September 23, 2015
About the Author:
Sara Biston is an experienced blogger who is passionate about health and wellness, nutrition and beauty. Sara focuses on spreading positivity through her writing, as well as educating and offering advice on living a healthy lifestyle. Her passion for healthy living became the catalyst for a major career change, you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.
HAVE YOU EVER SUFFERED FROM LOWER BACK PAIN AS A RESULT OF MOUNTAIN BIKING?
At some point in your mountain biking career, you may have experienced back pain. Back pain is a common complaint from bikers, that comes along with some frustrating side effects — one of which is not being able to get back on your bike. It is often difficult to treat lower back pain — here are a few tips to help you stay comfortable while riding!
BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER
Before trying to treat your back pain, it is important to make sure something isn’t seriously wrong with your back. Visit a doctor and ensure that you don’t have a slipped disc or a fractured disc. If you have suffered a serious back injury, you risk making things worse if you don’t find out the cause of your back pain before you attempt to cure it.
THE CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
Mountain biking does not directly strengthen your back. You may be a great mountain biker, with the technical skills and finesse, but if you bike alot, and don’t focus on strengthening other parts of your body — you could suffer. If you start to feel back pain, focus on creating strong back muscles around your spine to prevent injury. Carry out exercises to strengthen your back, if you neglect this part of your body when you bend your lower spine forward while arching your upper back, you will strain your back muscles, causing pain. It is also likely that the pain can be caused by mountain biking on uneven surfaces which causes jarring and sudden compressions on the spine.
HOW TO PREVENT AND CURE LOWER BACK PAIN
You will always be told that it is important to strengthen your core before you regularly ride your bike. This is entirely true, and it is the best way to prevent lower back pain. Strengthening your core will ensure that your back is prepared for the stress you will face on the trail.
Unfortunately, most people don’t realise that this is one of the causes of back pain until it’s too late.
If you are already suffering from lower back pain, you will probably find that core strengthening exercises feel as though they cause more harm than good. If this is what you are experiencing, you will need to do a little bit more than just strengthening your back. Take some time to recondition your body off the bike, to strengthen your back and core and allow your lower back to fully heal before pushing harder.
EXERCISES TO CURE AND STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BACK
With any exercise, it is important to ensure you are following perfect form to prevent further injury. Find a qualified coach or professional who can help ensure that you are doing everything safely and to get the maximum benefit out of your exercises. For more tips check out our 6 Awesome Mountain Bike Training Exercises.
1. MYOFASCIAL RELEASE
The first step is myofascial release, which a soft tissue therapy that helps to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain.
WHAT YOU NEED: TENNIS BALLS, YOGA MAT
Start by laying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Place a tennis ball on either side of your spine where the spine and pelvis meet. If you feel no pain, slide forward to roll the ball up your spine until you feel pain. If your back is healthy, there will be no pain anywhere on your back. Whenever you feel pain, you need to stay where you are and breathe until you feel the pain relax. Once the pain has gone away, or you can’t take it anymore, roll the balls further up your back until you reach your skull.
After you have reached your skull, you need to work your way back down from your shoulder blades. Place the ball under your right buttock, then your left, then the side of your right leg, then the side of your left leg. This may cause pain, but is incredibly effective.
2. PSOAS RELEASE
The psoas is a muscle that connects the vertebral column to the brim of the lesser pelvis. A tight psoas can cause a lot of lower back pain, which is why psoas release is incredibly important when it comes to relieving back pain.
WHAT YOU NEED: YOGA BLOCK, YOGA MAT
Lay down on a yoga mat with your knees bent, and place the yoga block below your rib cage. Start with the block closer to your butt, if you find this too easy, you can move it higher. Use your arms to manage the amount of weight on the block. Breathe!
Yoga is a great way to strengthen your core and treat back pain, practice yoga before or after mountain biking to see the maximum benefits. Check out the Top Ways Yoga Benefits Mountain Bikers to learn more exercises!
Many people assume that lower back pain is something that you simply have to endure as a mountain biker. This isn’t the case. If you keep your core strong and look after your back, then you can avoid lower back pain and enjoy riding to the fullest. Once you know what the causes of back pain are then, you can start to fix the problem and ensure that you do not suffer in the future.