By: Marie Vaine
You may have felt that horrible lower back pain as you hop off your bike after a long ride. You know, that lower back pain that makes you feel like you are ninety years old as you to take an extra minute or two to stand up straight. What you’re feeling is biker’s backache and believe it or not, you don’t have to endure the pain just to ride your bike. Here are a few tips to help ease that pain and keep you riding for longer!
Most of the pain that you are feeling begins with the tightness of your hip flexors, glutes, and piriformis muscles. This tension lessens the mobility you have in your hip and causes your lower back to compensate for the movement. By increasing hip mobility, your lower back can stay more stable and will prevent it from taking all the pressure.
Be careful how much you put in your backpack. It’s easy to plan for the worst and load up on water, snacks, lunch, clothing layers, spare bike parts, and tools, but every ounce you put in your pack puts a little more pressure on your mid back. As you lean forward, your lower back has to work extra hard to hold up your backpack. A lighter pack means less pressure on your lower back.
A few extra lines of defense that you can do are to build core strength and stretch! It takes a lot of core strength to stay bent over on a bike, with or without a pack. Strong core muscles support your lower back on those long hours of leaning forward. Stretching helps increase mobility throughout the body and release tension in the muscles. Yoga is a great way to stretch, build core strength, and relax those muscles that work hard all the time. Here are a few suggestions for poses that are great pre- or post- ride: