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Cycling with lower back issues/sciatica

  • 12-08-2022 7:52am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,546 ✭✭✭Fingers Mcginty

    Hello all,

    I've had to give up running due to the aforementioned and really miss it.

    I was thinking of getting into cycling as an alternative so just wondering if any of you suffer with back issues and how does cycling affect it? I'm thinking as there's less impact i should be OK.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,436 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    cycling can strain your lower back as it's partly your lower back which takes the strain of leaning forward when in the saddle; generally it's a mix of your hands/arms/shoulders, and your lower back bearing that weight. i'd suggest talking to a physio about it maybe?

    there was a thread this week started by someone suffering from lower back pain, that may be related to bike sizing issues, so if you were to get into cycling because of the issues mentioned, it's probably well advised to go for a bike fitting session; aidan hammond is often suggested, and he might be able to suggest a physio who works with cyclists?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭archer22

    I cycled fine for years with Sciatica, never had any back pain or discomfort issue on the bikes.

    However recently the Sciatica has caused a slight curvature to my spine which means I am tilted a little to the right hand side...this is causing a noticeable balance problem for me especially climbing hills.

    So really I think it depends how the Sciatica is affecting your could be perfectly fine or there could be unexpected issue like I outlined.

  • Registered Users Posts: 483 ✭✭ARX

    If you need a physio I can recommend Paul Tansey in Dundrum who was worked with inter alia Roche père et fils.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,669 ✭✭✭cletus

    I'm thanking that post for no reason other than its the most Joycean post I've seen on boards 😂😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,628 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    Signing your homework with 'AMDG' in the top-right too?

    I get sciatica, typically on holidays. I don't know the exact trigger, but I think it's airport activities such as lifting suitcases and rotating with a backpack along with heat.

    I cycle when on holidays too, but once the sciatica has settled down I have not known it to become worse during or following a cycle.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,046 ✭✭✭secman

    I've suffered from lower back pain for more years than I care yo remember. Latter half of 2019, twice in 2020 and April 2021 had very bad spasms which kept me off bike for up to 4 weeks each time. Had bike fit professionally done. Physio advised me in April 21 to consider Pilates, started in June 21 and have had no time off bike either back issues since starting. Highly recommended 👌 👍

  • +1 on pilates. Haven't been in a while due to some niggles but find them to be of major benefit on the bike and to be honest my overall well being. Brace yourself though you'll be absolutely fucked after it the first few times 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,046 ✭✭✭secman

    First few times ??? Sometimes I feel like I've done a 4 hr bike seession and it's only an hour long 🙃

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,546 ✭✭✭Fingers Mcginty

    OK thanks for all the replies...i'll look into pilates. Seeing surgeon next week so will see what he says.

  • Registered Users Posts: 649 ✭✭✭Johnny Jukebox

    ++1 on Pilates... no back issues since I started it 3 years ago and feel much stronger on the bike. The lightbulb moment when you can actually feel your core engage and push you up a hill...

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