Back Pain In Cyclist – Anatomy of it all

back pain, chiropractor bloomington ilSo let’s take a look at the skeletal anatomy. The spine is the support pillar of your body. The spine includes:

  • seven cervical (neck) vertebrae
  • twelve thoracic vertebrae (mid-back)
  • five lumbar (low back) vertebrae
  • a fused sacrum
  • a fused coccyx

Not a moment of support or motion of your body is possible without the support of your spine. Each vertebra has multiple contact points with the vertebrae above and below it. These contact points are called articular facets. At each level several lateral canals are formed, which allows nerves to exit from the spinal cord becoming peripheral nerves the body.

The bony spine provides the hard material for the structure of our bodies. However, there would be no support and stability if not for the muscles and ligaments. They help to stabilize and hold everything together in motion and in stationary positions.

Cyclist suffer from back pain and herniated disks to a higher degree because of the riding position places larger anatomical stressors on the lumbar spine.

Bulging out of the the center portion of the vertebral disk call the nucleus purpulsa, can happen anywhere around the disc, but when it happens at the location where the nerves exit , called the intervertebral foramen, it allows the compression of exiting nerves because excruciating pain and weakness.

Normally, the lower back has a lordotic curve. When you ride your bike, the low back will often seek to flatten the lower portion of the spine.This is due to the fact that cyclist’s like to ride with a flat back to improve aerodynamics. However the flattening of your curve and increases the chances of low back pain, and will place increased pressure on anterior portion of the low back vertebra and inner portion of the vertebral disc.

It’s due these forces over a period of time and for a longer duration that leads to disc herniation. But knowing how to functionally train the lower back, working the muscles of the abdomen, and relaxing muscles of the hip (specifically the piriformis muscle), you can alleviate many problems that may arise from your cycling position.

More to come next week about the muscle of the low back that can cause low back pain for cyclist. Also I will talk about a simple warm up routine that will help to relax the low back before longer rides to prevent back pain that follows for several days after longer rides.

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