I would bet that Lance gets back pain at the peak of his back, which we call a spinal hinge.
I would bet that Lance gets back pain at the peak of his back, which we call a spinal hinge.

Colorado is home to some of the most amazing biking trails in the world. Our beautiful mountains, with pristine lakes and streams, create the most surreal backdrop for the avid outdoor enthusiast. Its lure is strong, and bikers know this all to well, and end up paying for it, which I call, “bikers back”.

I’m a chiropractor in Denver, and it is becoming quite easy to pick out the person who has a love for biking, just based on the shape of their back. Think about this, stay in one position for an extended period of time, and repeat the process over and over for years. What do get? You get muscle imbalances, and you get a change in normal ligament tension laxity ratios. You have created a system that is out of boundaries of the normal.

The body has an amazing capability of adapting to its circumstances. We place a high demand of strain on the back when we sustain certain postures for to long. Our Colorado bikers know this all to well. Biking for four hours straight has to have repercussions on the back. The back is literally stuck in a flexed position for far to long than it really wants. I have seen this same type of back with migrants who stand bent over in the fields for way to long. A Denver sports chiropractor can help alleviate the pain associated with this activity.

People with bikers back are easy to spot, because their upright posture looks like they are still on their bike. Biker backs loose their ability to extend the spine. Perhaps we should call this bikers syndrome, because the postural changes affect more than just their back. Some bikers do a great job of reversing this with exercise and chiropractic adjustments.

It is similar to upper cross syndrome, the head sticks out, your shoulders become rounded, the pectoral muscles become tight, psoas muscle undergoes contracture, the back extensor muscles become stretched out and weak, and many more imbalances. These imbalances not only affect muscles, but ligaments and joints as well. You can read more about this phenomenon called biomechanical creep, and hysteresis.

Once the system that surrounds the joints becomes imbalanced, the joint will not work at its optimal performance. This can lead to back pain, neck pain, head aches, predispose you to injuries, alter your breathing patterns, and even cause insomnia.

It is the yin and yang of life, your body is the currency that will pay for your habits. Want to ride a bike for four hours? If so, then you must follow the law of opposites, and do something that restores the extension in your mid back.

Sports chiropractic adjustments do wonders in this area. I have measured people’s height before and after adjustments, and they are always 3-7 mm taller after their adjustment. They also report that they can breathe easier and feel more upright.

I also like teaching people how to use the foam roll. The foam roll is a cylinder that you place on the ground, and roll around on. Foam rolls can usually be purchased at the chiropractor’s office, or at sporting good store.

respectfully used from Julie's web site: http://www.julieseymour.co.uk/health-fitness-blog/2008/9/25/self-myofacial-release-or-foam-rollering.html
respectfully used from Julie

Some posture exercises will help, in particular, I like Bruggers exercise. You can do this while you are sitting. Look forward, sit tall, palms facing up resting on your thigh, externally rotate your shoulders, keep your shoulders down, and now squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if you were trying to hold a coin between the back of your shoulder blades. Hold this position for 20 seconds.

Bruggers Posture Exercise, respectfully used from: http://www.sal2009.com/index.php?key=brugger
Bruggers Posture Exercise, respectfully used from: http://www.sal2009.com/index.php?key=brugger

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225 (BACK)