be related to a foot or chiropractic issue, in which case a physio would probably just charge me lots of money but not have the right expertise to fix the issue.

Any advice anybody? Equally, if you can think of anything I could try tweaking with e.g. cleats, saddle setback, etc that could help, I’m willing to try anything at this point as it’s making me a bit miserable during and after rides!


Hi, If you have not recently changed position on the bike I would start by checking:
Saddle in line with top tube, saddle rail(s) are on line with each other and not sagging / broken. Then handlebar stem centralised with front wheel, handlebars same each side. If you have drops check the brake levers are same position each side. Finally check your shoes for flexing damage such as a cracked sole. Are you certain that it is the cycling that is causing the pain? Same pain can be caused by iffy office chairs, cars with offset driving positions etc

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531colin
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby 531colin » 21 Dec 2020, 6:03pm

Jd843 wrote:.......The pain is something I’ve had before from other activities like lifting at work, but I never used to get it with cycling until very recently. It’s a new bike so more likely that something is off with the setup but I’m not sure what.


So, you have got a new bike, which gives you a pain which your old bike didn't give you?
Not only that, but in the past you have got this pain from (eg) lifting, even before you got a new bike?

If you still have the old bike, I would say go for a good ride of a few hours on the old bike, and when you get home immediately go back out on the new bike; this gives the best chance of detecting any minor differences between the 2 riding positions.
However, if the pain started from lifting, it doesn't sound like its really a bike fit problem.

Have a read of my DIY bike fit piece linked below; it can't do any harm!

David9694
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Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 8:42am

Re: Back pain on one side

Postby David9694 » 23 Dec 2020, 11:04pm

What job do you do? If you’re a sedentary office wollah like me, at my age positively refraining from the gym, your issue could well be that your core muscles are weak. Problems like yours creep up in unexpected ways as certain muscles face unfamiliar and taxing calls in keeping you stable while your legs pedal away. It’s usually the first thing to start flagging for me. This strikes me as coming under the heading of “what they don’t tell you about cycling”.

Floor exercises are worth a try before you take up your GP’s time, or fork out for a bike fit. Assuming nothing else is broken and always stop if you’ve got sharp pain, on your back, raise your knees towards your chest and rotate them, side to side together. On your side, legs bent, raise the upper knee away from the ground and repeat on each side; on your front, stretch out and gradually push up onto your elbows - don’t push too hard, but if you’re stiff and meeting resistance, keep at it, step it up gradually over sessions. Finally, tuck your knees in and stretch forward reach out as far as you can along the ground and hold - I’ve come to find that a really relaxing pose.You’ll feel the slight burn as whatever muscles it is wrap around your pelvis get stretched while your bum is in the air.

I’ve had sports massage - deep tissue and all that, the man digging his elbow into and along your back - seemed to help a few years back.

Pebble
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Re: Back pain on one side

Postby Pebble » 23 Dec 2020, 11:36pm

Spines are incredibly complex structures that not only support our bodies they also act as a conduit for our nerve system, the possibilities of things and combinations of things that can go wrong are astronomical - and that multiplied by all or different physiologies and lifestyles means that it is very possible that no two 'bad backs' have ever been the same. You could see three different spinal experts and have all the MRI imaging and you may well get three very different opinions and solutions.

Keeping active with gentle stretching and core strengthening seem to be the general first approach that helps many.