Context: after many years of on-and-off activity (post kid years, that is), last year I was able to revamp my riding. Specifically, by mid to late summer I was lucky to be able to ride during lunch, plus the wife working from home 2-3x a week made things a lot easier to get out. Plus, the kids are getting older so riding more has become possible. When I say “more”, it’s still not like back in racing days but better than many years’ past. We’re talking an average of 4-6hrs a week for years, then ramping to 7-10hrs a week starting in August - a big jump. As reference, I’m a former middle of the pack cat 3 racer for many years (since teens, am 46 now).
By late last year I started having issues with my back, specifically the lower back, of course. I did a ton of research and the area is the Thoracolumbar Fascia. It got very bad, so I went to see a chiro (mistake #1). The chiro did make me feel a bit better, but in retrospect I should have looked for a bike fit, then a PT if needed. So there’s mistake #2 and #3.
In the meantime I kept exercising, lifting weights, and resumed riding in January after 40 days off the bike (but still lifting carefully, focusing on good form, leaning on the hips rather than legs, taking care of the core, etc).
Now here’s the deal: I never ever had back troubles. I do have degenerative disc disease of C5 and C6 (courtesy of genetics), but I have it under control so it doesn’t bother me. I take care of it with exercises and stretches. I also had a bad case of IT band tendinitis, which prompted me to be careful and smart about stretching and lifting in the off season. Never had it again.
So after a couple of stupidly worthless months of chiro, things are still not better. I learned a handful of excellent lower back stretches (on my own), and they help tremendously. Plus I have been exercising regularly so I’m not horribly out of shape. But it might be time to revisit the bike position before I go after the services of a PT. As I remember the last time I had a bike fit was probably 7 years ago or so, on a different bike.
Question: Should I spring for a bike fit, and if doesn’t work, do PT? I already address my lower back with core and specific stretches.
Has anyone gone through lower back issues and would care to share outcomes/treatments, etc? I know those issues can be unique from person to person. I’m in good health, lean(ish), and have been working out to address the issues.
Any feedback is welcome.