Back pain

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9/16/2020 8:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/16/2020 9:00 AM

So I’ve seen a lot of people complain about lower back pain etc. but I’ve been having back pain that are pretty uncomfortable in my middle-upper back. My lower back is generally fine. It’s basically right where you would bend to hold the bars.

The issue: my bars aren’t too small. I’m riding at 5’9 w long torso:

10.5x29.6 bars
32mm rise 50mm reach stack height 32 with max spacers
Longest steerer tube on the market I’m pretty sure
2.5 front tire which inflates to 21” diameter

My frame is 20.5 and 11.75 bb which I’m thinking could be part of the problem as the high bb puts you on top the bike making your back bend more. I’ve tried a 20.75 but that just makes my lower back hurt tbh

So I’m guessing my options are:
Lower bb and possibly slightly shorter tt? (20.3/.4)
36mm rise stem?
11 inch bars (not preferable since elevenz look stupid and weigh a ton)
Thinner pedals? (On fly rubens atm)

Tldr: I’m riding giant bars and my back still hurts where it bends.

Discuss

Edit: it’s not because I’m not use to it I rode 8-8.3 on a frontload until a year or so ago and have rode every day for years when I can.

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9/16/2020 10:58 AM

stretching and a chiropractor

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Husky Nation Member

9/16/2020 11:10 AM

Could be a knot if you’ve been riding the same and it just started. I had pains behind a shoulder blade for a couple weeks straight, gave 20 bucks to the Chinese lady at the mall to massage my back, hurt like fuck but she got this big knot out that I didn’t know I had up under my left shoulder blade. Suddenly I was fine, it was hurting both sides of my back from my neck to between my shoulder blades all from one knot pushing stuff around wrong. Human backs are a shitty design.

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9/16/2020 11:11 AM

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It’s all bmx

9/16/2020 2:04 PM

Id try a longer frame if i were you. I used to get a fair bit of backache before i got a 21” frame and a front loading stem, High rise bars with them set slightly forward have stopped all the back issues for me. Now its just my knees that are F***ed after a long session. I still have to stretch lots for that one!

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9/16/2020 2:45 PM

Buy a Pso-Rite

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

9/16/2020 5:30 PM

Try band pull aparts. It could be a general issue with posture, and if so this will help.

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9/16/2020 8:01 PM

Whoa, I was not expecting you to be on 10.5" bars and a TL...

I would imagine that with that setup you aren't having issues tilting your head all the way back just to look forward? That's pretty much the only time I get middle to upper back pain, but increasing the rise a little bit made it go away.

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9/16/2020 8:05 PM

Stretching might be more beneficial than changing your setup. Look into stretches that target that area specifically and areas around it. My back hurt there a few times because I strained it and prayer poses and some other random ones I found on Google helped alleviate it within about a week… obviously there’s a big difference in a strain that lasts a few days vs what you have that’s ongoing but stretching & posture makes a difference. I’m not sure how old you are but it’s possible your body is just getting older and now requires some stretching/warming up before going right into things, which would be why it came about even though your setup has stayed the same

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9/17/2020 6:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/17/2020 6:54 AM

baglagrupie wrote:

stretching and a chiropractor

Just got over a gnarly back spasm (/ slipped disc?) and this is the answer.

Additionally, eating clean, I can tell when I've ate out too much by how sore I get.

Like legit, go buy a bag of baby spinach ($1.50) toss that in a pan(low heat) with extra virgin olive oil (just a little, not enough to make it slimy, add a pinch of salt and some garlic powder. Eat that shit every night, you'll feel great.

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Come back with a warrant.

9/17/2020 9:03 AM

yarders91 wrote:

Id try a longer frame if i were you. I used to get a fair bit of backache before i got a 21” frame and a front loading stem, High rise bars with them set slightly forward have stopped all the back issues for me. Now its just my knees that are F***ed after a long session. I still have to stretch lots for that one!

I did try a 20.75 again yesterday and initially it felt decent but after riding a while it seemed to hurt my lower back from being stretched out. Was close though I almost thought it was better

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9/17/2020 9:06 AM

Bryan91 wrote:

Whoa, I was not expecting you to be on 10.5" bars and a TL...

I would imagine that with that setup you aren't having issues tilting your head all the way back just to look forward? That's pretty much the only time I get middle to upper back pain, but increasing the rise a little bit made it go away.

Yeah they’re really tall haha. Still looking into getting a taller front in. I still have to do that to look forward, I’m still pretty hunched over on my bike in general when standing. How I rode 8 bars on a frontload is beyond me no wonder my back is shitty haha.

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9/17/2020 9:11 AM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

Stretching might be more beneficial than changing your setup. Look into stretches that target that area specifically and areas around it. My back hurt there a few times because I strained it and prayer poses and some other random ones I found on Google helped alleviate it within about a week… obviously there’s a big difference in a strain that lasts a few days vs what you have that’s ongoing but stretching & posture makes a difference. I’m not sure how old you are but it’s possible your body is just getting older and now requires some stretching/warming up before going right into things, which would be why it came about even though your setup has stayed the same

It could be I’ll look into stretching. I’m not sure how long it’s been hurting like this, maybe a little over a year? 2? I rode all day every day on 8.3 bars, 20.4 frame and a frontload a few years ago and never recall my back hurting. I don’t do anything stressful to my back other than riding though. I’m 24 and I can definitely tell it hurts a lot more to ride than when I was 16-20 and injuries last a lot longer haha.

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9/17/2020 12:38 PM

Four wrote:

It could be I’ll look into stretching. I’m not sure how long it’s been hurting like this, maybe a little over a year? 2? I rode all day every day on 8.3 bars, 20.4 frame and a frontload a few years ago and never recall my back hurting. I don’t do anything stressful to my back other than riding though. I’m 24 and I can definitely tell it hurts a lot more to ride than when I was 16-20 and injuries last a lot longer haha.

Starting to do mobility excersies, stretching or yoga will do such a big difference to your body in case your not doing any of it today!
There's lots of follow along videos on YT, I'd recommend Strength Side if you wanna get some strength training into it as well!

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9/17/2020 1:50 PM

Go 21.5” boy
Going shorter and higher is not a solution, it just get worse until you are in a full stand scooter position, which would be like 17” frame and bars.
Going bigger will make your back way less curved where it hurts.

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9/17/2020 2:55 PM

Francky wrote:

Go 21.5” boy
Going shorter and higher is not a solution, it just get worse until you are in a full stand scooter position, which would be like 17” frame and bars.
Going bigger will make your back way less curved where it hurts.

I don’t think I’d be able to even flat 3 or whip a 21.5 haha.

That’s kind of what I’m going for I think standing straight up on the bike without reaching down would cause the least amount of stress on the back since it’s not being pulled in any strange way or putting pressure anywhere. Like how scooters now are made with giant bars so the rider stands up straight instead of being bent in half.

However what you’re saying makes sense trying 20.75 my back didn’t curl downas much but was flat however that put a lot of strain on my lower back rather than upper since it was stretched flat.

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9/18/2020 6:13 PM

The dimensions you are talking about - 1/4" or so here and there - should not be enough to make an immediately noticeable difference in back pain (unless you have a slipped disc or pinched nerve, or other medical condition). Think a bout it: 1/4" longer top tube will shift your center of gravity forward a little, maybe change the angle of your hips/back by a degree or less. If you run the math, the forces on your back will change by a few percent at most - you can handle 100% of the ft-lbs at 20.5", but 101% of the same load at 20.75 is too much? That makes no sense.

What else has changed? At your age, have you taken a job that requires more time at a desk, or standing on a sales floor, or hunched over a workbench? What else might cause it, that is then being exacerbated by riding?

I had the same problem after settling in to a desk job, and it still happens if I spend a weekend in my woodshop hunched at the workbench. My advice is to hit the gym and focus on shoulders and back. Deadlifts, standing presses, flys, rows, pull ups, anything that hits the shoulders and back. If winter is an off-season for you, hit the gym hard and get ready to crush it in the spring.

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Remember when you could ride all day and not be sore for a week?
Instagram: @theothermaj

9/18/2020 11:22 PM

Four wrote:

It could be I’ll look into stretching. I’m not sure how long it’s been hurting like this, maybe a little over a year? 2? I rode all day every day on 8.3 bars, 20.4 frame and a frontload a few years ago and never recall my back hurting. I don’t do anything stressful to my back other than riding though. I’m 24 and I can definitely tell it hurts a lot more to ride than when I was 16-20 and injuries last a lot longer haha.

My lower back pain came out of nowhere and progressively got worse for a few months, I never changed my setup at all besides riding a different height stem for about a week before I got rid of it and went back to my old one. It just happens as you get older unfortunately. Try some stretches, but give it some time to take effect, and if/when it takes effect, keep doing them.

I've recently started stretching my hip flexors for my lower back & hamstrings, and it took about 2-3 weeks to start noticing it, but it's made a world of difference. Hopefully you can find a stretch like that as well. Look up multiple stretches if you can, but also take note of what feels like it's just making it worse too. For instance, some people say cobra stretches make their lower back pain worse, but for me it really helps. So what works for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa. Everybody is different haha.

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9/25/2020 3:11 PM

Update:

I’ve been riding the 10.5 for a week or so on a 20.75 and my back was starting to improve where I could ride a few hours and it not hurt or at least not as bad. And then I broke my bars lol. So I put my 9.75x27 bars back on and I can’t ride them. My shoulders are in my neck, I’m way too hunched over and my back pain has returned. Funny how 3/4 an inch makes that big of a difference.

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9/25/2020 4:10 PM

try a longer frame if you can

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9/25/2020 4:12 PM

pnj wrote:

try a longer frame if you can

I’d like to try a 21 but don’t want to spend a lot and not like it. I’ve always felt like whips and tech stuff were harder on a long frame but maybe I’ll get one with steep forks and short ca because I have to ride with my bars forward at 20.75

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9/25/2020 4:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/25/2020 4:33 PM

11.5" BBH would help you quite a bit. I'll never go higher not because of injury or pain but because of stability and feeling more in my bike etc. I believe it make a difference for the better.

Longer frames are harder to trick on if your height doesn't match.

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9/25/2020 5:01 PM

Cellmember wrote:

11.5" BBH would help you quite a bit. I'll never go higher not because of injury or pain but because of stability and feeling more in my bike etc. I believe it make a difference for the better.

Longer frames are harder to trick on if your height doesn't match.

Thanks for the input, I think my next frame will be 11.5
11.75 is what alll my last frames have had in common. I’ve thought about getting a new total in 20.6 I had a few of the old h1/h2 (20.4, 20.4 and 21) and the short back end always felt good with the low bb not too poppy

That’s what worries me about 21 it’d likely make hop whips and all the tricks involving being over the bars more difficult than needed as I ride mostly flat ground and banks these days

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9/25/2020 7:52 PM

I went from 18 inch top tubes to 21+ over the years. Never wanting to ride a long frame thinking they'd be too long..

My riding style changed over the decades but I found I was more comfortable on the longer frames, over all...

I'm 5'8".. or was before having 3 back surgeries..

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9/27/2020 4:49 PM

pnj wrote:

I went from 18 inch top tubes to 21+ over the years. Never wanting to ride a long frame thinking they'd be too long..

My riding style changed over the decades but I found I was more comfortable on the longer frames, over all...

I'm 5'8".. or was before having 3 back surgeries..

I think my first bike was a 19.5 dk general lee with like 5 inch bars and a 14+” back end.

I’ll check it out for sure would like to try a 20.8 with a low bb height.

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