General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Upper back/lower neck pain while riding Rss Feed  
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2015-05-19 1:45 PM

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Subject: Upper back/lower neck pain while riding
I've had this issue ever since I started cycling seriously. At some point later on in my rides, usually after 30+ miles, I get a pain in the area of my back/neck, just about even with the tops of my shoulders. Some times it's worse than others. The only way to bring relief is to get OFF the bike. There doesn't seem to be way to alleviate the discomfort on the bike, although riding more upright (or with no hands) does seem to help a little.

This issue was one of the reasons I got a professional fitting for my bike a year or so ago. During the fitting, numerous changes were made to my bike, but the same issue persists. There has been no change with the back/neck issue, even though my handlebars were raised, seat was replaced, raised and moved forward among other things.

In past years, the pain was almost entirely gone shortly after riding. Lately, a dull pain has been lingering for days after a long ride.

I had been seeing a chiropractor last year for a different issue (frozen shoulder), and he hasn't recommended anything other than regular "adjustments."

I'm planning to ride more miles this year, so I've got to figure out something. I don't know anyone else who has this problem. I know people who get knee pain, or lower back pain, or just about anything else, but not upper back/neck area pain.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, and if so how do you cope with it?

Thanks.

Gary


2015-05-20 7:34 AM
in reply to: GaryGnu


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Subject: RE: Upper back/lower neck pain while riding
Originally posted by GaryGnu

I've had this issue ever since I started cycling seriously. At some point later on in my rides, usually after 30+ miles, I get a pain in the area of my back/neck, just about even with the tops of my shoulders. Some times it's worse than others. The only way to bring relief is to get OFF the bike. There doesn't seem to be way to alleviate the discomfort on the bike, although riding more upright (or with no hands) does seem to help a little.

This issue was one of the reasons I got a professional fitting for my bike a year or so ago. During the fitting, numerous changes were made to my bike, but the same issue persists. There has been no change with the back/neck issue, even though my handlebars were raised, seat was replaced, raised and moved forward among other things.

In past years, the pain was almost entirely gone shortly after riding. Lately, a dull pain has been lingering for days after a long ride.

I had been seeing a chiropractor last year for a different issue (frozen shoulder), and he hasn't recommended anything other than regular "adjustments."

I'm planning to ride more miles this year, so I've got to figure out something. I don't know anyone else who has this problem. I know people who get knee pain, or lower back pain, or just about anything else, but not upper back/neck area pain.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, and if so how do you cope with it?

Thanks.

Gary



When I first got back on the road bike last year I had the same issues as well as lower back pain. I couldn't even do 10 miles without it starting. I'm 60 yr/old and hadn't ridden a road bike hardly at all for over 25 years. I found these exercises: http://www.bicycling.com/training/fitness/core/page/0/1
and started doing them daily. Within a month or so, between doing the exercises and biking I'd say I had about 50% improvement. I could go about twice as far, maybe 20-25 miles before getting pretty uncomfortable. At that point, my wife convinced me to try Yoga. That for me was the game changer. Within a month (two, one hr. sessions per week) I was vastly improved . . . to the point of doing 45 miles nearly pain free. A few weeks later I did a metric century and my back and neck were A-Okay. I have continued Yoga since that point. Interestingly, about a month ago we moved back north from FL. For two weeks I didn't make it to Yoga, and there was a lot of lifting and then 24hrs of driving. Guess what, first couple bike rides I had some of the old lower back and neck issues. Not as bad as a year ago, but still issues. In the last couple weeks I've gotten back into Yoga and back and neck are getting much better already. I'd certainly recommend trying Yoga . . .
2015-05-20 8:01 AM
in reply to: MikeD1

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Subject: RE: Upper back/lower neck pain while riding
Are you riding w/ tense traps or shoulders. It sounds like you are not riding with relaxed traps. Based on what you posted, in that when riding with no hands helps ease the discomfort. From what you describe it sounds like you are in a constant "shrug" position while riding. The constant tension on the muscles causes them to fatigue, hence later in your rides you notice the discomfort. Try consciously relaxing your shoulders/traps while riding, maybe even think of it as pulling your shoulders down or "unshrugging."
2015-05-20 9:37 AM
in reply to: 5stones

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Ellicott City, MD
Subject: RE: Upper back/lower neck pain while riding
Originally posted by 5stones

Are you riding w/ tense traps or shoulders. It sounds like you are not riding with relaxed traps. Based on what you posted, in that when riding with no hands helps ease the discomfort. From what you describe it sounds like you are in a constant "shrug" position while riding. The constant tension on the muscles causes them to fatigue, hence later in your rides you notice the discomfort. Try consciously relaxing your shoulders/traps while riding, maybe even think of it as pulling your shoulders down or "unshrugging."


I'm sure that I am at times. When I notice it, I try to relax. I am going to try and work on this.
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