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Bad back ache after an hour?

Rb5_turboRb5_turbo Posts: 206
Afternoon all.

I have raced and ridden for years (and years) and now 46 I still get out as much as I can.

In the last 6-12 months I am getting a really bad back pain after an hour on the right hand side/top of my censored cheek/lower back. It limits the effort I can put down which is annoying. Stopping/stretching helps but its never been this bad even during long 80-90 mile races where a stiff back is the norm.

I am stretching each day and have checked my bike position/cleats etc and all seem correct/as they have been in the past.

Any sensible advice from anyone who has experienced similar and found a cure/cause/way to cope.



  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Find a decent pilates teacher and see if she can spot anything wrong with you off the bike ?
    If she can she'll be able to give you exercises to build up the relevant muscles.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 12,014
    Get it properly diagnosed by a doc or a physio. Anything else is just guessing.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    You really need to see a doctor/physio re this as I'm sure you know, but my tuppence worth is, it could be sciatica, I've been getting pain in a similar area as well as it going down the outside of the top of leg. Could be a nerve being nipped or 100 other causes. good luck!
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    I'd say get checked out by a doctor, but unless you have private medical, they wont do anything other than tell you to stretch, and take pain killers. It sounds like you have some wear in your L5 / S1 region, only an MRI would show that up. Do you have any of the red flags?
    - loss of feeling, trouble peeing, sciatica, weakness, poor reflexes? If you do then it needs properly looking at.

    If you don't have red flags, I'd focus on significantly increasing the strength of your lower back muscles, your core and properly stretching. Not just a little 5 min after ride stretch but a deep 1 hour bodybalance/yoga/pilates style stretch.

    Cycling is really bad for shortening the muscles and it takes friggin years to undo. Doubly worse if you do a desk job and sit around for ages or spend a long time driving.

    Welcome to being 46 with back problems :D
  • Thx all, I have an appointment booked with my GP and I will have a go for a few weeks at the youtube vid as that looks good too.

  • Any loss of sensation in the leg on the side of the pain?

    You're doing the right thing going to the doc though.

    Cyclist, Massage Therapist & Ice Cream Genius
    Andrew Creer Massage
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    I don't agree, your average GP won't have a clue, will spend 10 minutes with you, and if you are very lucky will refer you to a specialist.

    My approach with anything like this is to go see a physio. You have to pay, but it's always been money well spent, and you get better diagnosis and a solution you can start implementing straight away.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Sports physio. Cycling generally tightens the ham strings which can cause tightness across the lower back. Physio can understand where you're stiff from range of motion and can tell you what to do to correct.
  • Could be so many things, I have a similar niggle on my lower back that typically kicks in after ~2 hours, or when I do try to do hill reps quite hard on my Voodoo after a hard day at work.

    What has helped me was tweaking the saddle height; fore/aft; tilt and ultimately changing the saddle (keeping most of the previous tweaks in place).
    As well as mixing up my hill climbs on and out of the saddle.
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • theboshthebosh Posts: 8
    Go to a doctor as many sport physio will just try to sell you something.
  • DaveyODaveyO Posts: 37
    Had the same problem after starting cycling almost 2 years ago. Various "Specialist" physio's gave me exercises and reasons as to why it was happening, things would improve for a bit but eventually return. Was in Lanzarote last year and on my 2nd last day booked myself in for a deep tissue massage. The bloke asked me to do a few stretches then had me lay down, then pressed on all my muscles from my feet to my head.
    Calves - went through the roof
    Upper back - went through the roof
    Front of quads - went through the roof
    All these muscle groups caused me no bother on a day to day basis. Short story was, even though i was/am very flexible (Stretch/yoga almost everyday), he recommended a deep tissue massage on a monthly basis. This has helped me more than anything else.
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,847
    Absolutely agree you need to be checked out - I’d suggest a good sports physio.

    Impossible for us to diagnose you just from reading your posts, but in the run up to Christmas I started getting pain in a similar part of my back (left rather than right hand side, but same part of the back). After 2weeks rest it came back, and I was actually diagnosed by a physio (fortunately I get cover through work) with strained hip flexors which was tilting my pelvis and after about 45 mins was giving me back pain. Since early Jan I’ve been having regular physio (deep tissue massage of a hip flexor is not a fun experience), stretching of hip flexors, hamstrings and quads morning and night, and am now back on the bike and all seems to be ok now.

    My issue could be completely different to yours, of course, so get a good diagnosis.
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