Cycling & Back Pain

Cycling & Back Pain
Back pain can ruin your ride. Finding out what causes your pain is the best way to make your ride more comfortable. Back pain can keep you away from all of your outdoor activities, so seek medical attention if your pain does not improve.

Beginner's Pain

Expect soreness while your muscles adjust to the demands of cycling. Your back may not be use to holding a forward posture and may simply need time to strengthen.

Chronic Pain

Cycling may aggravate chronic back pain. Consider a bike with an upright position or a recumbent to keep strain off your back.

Incorrect Sizing

Riding a bike that is either too small or too large can strain your back by forcing your body to either compress or over-extend between the saddle and handlebars.

Fit Adjustments

Small changes to your bike can improve its fit and keep your back comfortable. For example, you can change the length of your stem to adjust your reach to the handlebars.

Strength Training

Add strength training to your exercise routine to build your core muscles. Strong abdominal muscles stabilize your back and help hold your forward posture as you ride.


Stretch after every ride. Add specific back stretches, such as the lower trunk rotation, to keep your back loose after a ride.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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