Low Back Pain in Cyclists

Common Cycling Injuries – Lower back pain

One common complaint cyclists will report is pain, stiffness or tightness in the lower back.  This is often a result of the forward position required, however is largely preventable through addressing both bike and musculoskeletal dysfunctions.

Did you know lower back pain may be caused by incorrect positioning, excessive lateral (side to side) movement, low cadence, poor core endurance, limited mobility and aggressive increases to training load.

One hot tip is to strengthen your core and gluteals.  Your core helps to stabilise the pelvis as you pedal, creating a strong base for your legs to push against.  If your core is weak, you will compensate with your lower back.  This may cause lower back muscular fatigue, pain and may lead to injury and time that you are unable to ride. Conversely, a strong core will allow you to perform optimally, with more endurance and power.

Perform core exercise 2-3 times weekly, aiming to complete 3+ exercises.

Suggested exercises:

  • Planks
  • Side planks
  • Bridges
    • Variations (single leg, on a Swiss ball, add a hamstring curl)
  • Lunges
  • Alternating arm and leg lifts
  • Bird dog

Sean Wickens, Physiotherapist, Evoker. 

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