This month sees the annual running of the Isle of Man TT races, to which thousands of bikers will converge to watch the road action, which was first run in 1905 (as a result of a blanket 20mph speed limit being imposed on UK roads in 1903)
Quite a few of these bikers will experience back pain as a “necessary evil” of their recreation, but this needn’t be the case, although there is a causal link between motor bike riding and back pain.
Often, dedicated motor cyclists will experience back pain, either in the lower back or upper back, or maybe across the shoulders and neck. The most likely factors contributing to back pain are posture, due to the bikers prolonged crouched, leaning posture, and WBV (Whole Body Vibration), associated with being seated literally on top of the vibrating engine. Remaining in what is fundamentally, an ergonomically unsound position for extended periods, will often lead to muscle strains, back ache, and back pain.
In order to get back pain relief, its a good idea for motorcyclists to develop a simple regime to combat the causes of back pain, both on and away from the bike:
It goes without saying or maybe this is a bit like bolting the stable door but make sure that when you are selecting your bike or a new bike that its the right size for you. Too small could leave you riding in a cramped style, too large and you could be over reaching. Either could lead to unnecessary strains and back pain down the line.
A simple regime will help to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. Building up muscle and flexibility will help the back to cope with the unnatural riding position and stave off back pain.
Benefit may be gained by consciously considering whether your posture (on and off the bike) may contribute to any back pain. Away from the bike, think about, and become aware of your posture, for example, try to avoid slouching when seated, say at a desk. Ideally its best to be upright with your head vertically above your lumbar and hips.
On the bike, is it possible to reduce the need to hunch forward towards the controls? Can your back pain be reduced by not leaning so far forwards? (We’re not talking TT racers here!) Making small adjustments to keep your back as upright as possible could help the risk of back pain.
Take a break
Where practical, try to punctuate long journeys with short breaks, get off the bike, walk around, loosen up your back, and ease stiffness by carrying out some simple stretching exercises to mobilise your back. Make sure to have frequent drinks to keep your body hydrated to help ward off muscle strains and back pain.
If your motorcycling back pain becomes worse, or more frequent over time, then it’s a good idea to seek professional back pain therapy advice from your GP or healthcare professional.
Motorcycling Back Pain Offer
LumbaCurve Lower Back Pain Relief Products Feature