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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 9 Jul 2007
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Unhappy Back Ache / Back Pain

Hi friends,

I have a bike that I have ride sometimes. I have to ride it for long hours at some trips. Yesterday I made 650 kms in 8 hours. Stopped 3 hours between.

Long trips make my back ache a lot. Sure yours too.

I know the best solution is have a rest (on bed?), yes but what else can be done?
"where the traveller goes, nobody knows ! "
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Old 9 Jul 2007
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Prevention is better than cure. Most backache is caused by lack of movement in the spine. Therefore think about taking more frequent but shorter timed pit stops, and remember to do some quick stretches just to give the muscles a rest.

Ok you may luck a bit odd, but if it keeps you going....

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Old 11 Jul 2007
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whenever you can and stretch.
Drinking water often helps me as does use of an Airhawk.
A good position is the 90-90 or 'L'
Raise your legs and place feet high up agaisnt tree/wall with yer butt as close to tree or wall as you can, support head, relax- stay there about 20 to 30 minutes.
feels fabulous
Get a no nonsense deep muscle massage if you can.
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Old 20 Jul 2007
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Pain is usually caused by

1) Posture - Adjust your controls, raise the height of yoru bars, better seat
2) Wind blast - Fit a screen or a taller one
3) Lack of movement - Regular stops

I strongly suggest you buy a kidney belt. Not only do they stop yoru kidneys rattleing about, they support your lower back which stops pain.

Works for me !
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Old 24 Jul 2007
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All the above is true, can I add to it by saying get off the bike every hour (ish) and walk about before the pain starts. It also pays to pull your stomach muscles in and hold them for 20 - 30 second's alternateing for as long as you can, this can be done anywhere at any time. These are the muscles that help suport the spine, NOT the "six pack" they are more for show. (get down on all fours and pull the stomach up, you will see what I mean, do not do sit up /crunch's).
and / or
Get a TENS machine!

I was told to walk through water at chest hight but the physio said a wind blast (short screen) while, uncomfortable actually helped to strengthen the small muscles between the vertibrea? It is a compromise but it works the muscles, just a different take maybe.

All this from a man with 2 & 3 fused vertibrea, two rods and six bolts in his spine,................. biking can be such fun!

To much lying down wastes the muscles, unless you have company, then you can strengthen them...............maybe?

Only 24hours from .......... Scav
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Old 3 Sep 2007
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After being knocked off a bike from behind, I ended up with more or less constant back pain. I went to see everyone from physios to chiropractors and most recently an osteopath. The osteopath suggested Pilates. Pilates focuses on building your core muscles (that go around right around your abdomen and down to your pelvis). After doing Pilates for about 4 months, I'm even playing squash again and the back is almost completely gone. I can definitely recommend this as a preventative measure to help prevent injuries and aches too.
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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Reading Fridayman's recommendations, here's a link for Pilates:-

Free Pilates Exercises for Pilates Training, Instruction and Practice (Pictures)
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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Back pain is more usually due to poor tone in the abs (stomach muscles). This leads to a poor posture that sets off the cycle.

Apart from strengthening your abs, you could also consider adding some extra padding to the seat (reduces the jolts to your spine). Very effective on many bikes where the seat has been designed to gel with the style, not for comfort. But then some bikes have poor ergonomics and this alone may not be an effective fix.

Ditto kidney belts (umm, kidneys don't "rattle" ), they provide support to improve posture.

But unless there is some intrinsic problem, stomach exercise (esp crunches done slowly and without jerks with knees bent) is your best bet.
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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I second the Pilates recommendation. I've suffered excruciating back pain in the past and Pilates has kept me completely pain free for the past 5 years. It really does work wonders. Disclaimer: My wife is a cert. Pilates professional
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Old 19 Sep 2007
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What Bike ?

What kind of bike are you riding ?
All this muscle talk is ok but prevent the situation first.
I had a 750 Honda Magna that I thought was great but gave me back ache, the bikes I had before didn't and the bikes I have had since didn't, the bike I have now doesn't, V-Strom.
Your riding position is most important, I think the problem with my Magna was that the sit up feet forward position didn't agree with me.
See if you can get trial rides on different bikes to see what is better for you.
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Old 21 Sep 2007
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"Test ride" is a good idea - as long as it takes at least a day. What may feel comfortable for a ride around the block (like the Magna) can become torture after a couple of hours. Beware of bikes that have a chiropractor as an optional accessory.
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Old 27 Oct 2007
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Wink Back Stretcher

I suffer back pain but i bought this contraption from ebay about £25 delivered and about 10 mins a day lying on the board seems to work wonders for my back.
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