Neck pain - no matter the position

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853guy
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

Miles253 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:53 pm
It's going to be a multitude of factors for me, poor core strenth and lack of a sensible regime, couple with a position that is too aero for me to sustain presumably.

If anyone has a tried and tested regime for both core and neck strengthening, preferably without the exercise ball as in the above video, I would be rather grateful?
I'm not a strenght and conditioning coach, nor a pro cyclist (and not even a competitive amateur).

I played drums for years, developing a hypermobile ankle leading to knee deterioration. That lead to my quads pulling my kneecap off my knee when cycling. That lead to my upper body overcompensating, resulting in shoulder and neck impingement.

I've tried many things over the years to restore joint health and muscle balance (chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists, pilates, accupuncture), and the best things I've found have been compound exercises, specifically kettlebell swings, deadlifts and chin ups. Nothing else has made as profound a difference to my posture, core strength and joint mobility.

YMMV.

Good luck!

853guy

by Weenie


Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

You didn't describe the pain. Is it like electric shocks? Skin burning? or more like muscle cramping and a locked feeling.

To hold the head up, the muscles at the back of the neck must contract. The compresses the neck vertebrae. If you have any disc problems in your neck the nerves can get irritated. The most common way to get relief is to get the torso more upright to reduce the amount the neck muscles have to contract to keep the head up. Decompression therapy can help.

I have bone-on-bone in my neck vertebrae due to a damaged discs. To avoid neck discomfort I make an effort to keep my neck extended with chin a bit tucked. Most importantly I must keep my shoulders relaxed. Most people are unaware that they are clenching their shoulders up toward their ears as a way to stabilize the body. This adds significantly to neck compression. Instead, one must train oneself to let the shoulders completely relax and drop/hang naturally, and use more core and triceps to support the body. A good way to get the idea of how this feels is to bring the elbows in close to your sides. Having the elbows out involves the shoulders and traps and makes things worse.

@dim, try pointing your elbow at the ground more. It is pointing at the camera a bit. There is a way to rotate the arm without changing hand position - it can help to relax upper back and shoulders.

The photo of tobin is great - look at the position of his head compared to the rider behind. Tobin's neck is actually quite straight whereas the rider behind is craning his head upward much more despite the fact that his torso is more upright. You need the ability to look out of the top of your eye sockets, but I'd much rather be tobin's neck then the other guy's.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

bikeboy1tr
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by bikeboy1tr

I dont have a huge bar/seat height difference (75mm) but if I focus on keeping my shoulders down and relaxed instead of trying to touch my ears then I will not get the headaches after 2 plus hours on the bike. I call it, turtle neck and my wife does the same thing with her shoulders and her seat/bar height is almost equal so whenever I see her shoulders rising up to her ears I remind her of the, turtle neck. I have to remind myself constantly when I switch from my winter beater to my road bike. I often go to the chiropracter and I also do the headrolls to keep the neck from tightening up.
If I do all these things then my neck is usually pretty good. All I have to do now is get my lower back in order.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving"-Albert Einstein
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TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Mr.Gib wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:59 pm

The photo of tobin is great - look at the position of his head compared to the rider behind. Tobin's neck is actually quite straight whereas the rider behind is craning his head upward much more despite the fact that his torso is more upright. You need the ability to look out of the top of your eye sockets, but I'd much rather be tobin's neck then the other guy's.

:D

I am aero af...except my shoulder width. I cannot shrug my shoulders like Jungels even if my life depended on it.

Miles253
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Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

Thanks for the replies guys,

I'll focus on keeping the neck straighter and the shoulders down. Will take photos again and report back.

While we're at it, if I am weighting my triceps more, are there any tricep exercises I should be doing? The normal dips are likely not to work because they are too short...unless you hold the dip I guess...
Rose Backroad | 9kg
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Instagram: @miles_bc

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Miles253 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:50 pm
While we're at it, if I am weighting my triceps more, are there any tricep exercises I should be doing? The normal dips are likely not to work because they are too short...unless you hold the dip I guess...
Anything will work. Start with push ups - good because push ups also demand core and neck stabilization.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

I experimented with longer reaches and there is a breaking point where my triceps feel strained almost immediately. If my elbows are forward of my shoulders with my forearms flat on the hoods in an aero position, then not only do my triceps fatigue really quickly, but my shoulders and neck too. This is why if you look at any photo of me in an aero position, my upper arm will be completely vertical or maybe with the elbows pointed slightly back.

I noticed in all your photos, your elbows are forward of your shoulders.

Some of this is anatomical because my torso length is slightly above average and my effective torso length is greater due to my hip flexibility and flat back.

Miles253
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:12 am
I experimented with longer reaches and there is a breaking point where my triceps feel strained almost immediately. If my elbows are forward of my shoulders with my forearms flat on the hoods in an aero position, then not only do my triceps fatigue really quickly, but my shoulders and neck too. This is why if you look at any photo of me in an aero position, my upper arm will be completely vertical or maybe with the elbows pointed slightly back.

I noticed in all your photos, your elbows are forward of your shoulders.

Some of this is anatomical because my torso length is slightly above average and my effective torso length is greater due to my hip flexibility and flat back.
Mmm I certainly have this issue with the triceps and that could be a sign that I am certainly overstretched. That being said, I feel discomfort elsewhere when i'm cramped too.

A fine balance to be found of course
Rose Backroad | 9kg
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scapie
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by scapie

Hi miles,

This is my 2c, take it with a grain of salt though.

IMO you look good on the bike. Your position is quite aggressive but I don’t think its overly extreme. If it was me I would make a couple of minor modifications to your setup but nothing major. I see you have room to raise the stem a little, I’d do that. I’d also consider a slightly shorter reach handlebar, maybe 5mm less.

