Bad lower back

Home Forum Bike Forum Bad lower back

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Bad lower back
  • I_Ache

    I have quite a bad lower back thanks to a massive crash being a jump Guinea Pig when I was 17. This still affects me in day to day life as I am constantly in pain from it, I can live with that tho.

    What I am having trouble with is when climbing on my bike. I feel that I give up on long climbs because my back hurts rather than my legs dieing. Would higher bars help or would the result in me just wheeling and falling off the back?


    If you think the pain is from the result of a crash then I would get some professional advice before trying anything else.

    In my experience, my lower back pain was fixed with a combination of: riding more frequently (not always an option), doing a core strength routine, trying to sit down less during the day and making sure your bike fit is spot on.

    There are a lot of things which can affect it so I would rule out the most important first before faffing with bike fit.


    It’s similar for me. I have a “stiff spine” apparently, no actual damage. I find good hydration and stretching help. I try to alternate standing and sitting climbing to alleviate it.

    I know exactly what you mean though, plenty of go in the legs, but the bad back just saps your energy.

    Unfortunately for you it’s not that simple. it’s a case of trial and error. what also might help is some stretching work on your hamstrings, flutes and IT bands as tightness in these areas can manifest in a bad back.

    I find for myself that the more upright I am the more back ache I get, infact I get my most amount of pain if I’m forced to mooch around the shops all day with the Mrs stood bolt upright. I guess years of cycling and working has kind of brought me to this.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    get assessed by a physio, do yoga/stretches every day.


    Osteo or Physio- every so often I get a really stiff ‘hip’. Its not actually my hip but all the major muscles around it. This is sorted/ok for another few years. For me visiting one is well worth the £50. Its alot of money but then I have freedom of movement for years out of it.


    I should add that the injury happened a good 14 years ago and I have seen professionals a few times and while core building helps I cant do it properly at the moment, and havn’t been able to for 2 years, due to a knackered ankle. The sitting down stretches are doable but don’t seem to be enough.

    mr plow

    Hip flexer(sp) stretches made a big difference to me. As did moving my saddle forward a bit from my norm.

    Lately working my posture everywhere has been very good in general. e.g. trying to keep that good core posture which is like sucking in a little to zip up your trousers. I still fall into poor posture but I keep trying to work it and “zip up” when I remember. Sitting, standing, walking etc.

    Premier Icon tmb467

    based on my own experience (I am NOT a physio but have been seeing a good one for the last three or four months for a similar problem)

    foam roller and stretching as per the video below and see a physio (as per hora / ir_bandito


    you need to start with some corrective exercise to try and strengthen your core while isolating the hips / shoulders…evan osar stuff is pretty good here [video][/video] and here

    then look to increase the mobility in the hips over time before getting into some light kettlebell stuff as per bikejames basic stuff here

    all in my own experience – but I’d definitely suggest speaking to a good physio…if you’re leeds based, then Jamie Bell in rawdon is great

    (pain when climbing is due to you using your back muscles to drive power to your legs, instead of your hips)

    Premier Icon Clobber

    Kettlebell swing completely sorted my back, needs to be done properly tho…


    Blazin – I’m the same. I have a feeling that seat tube angle is a factor too, as a slacker seat angle puts my feet further in front, and that feels bad when climbing. I’ve slid my seat forward on its rails to try to compensate. I tried an Orange Alpine – which has a steeper seat tube than my regular bikes – and my back felt way less problematic after a long ride with big climbs.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    and while core building helps I cant do it properly at the moment, and havn’t been able to for 2 years, due to a knackered ankle

    struggling to think what core exercises you can’t do, if your ankle is still good enough to ride a bike!

    Back bridges have got to be the best bodyweight lower back strengthening exercise going. Balance them out with planks/side planks (if the ankle allows)

    Definitely +1 to the yoga suggestion.



    Bad back rider here!
    I’ve also done the physio stuff, exercise etc. I had a constant dull pain in the back and down through the pelvis and the grown areas but now it’s ok to live with. You do learn to live with it but since I changed my bikes to a larger and more a sit up position, this has helped me. I tend to ride out of the saddle when climbing steep hills and I find that this keeps me relativity straight in the back rather than slouching.
    Also to mention, and I don’t mean to start a whole new debate from this post as a bad back is far more important but, all my bikes are now 29er’s and have been for 3 or 4 years. It made a difference to me!


    As above, sports physio and core strength exercise routine. Worked for me.

    i have had a stiff back for years and years. at times it would literally sieze up… happened in the surf once and i had to crawl up the beach.

    about this time last year each morning i would be bent double and take mins to straighten up. so started doing a simple routine for lower back that someone on here suggested and the relief was almost instant. from about march i started doing a weekly ciscuits sesh that focuses on legs/core and now my back is no probs at all.

    so long and short, in my case, i’d say lack of core stregnth was the issue.


    Also to mention, and I don’t mean to start a whole new debate from this post as a bad back is far more important but, all my bikes are now 29er’s and have been for 3 or 4 years.

    I dont mean to carry on the wheel debate but I cant see how a 29er fits differently. The bars, saddle and pedals are in roughly the same place.

    Most of the core exercises I was giver are swiss ball based and I don’t have the balance or control in my ankle to hold the positions. I like the look of the Kettlebell swing and may well invest in a kettlebell. I will look at different core exercises too.

    Any ideas what size kettolebell to get?

    Premier Icon tmb467

    depends on your strength…i started on a 9kg but in two weeks outgrew it (its still pretty useful for Turkish Get-up but now quite light for me)

    Looking to get a 16kg one now as I’ve got significantly stronger (and a mate has a spare) – although if its too heavy i’ll drop down to a 12 for the interim

    I’d hope to get up to 20kg in a few months and maybe 24 in a while but they’re not cheap (£30 for a 16kg and more for the bigger ones – especially if they’re branded and covered)

    If you’re Leeds based you can have my 9kg for a tenner…not gonna post it tho 🙂

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

The topic ‘Bad lower back’ is closed to new replies.