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Biking and Low Back Pain

Erik Moen, PT

October 13, 2014

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Question

How long do you have patients stay off the bike with a low back injury?  Do you change trunk angles with them when they are in rehab?  

Answer

The answer to that depends.  If they are at an upright trunk angle to start, when you actuate a trunk angle, as you come up, you decrease the relative gravitational leverage to the low back.  If a person has an acute case of a herniated nucleus pulposis and they have obvious radicular signs and symptoms that are aggravated by the bike, then that is where they probably need to be off of the bike until they stabilize.  If we find that the origins of that person’s back is stress and strain type injury, and they are clearly over-reached or have a really low trunk angle and they may be over-reached at the shoulder out to the bar, we will definitely bring them up and back to decrease that relative overstress and strain.  The people who will find great value by bringing the trunk angle up are those that are horribly flexible or limited in hamstring flexibility and glut flexibility


erik moen

Erik Moen, PT

Erik Moen PT is the owner of Corpore Sano Physical Therapy (www.CorporeSanoPT.com) and BikePT (www.BikePT.com) in Kenmore, WA.  BikePT is the definitive education source on bicycling related injuries, treatment, and bicycling biomechanics, for healthcare professionals and all bicyclists. Erik holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University (Biology) and the University of Washington (PT).  Erik is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, USA Cycling, and North American Spine Society.  Erik’s bicycle background includes; athlete, coach, soigneur for 2008 Paralympic games (USA Paracycling), educator and current Classifier for Paracycling.


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