According to a recent stat published in Women’s Health Magazine, 58 percent of professional cyclists experience lower back pain and experts think it may be even more common among casual riders who tend to sit too high or too far back in the seat, reports the magazine. "Sitting on a bike can often cause stiffness in the lower back or pain after a prolonged bike ride," says Dr. Yoav Suprun, DPT, and owner of SoBe Spine in Miami.
"The discs in the lumbar spine move backward (posteriorly) when we slouch forward on the bike (either outdoor or in a spin class). This mechanical change in the resting position of the spine can often start the stiffness followed often by slight pain or discomfort," explains Suprun.
One way to help prevent lower back discomfort (in addition to insuring your bike seat is in the proper position by asking your instructor to set you up properly) is to bend backward before and after a bike ride to make sure the back isn't stiff, says Suprun. "If it is difficult or painful to bend backward once, try to do 10-15 repetitions into the stiffness. Often the stiffness will subside with repeated movements into extension of the back (back bends)."
And Suprun recommends this "slouch-over correct exercise" for during your ride: create as large of a hollow in the small of the back as possible by doing an anterior pelvic tilt (as if pushing the belly button forward) and relax. Do this 15-20 times. "You may feel stiffness or slight discomfort in the first 10 repetitions and then it often becomes easier to do with more repetitions. Once you spend 15-30 minutes on the bike, do 15-20 repetitions of this movement, hold for two to three seconds in the anterior tilt and relax. Repeat 20 times."
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