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TRIA is a leader in orthopaedic treatment, providing comprehensive care from diagnosis, to treatment, to rehabilitation, even surgery at one convenient location in Bloomington, Minnesota.
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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

Ask The TRIA Orthopaedic Surgeon

May 4, 2009

As cyclists, we often experience pains that seem to come out of nowhere. Since the majority of us are not sports medicine or orthopaedic experts, we typically will either ride with the pain or stop riding altogether. Neither does any good for our cycling psyche, but, as untrained medical professionals, our options seem limited.

We are proud to offer the devoted readers a forum for these specific issues. Today, we’ll get the ball rolling with one popular question that plagues cyclists of all ages and skill levels. In the future, feel free to leave a comment and ask a question that we can answer here on the blog.

Our first question deals with lower back pain (LBP) and long-distance rides. So often, on rides longer than twenty miles, we experience some lower back pain. It’s troubling, but most of us can’t figure out why it’s there or where it’s coming from.

Thankfully, we have a TRIA Orthopaedic surgeon on board to answer this question, as well as all our questions in the future. For this particular question, Marc Swiontkowski, M.D. has provided us an answer to the question that has plagued us all, at one time or another, during our cycling career. Here’s what Dr. Swiontkowski has to say:

The way to avoid LBP on longer distance rides has several components. The first is to make sure you are set up on your bike correctly. A frame that fits accompanied by appropriate seat height adjustment, correct crank arm lengths, a well fit stem (the part that the handle bars attach to) with an aero bar extension will provide the best biomechanical situation for your back. Your local bike shop can help you be sure that your fittings and equipment are correct for you. Frequent rotation of hand positions around the handlebars and aero extensions will help take the strain off the back as well. Finally, standing out of the saddle for 60 seconds or so, 4-5 times an hour will help your back from becoming sore. Nothing can substitute for training miles though, and an available hot tub after the ride will fix what ails you.

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