Back injuries are one of the most debilitating. Most of us try to work through life as best we can despite chronic pain.
Eventually, it degenerates to the point of needing surgery.
Occasionally, you meet the odd soul who is tired of being trapped by their body and become obsessed with finding an untapped healing method that might, finally, grant their relief.
Weight management is at the heart of back pain relief. Maintaining a healthy BMI reduces the strain on the ligaments and spine. Just like the astronauts on the moon, weight loss endows the body with “superhuman” capabilities.
Cycling is the premier low-impact exercise.
While this article is by no means meant to take the place of a certified health professional, there is some research that points to the effectiveness of daily exercise in pain management.
There are folks who walked with a cane, but after riding their bike, they were able to function for several hours without any assistance. It is fascinating how exercise helps everything from strokes to Parkinson’s.
The key is to listen to your body and to not push too far. In fact, for the first several weeks, you will want to go on short rides and stop well before you get fatigued. It is easy to overdo it on a bicycle and allow that fatigue to cause an accident.
Riding a bicycle allows moderate core strengthening. This natural strengthening can further protect the back and begin to relieve pressure points.
An active cardiovascular system also helps remove toxins and inflammatory agents from circulation. Combining stretching with exercise is an excellent way to provide lasting recovery.
Keep in mind that this is a journey that takes time. Those who are committed to reversing the damage often spend 5 to 10 years in daily recovery. The most successful stories will likely have invested 5 hours per week of stretching and purposeful exercise. This focus allows the scar tissue and the damage to slowly be stretched into place and then provides time for healing to take place.
It takes an obsessive personality to impose their will on an incurable problem like this.
So, as you incorporate cycling into your rehab, don’t expect it to be a panacea. But, it can play a role.
The most important aspect of choosing a bike for cycling with back pain is to get the correct fit. Cramming your body on a bike that is too small is a perfect way to cause more problems.
You want to be upright and in a neutral, comfortable position.
Additionally, you will likely want to get a seatpost with a shock on it. This can be added to almost any bicycle and cushions the spinal column from being jarred by the road.
A step-through frame design is often associated with Women’s bikes, but this can let you quickly get on and off the bike without dramatically swinging your hip over the seat which can easily lead to more injuries.