Also in one of your other pics your saddle is tilted slightly nose down https://www.instagram.com/p/BvEYPJ8jEy0/ is that just the setup on the trainer? If it isn’t I’d lower it a touch and flatten the saddle out.

Where I would invest my energy is into your actual body, posture and strength/conditioning.

I had a couple of crashes a few years ago and ended up with a whiplash type injury to my neck. From an MRI I had 2 bulging discs and 1 protruding disc 11mm. It took a long time for me to figure out how to fix it. Knowing what I know now though I could have easily been back on the bike in a few weeks.

The discs between the vertebrae get nutrients from movement. So if your spine is really stiff overtime the discs will start to degenerate. Disc degeneration is very common. If you spend all day working infront of a computer and then only do cycling you are bound to end up with a stiff spine, not just in the neck but most likely lower too. This will happen slowly and then eventually become a problem, like when you have a crash for example. The way to minimise the chance of this happening is to mobilise the vertebrae.

This can be done by a physio and also by doing this simple exercise called a chin tuck. They’re so simple just stand up straight against a wall, pull your chin back and hold it for a bit. You should feel your spine lengthen right at the base of your skull. If you do 10 of these 3x per day that will get you going.

That exercise is a good starting point but I would also be looking at my posture and would consider getting in some weight training to build strength through your pelvis and across your back. It doesn't need to be heavy weights and obscure type exercises, just something to build a bit of condition.

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

scapie wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:53 am
Hi miles,

This is my 2c, take it with a grain of salt though.

IMO you look good on the bike. Your position is quite aggressive but I don’t think its overly extreme. If it was me I would make a couple of minor modifications to your setup but nothing major. I see you have room to raise the stem a little, I’d do that. I’d also consider a slightly shorter reach handlebar, maybe 5mm less.

Also in one of your other pics your saddle is tilted slightly nose down https://www.instagram.com/p/BvEYPJ8jEy0/ is that just the setup on the trainer? If it isn’t I’d lower it a touch and flatten the saddle out.

Where I would invest my energy is into your actual body, posture and strength/conditioning.

I had a couple of crashes a few years ago and ended up with a whiplash type injury to my neck. From an MRI I had 2 bulging discs and 1 protruding disc 11mm. It took a long time for me to figure out how to fix it. Knowing what I know now though I could have easily been back on the bike in a few weeks.

The discs between the vertebrae get nutrients from movement. So if your spine is really stiff overtime the discs will start to degenerate. Disc degeneration is very common. If you spend all day working infront of a computer and then only do cycling you are bound to end up with a stiff spine, not just in the neck but most likely lower too. This will happen slowly and then eventually become a problem, like when you have a crash for example. The way to minimise the chance of this happening is to mobilise the vertebrae.

This can be done by a physio and also by doing this simple exercise called a chin tuck. They’re so simple just stand up straight against a wall, pull your chin back and hold it for a bit. You should feel your spine lengthen right at the base of your skull. If you do 10 of these 3x per day that will get you going.

That exercise is a good starting point but I would also be looking at my posture and would consider getting in some weight training to build strength through your pelvis and across your back. It doesn't need to be heavy weights and obscure type exercises, just something to build a bit of condition.

The IG photo you linked is not completely level. Look at the stem.

He needs much less reach than -5mm (+ whatever he loses from increased stack) or he needs to straighten out his back to increase his effective torso/trunk length.

Leveling the saddle would discourage pelvic rotation...with that much drop, he should be rotating his pelvis to a higher degree. I run what is effectively 9deg tilt on my Selle SMP...the curve at the back forces the pelvis to pitch forward. IMO your saddle should be tilted as far down as possible without your ass sliding forward and without your arms/hands getting tired.

scapie
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:48 am

The IG photo you linked is not completely level. Look at the stem.

He needs much less reach than -5mm (+ whatever he loses from increased stack) or he needs to straighten out his back to increase his effective torso/trunk length.

Leveling the saddle would discourage pelvic rotation...with that much drop, he should be rotating his pelvis to a higher degree. I run what is effectively 9deg tilt on my Selle SMP...the curve at the back forces the pelvis to pitch forward. IMO your saddle should be tilted as far down as possible without your ass sliding forward and without your arms/hands getting tired.
i don't agree with you, especially about the saddle, but what i wrote is just my opinion.

the attitude of 'this is what i do and it is what you should do too' is very common amongst bike riders.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 3312
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

“What I do” is now being adopted by fitters and pros...sitting in a more forward position while angling the saddle down (or using a specific saddle like a Selle SMP) so the pelvis can roll forward. This opens the hips up while maintaining comfort with a severe back angle. Not only does it get you more aero, it emphasizes the peak power phase by increasing both glute and quad activation.

Yes it might take a lot of stretching and core strength building for some, but it is something to slowly build toward. Like I said, I can ride in the drops literally all day with a nearby horizontal back.

scapie
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:51 am
“What I do” is now being adopted by fitters and pros...sitting in a more forward position while angling the saddle down...
lol

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 3312
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

scapie wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:02 am
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:51 am
“What I do” is now being adopted by fitters and pros...sitting in a more forward position while angling the saddle down...
lol

Right?!

1) It wasn't even allowed per UCI rules 3 seasons ago. Saddle tilt was restricted to 2.5 degrees. Now it's 9 degrees (though it's a coincidence that I have it at exactly 9 on a curved SMP.)
2) Retul and Shimano still advise starting with a 0 degree saddle angle, but Trek Precision Fit is now training its fitters to push the saddle forward and angle it down (suggested max 5 degrees, but that assumes a flat saddle.)
3) Additionally Trek Precision Fit is now recommending shorter cranks to further open up that hip angle at TDC.

scapie
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

OK tobin

by Weenie


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