20.Apr.18 | Legacy

Comfort, Injury Management and Performance

Lower Back Pain in the Recreational Cyclist – a common presentation


54 year old recreational cyclist rides 100km/wk for 5 years

1 year history of right lower back and front of hip pain



Worse after 1 hour of riding especially when riding hard, power, faster rides. Lower back becomes sore then loss of power right side/tight hip

Stopping riding, stretch, roll, hands-on treatment helps short term

Treatment and personal training including squats for 1 year

Bike is 3 years old. Specialised Bikefit 3 yrs ago – client has “fiddled a little” with set-up



Slightly decreased R hip range of movement

Lower back, pelvis and hip combined function very poor on 1 leg R > L

Evidence of overload/overusing of the front of hip muscles/quadriceps



See excessive lower back flexion (forward bend) in photo



Seat too far back 10.5cm behind bottom bracket

Seat height slightly low (video knee angle measure + static calculation)


PRE: lower back flexed, increased hip angle at top of pedal stroke due to aggressive position.

POST: testing of seat up/forward with bars raised (using pads/towels) gives open hip position, less stress to lower back = less pain and better performance for longer. As body improves the bars can be lowered

Summary – Seat too far back and low with bars too aggressive for this body at this point in time. Lower back flexed is a risk factor for back pain and flexed posture overall challenges the back and hip region which leads to the wrong muscles working to produce power. Optimise bike and fix body