Biking in Denver and beyond, is bigger than ever. Nationwide, bike commuting is at an all-time high. Just in Denver, the number of bike commuters grew by 130% between 1990 and 2013. In addition to bike-friendly lanes for commuters, the Denver area has miles and miles of diverse trails for recreational cyclists, both dirt trails for adventurous mountain bikers, and paved trials that connect riders to all the big downtown attractions.
It’s no wonder bicycling has grown in popularity. Cycling is an impact-free form of exercise, that’s easy on your joints and muscles, which makes it a pleasurable way to get around. Cycling boosts cardiovascular fitness, cuts down stress levels, and can strengthen muscles and bones.
While bicycling is a fun, low-impact form of exercise, recreational and professional cyclists alike often complain of lower back pain. Improper bike fit, weak core strength, and periods of sitting in the same position can all contribute to back pain with biking.
Try these 3 recommendations to limit back pain while cycling.
- Optimize your bike fit. Bicycling is more comfortable when your bike is adjusted to fit your body. A poorly fit bike can lead to aches and pains that may take the joy out of your ride. Head to your local bike shop to get personalized fit recommendations. Bike shops will have professionals on staff than help you size and fit your bike to your body.
- Strengthen core muscle. Your core muscles generate the power and control the movement of your bike. If you have weak core muscles, you’ll get fatigue and pain in your back sooner than someone with a better conditioned core. When you’re off the bike, do core-strengthening exercises 3 days a week to help protect your back.
- Switch up riding style. Repetitive, cumulative stress on the back can lead to back injury, so sitting in the same position bicycling for hours on end increases risk. Move around when you’re out riding by switching up your positions. Stand up out of the saddle and scoot forwards and backward a little in the seat every so often. Shaking up the positions a couple of times an hour will help avoid the repetitive stress of prolonged pedaling in the same position.
If chronic back pain is disrupting your life, call us at 303-327-5511 to schedule an appointment. Our team offers a full spectrum of services and will work to prepare an individualized treatment plan to decrease your pain.