It is important to know the reason behind the occurrence of backache while riding a bike. Maybe it’s your uncomfortable seat, or perhaps you don’t sit with a proper posture. You might think this occurs because you ride for long hours. But you will notice that even riding for smaller periods will cause you unbearable pain. In either case, you need to find out how to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle.
In this post, we will discuss main causes and their solutions.
Causes of Back Pain from Motorbike Riding
The length of your ride and posture is among the most common causes of backache.
Some people try to lean forward or twist their back to get a bit of relief, but it can worsen your condition. The bike you are riding and its type can impact your back in various ways.
For instance, using a sports bike for long trips is not a good idea because your sitting posture will make you lean forwards. For such rides, you need to go for a cruiser or a touring model. These bikes allow you to sit in an upright position, and they will reduce your back pain to some extent.
There are some other options that you can try as well if you are looking for how to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle.
- You can change the seat that comes with your bike and a new one designed according to your body. Take assistance from a motorbike professional and find the right seat that is the best fit for you.
- The handlebars that a bike comes with are designed for average users, and you might not fit into this category. Therefore, you can ask a motorbike pro to help you in determining when you need to replace the handlebars according to your measurements or not.
- There are times when you might end up reducing your back pain by just changing your foot position. Look for a customized footpeg that will assist your back and provide support to your legs as well.
- Maybe you have developed a backache from a previous injury of some kind. Or maybe your sitting posture where you work is not right. Putting too much pressure on your back due to any reason might cause back pain.
- You can make a conscious effort to relax your body during your trip and take small breaks. Stretching before and after your ride can also prevent back pain in the long run. If your back still hurts, you might need to go for a back brace.
When Should You See Your Physician?
If you have taken steps to reduce your backache and are still dealing with it, you need to visit your physician.
There might be underlying medical conditions. Or if there are none, your physician will give you some tips to treat your backache.
Some other ways to treat your back pain according to your physician might be:
- Applying ice on your back to reduce pain.
- Going for over-the-counter medications to deal with the pain.
- Maintaining a good posture while sitting on your bike.
- Stretching throughout the day, particularly on your long trips.
- Maintaining proper body weight can reduce backache as well.
How to Avoid Back Pain While Riding a Motorcycle?
You can try these simple things to avoid any discomfort.
Do some stretching exercise
You can always do some stretching exercises to take care of the pain during or after your bike ride.
Riding for long distances can tense muscles, and they need to be relaxed. With stretching, you can achieve that comfort quite easily.
Using seat pads
You can also use seat pads to relax your butt and back, particularly on long rides. This Is especially the case if you think that the seat of your motorcycle is not comfortable.
Using back brace
Another way to alleviate back pain is to use a back brace. These braces help protect your back from any vibrations caused by the road and keep your back stabilized adequately during the entire ride. The best part is, you can conveniently hide it underneath your jacket.
Using a kidney belt
With a kidney belt, you can protect your lower back as well as your guts. In most cases, dirt bikers use such a belt, but you can adapt this belt according to other bike types.
It will prevent muscle fatigue from riding for a longer period and is one of the best ways to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle.
Relaxing during your ride
You have to make sure that you relax your muscles during your ride. Long rides can tense your muscles, and you will feel extremely tired towards the end of your ride.
You will feel pretty cramped up, and for that, you will have to relax your muscles during your ride. Moreover, you can take small breaks and stretch out, and feel the difference.
Improve your posture
You need to make sure that you improve your riding position. Maybe you are much too slumping over or hunched over? It will significantly contribute to your overall back pain issue. You need to keep your head up and back straight.
Also, make sure your legs are in front of your shoulders. The good thing is that touring and cruiser bikes keep you in this position and best for long-distance rides.
Exercises and stretches that you can Do to Reduce Back Pain
So, what exercises can you do to alleviate your back pain? Going for long rides might take a toll on your body if you are not used to it. Your entire body will be aching once you get off your bike. You will notice that your whole body will feel sore and your neck and back in most cases.
Therefore, you need to keep your entire body well stretched out to make sure you keep riding comfortably. So, here are some stretches you can do during your rides and keep those muscles relaxed.
When there is too much wind pressure on your helmet, your neck starts to feel it. Too much tension and grinding your teeth while your ride can cause cervicals. And this pain comes and goes right at the base of your neck. You might feel that moving your neck from side to side becomes tough.
You will have to do a few neck scratches or use a heating cream that has ibuprofen as it helps in increasing blood flow. A stiff neck causes pain, and it would be better to move your head around when you’re riding.
If you don’t mitigate this issue, you will start feeling some pain in your upper back section.
The best exercise to tackle neck pain is to move your head towards your shoulder smoothly and continuously. You can breathe out along with the movement and exhale completely when you finish.
You will immediately notice that your neck muscles strengthen as you stretch them. Moreover, you will hear your cervical making adjustments along with the movement. It signals that you are making the right moves. You can repeat this exercise several times during your ride.
Lower back pain
You might have stopped after a long while and noticed that you could not get off your bike. Well, there is no need to panic because it’s a common issue with bikers.
You should improve your sitting posture or your riding position. Make sure you adapt your bike according to your ergonomics and not the other way around.
Check your bike’s seat and its suspensions according to your riding conditions. Don’t forget to take breaks during your ride. Prevent cold wind from reaching your neck and your lower back.
Stretch yourself gently from time to time as well. Hold the left handlebar with your left hand, place your right hand on your back seat, make your face right, and then do it on the other side, facing left. Repeat this stretch several times as well. It will keep your lower back quite relaxed.
You can do toe touches for your lower back as well. It will stretch out your lower back muscles. This exercise will hurt so good. And that’s a signal that you are doing it right, plus it’s the best way how to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle.
If there is a sharp pain in your upper back and shoulder blades, you deal with trapeze contracture. If this has just started to happen, you can apply some cold for a few hours and the heat afterward.
Don’t go for applying heat first and then the cold. If the inflammation doesn’t go away, you need to seek a massage therapist to treat it well.
Ensure a protective and light helmet with not too many air entries and excellent aerodynamics. If your windshield is causing turbulence, try riding without it.
Also, make sure to move your head around during your ride. If you carry a backpack, it might also worsen this issue. It would be better to go for warm water showers. Your physician might tell you to go for muscle relaxers or other ultrasonic treatments.
You should also try to stretch your back, open your arms wide and wing them gently and repeat the exercise several times as you need.
How can I relax while riding my motorbike?
Of course, we ride to relax, but it doesn’t mean you are letting your guard down. You are doing so much already to keep yourself safe on your bike.
You are maintaining your balance, and you have to keep track of the traffic that surrounds you. Therefore, the best practice is to take a break now and have some stretches. Don’t be too stiff on your bike for too long.
How can I improve my riding position?
First of all, you need to pick the right bike for your long trips. Touring and cruiser bikes are the best for such trips. Apart from that, keep your back upright at all times and your feet forward.
This seating posture is only available on the cruiser and touring bikes. You can also use a seat pad to make sure you don’t end up hurting your back or butt.
Moreover, you can customize your bike according to your body measurements. And make sure not to go the other way around.
Your bike should suit your body type and measurement and shouldn’t match it. This is the best way to improve your riding position and avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle.
How many hours should I ride my bike?
You are the only one who can answer that question in a precise manner. On average, riders can ride up to 300 miles in a single day. And for that, you need to be around six hours in the saddle of your bike.
But this might not be that much for you, or you might think you have got your work cut out here. If you feel tired on your ride, it’s best to take a break and do a slight stretch, and if you think you can carry on with your ride, do so.
Otherwise, call it a day. But make sure you do some stretching after, before, and during your ride to keep your muscles relaxed.
Knowing how to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle can be useful if you deal with this condition. The important thing is you need to keep your muscles relaxed. It is better to stretch out before, after, and during your ride.
How to avoid back pain while riding a motorcycle is a question that many riders have at the back of their mind. And the good thing is you can tackle this problem easily and prevent it from turning into something way more serious.
Continuously do some exercises and stretches during your ride, and if possible, you can also use a seat pad or a back brace for maintaining an upright seating posture.