Core strengthening routines? (major back pain problems)

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by thisisnotaspoon

I crashed my bike on a downhill holliday in Spain last Christmas and did something to my lower back (a goood couple of inches below the level of my hip bones when sat down, right at the bottom, litteraly).

Saw the doc in May and he said the pain isn't coming from the nerves it's a mechanical problem so refered me to physio. I didn't take up the physio as it was a 6 week wait and byt the time it came arround it seemed to be better (I'd been doing planks etc which seemed to help). But the pain came back big time this week and I've not crashed (badly)recently!

Now I'm moving house next month so it's not worth going to the physio now and it would probbaly be a similar wait at the new address so I need to do some more DIY. Seeing as planks helped I'd fairly confident it's a core strength issue, and the pain has probably come back as I've neglected planks in favour of just going for a ride, comeing back and doing the usual lower body stretches.

So asside from adding planks to my before/after ride routine does anyone know of any good core strengtheinging routines? Google throws up 101 "sixpack in six minutes" routines which aren't what I'm after, I'm looking for more ~45min routines I can do once/twice a day to really strengthen up my back and give the injury a chance to properly recover.

Ohh, and I'm going on an 'all-mountain' MTB holliday at the end of October, which is going to hurt if this doesn't fix itself!

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by Tapeworm

First, see a damn professional. Just because doing x makes it feel better doesn't mean that it is removing to problem.

Second, squats and dealifts. Your core starts at the base of your skull and ends at your toes. So if you're going to strengthen something actually strengthen it and strengthen all of it.
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by Machinenoise

So are we talking lumbar spine, sacral region or coccyx?

If its sacral or lumbar, then something can be done, but coccyx is leave it alone territory according to UK medical professionals! :( I know is I aggravated mine in an uphill sprint a month or two back. Saw a professional and was told not to do anything to aggravate it, ie only gentle cycling. I felt that if I got tired at work etc my posture would start to slump/slouch and I would put more strain on it, continuing the aggravation.

Its gone now I'm glad to tell you, but just listen to your body sit up right and do some generalised core work ala tapeworm's suggestions above and try not to do too much energetic cycling. My issue was though to be the piriformis pulling too hard on the lower coccyx causing an aggravation. Stretching of all the musculature in the area will help the problem too.

I'll try and put a core routine together for you if you would like, as I used to run an hours core stability class for fellow cyclists, but might have to drop some of the exercises if they hurt or are and awkward position to get into with the injury.

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by thisisnotaspoon

Sacral I'd think, it's an ache on the peak of that curve then a sharp stabbing pain about an inch lower (which is probably coccyx).

The crash was coming into an off caber rooty corner and I landed on my shoulder/chest/face then did a bit of a twist/scorpion kick. TBH I think it may have been the back protectors fault as it's litteraly right on the end of were the articulated spine protector was. I thought Coccyx injuries tended to be from landing flat on your arse?

I'll give the physio a ring and see if the waiting list is any shorter. If not I can probably register at the new docs before the move and get the ball rolling down there, but that leaves no time before the holliday.

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by mrfish

Just take it easy during the move - Helping / organising things can put quite your body under some stress, particularly if like me you're not accustomed to lifting things, reaching and twisting with a load. I think removal men build a very specific sort of fitness to do this stuff every day.

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by thisisnotaspoon

The move I'm not worried about, I'm moving back in with the missus after being away with work for a year so appart from a washing machine the only heavy things are my bikes and a weights bench, all the furniture here belongs to the landlord.

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by kytyree

I second the advice to strengthen the body, also don't neglect mobility work and stretching all of which can go hand in hand.

Likely culprits on a cyclist are a strength imbalance in the legs particularly the posterior chain and hips that also comes with some tightness of the hip flexors a la the "chicken or the egg". Working lightly at first, primarily with bodyweight, on the hamstrings, glutes and "core" while stretching and massaging and or rolling the hip flexors and lower back did wonders for me. I just built on the stretching and light glute ham bridges to where I am now back being able to comfortably deadlift and squat again.

A physio also helped me with a couple of very simple quick methods to keep everything aligned and relieve tightness that helps right the ship anytime I ride much or sit for prolonged periods.

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by Szczuldo

thisisnotaspoon wrote:...appart from a washing machine the only heavy things are my bikes...

You must be doing something wrong if your bikes weights can be compared to your washing machine!

One thing I can highly recommend to improve overall mobility and strength is yoga. I am young but I have seen great improvements on and off the bike. It takes some getting used to but if you can do it regularly (a few times a week to daily) you will see improvements in due time. I prefer to follow yoga videos from home as it works out better for my schedule than going to a studio. I strongly recommend videos by Rodney Yee.
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by AttacknowAttackoften

SEE A DOCTOR. I can't stress enough how important professional help is.

Second, try stretching your quads and more importantly, your hammies. Oftentimes, a tight lower back is caused from tight legs - at least in my experience. Something could have happened during the fall.

Feel better :beerchug:
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