When most people think about problems or injuries they may experience while biking, they assume legs or lower back problems. It’s particularly easy to forget about the rest of your body and the impact of being in that prolonged biking position has on it. A lot of upper back pain and predominantly neck pain can all result from sitting in a faulty biking posture for long periods.
The human body wasn’t designed with the demands of biking in mind at all. The fact is that biking is a very unnatural position for us to get into and stay in for extended periods of time. In particular this puts the spine under unexpected loads and cause a lot of strain on the little joints between the vertebrae (facet joints). Especially in the neck, which if you think about it has to be adjusted in some weird and wonderful ways just so you can simply see where you’re going!
Everyone’s heard that old saying “prevention is better than cure”, well here’s a couple components to consider when you are on your bike which may prevent you from experiencing neck pan later.
Assessing your handlebar position and set-up will have a massive impact in improving your generally posture while biking. These can also be accomplished easily, cheaply and can remedy any existing issues you may already be experiencing with biking. You need to be aware and consider the posture you are putting your neck into, you want to try avoid craning or hyperextending your neck. This requires some consideration as to how far the handlebars are away from the saddle, as well as how low down they are.
Generally strengthening your entire back and core will help in preventing pain and injury in your back and neck from long cycles. This can be done relatively easily and you can usually build on the exercises once you have the simplest version mastered, good technique and progression are key. It’s also a great idea to chuck in a few simple back and neck stretches in your stretching routine before and after your bike ride.
If you have any queries or questions don’t hesitate to contact us.