Lower back pain - is it just me?

I just got in from a 9.4 mile ride on my 28" Sun and averaged a little over 7 mph. I had to stop every two miles to ease the pain in my lower back. At one point I stopped into a drug store and bought some ibuprofen. After five minute rest stops, the pain goes away for a while. It seems to be most pronounced when climbing hills. I don’t know if this is normal, bad posture, or just a sign of age. Has anyone else experienced this?




nah i’m joking i hate using search. earlier tonight i was looking through the last pages and i found this. thought it might be of interest even if it is a few years old.

i used to get lower back pain but it’s stopped now

Any history here? Is this the first time you rode 9.4 miles, or is this a usual thing and only the back pain is new?

Anyway, old folks, or those who think they are getting old, should listen to their body. Sounds like you did.

I have a bad lower back. The best treatment for me are the exercises in a book called “Treat Your Own Back” by Robin McKenzie.

But just riding a unicycle down a road should not cause back problems. It might just expose one as the support muscles tire due to exercise.

That is a pretty fast pace on a 28" unicycle. You could also slow down and see if that helps.

I’ve done a couple 12 miles rides and noticed some lower back discomfort but not quite like this. Over the past couple of months my lower back has been sore upon waking up. A few Advil seems to help. If I’m playing golf, the first one or two holes it’s noticeable but not after that. I’m kind of kicking around the idea of riding 60km on my 60th birthday in October but not if pain is too much.

I’ll look into the McKenzie book. Thanks!

I appreciate the link.

At ~50, my first year of riding a unicycle any distance, I often had back pain. Usually woke up that night ~3-4am briefly noticing an aching lower back, better in the morning, and usually by the following night fine again. It seemed to be a healthy cycle of building strength and not a degenerative one.

Good luck

Added, now riding for about 3 years, lower back pain does not happen.

i’m young and i used to get back pain when unicycling or after unicycling. it wasn’t incredibly painful, but it was noticable. however, i improved my posture and it disappeared. still i do agree with crashing because whenever i go past my usual limit of riding it sometimes crops up. it’s probably just your back strengthening or bad posture.

I’ve had some back problems… wether unicycle related or not I’m not sure. But I did dislocate a rib from my spine at NAUCC. And I have a pinched nerve, in my lower back, in the hip/pelvis area.

And of course I get just the general back soreness. I don’t know what to say about it, except maybe posture while riding might have something to do with it? Is there a correct way to sit while riding for long periods of time? Most of the riding I do is street and trials stuff though, with some muni.

back pain

That’s encouraging. I tend to slack off and not ride for a couple weeks and then go out and do 6 or 7 miles. Riding more regularly may alleviate the problem.

Well, probably you should regularly do the exercise which is described on the
almost last page on “The Unicycle Magazine” :slight_smile:


I have these problems after doing some trialing with lots of big hops (80cm+), it’s probably the snap up movement of tucking. I think I’ll be trying the tips in Uni…

I think you should try experimenting with seat height, and crank length. I think that might have a factor with back pain.

I’m onley riding 1-2 miles twice a day,being fairly new at this, but have noticed pain which I feel is related to whatever is most stressed at the time. First couple of weeks it was low back, then for acouple of months the knees stayed sore.then musculature of the upper legs.
Most recently it’s been the elbows. I know that tennis players get “tennis elbow” and housewives get “telephone elbow” but I don’t think “unicycle elbow” has been previously described. I presume it’s the flapping and thrashing about from maintining balance and it seems to be better over the last couple of days.
I think that the most importante lesson in all this is that freequent—almost daily riding will lead to the resolution of most of these inflammatory / stress related pain syndromes. I also feel that ibuprophen is a terrific drug and the risk / bendfit ratio is probably higher than with any of the other products on the market. Always rememfer to take it with some food when possible though. (Less likely to cause gut problems.)

I have pretty bad posture, and whenever I’m riding during the evening after being sedentary for most of the day, I get pain in my mid-loser back, but I just lie down on the ground for about 5 minutes, and it goes away normally

[QUOTE=tumblebug rollin]
I’m onley riding 1-2 miles twice a day,being fairly new at this, but have noticed pain which I feel is related to whatever is most stressed at the time. First couple of weeks it was low back, then for acouple of months the knees stayed sore.then musculature of the upper legs.
Most recently it’s been the elbows. … QUOTE]

I think I had a similar progression of aches as you tumblebug. I am just getting over 5-6 months of tennis elbow. For me, I think the tennis elbow was caused from hopping, aggravated by a seat front handle orientation that stressed my elbow. I’ve gone back to a KH front seat grip and now hope that I can work on improving my hopping again.

how do you make a thread ? haha:D sorry

Go here.

I guess I’m eating my words…maybe people really can’t figure out to make their own thread.


For those of us over 50, here are some tips…stretch before you ride. Just 25 windmill toe-touches does a lot to loosen your lower back. When you get back lie on your back, arms out, feet together, knees up. Then let your knees touch the gorund on the right and hold that stretch for a bit, then do it the other way. When you ride, you use those muscles for routine and abrupt adjustments in posture…it is not surprising they feel it.

I ride 7 miles in the morning (29") before work and in general, my limiting factor is the seat. Practice conscientiously relaxing as you ride, sit on the seat, don’t push on both pedals at once, get smoother…

Additionally, I take a single aspirin in the morning before I go, it makes a difference. If I’ve had a strenuous day and put in a lot of effort or miles, I take one as I go to bed. That bit of aspirin running through your system as an analgesic will prevent irritation that will cause pain. It doesn’t make it feel better–it prevents it from happening. I use an aspirin when I hike, backpack, fly for extended distance, cycle or kayak. This works for me.

If your pain is from continuous-flexed tension or UPD-preventing abrupt flexing, aspirin may help but you may need to work on relaxing more as you ride. Good luck.


Back Pain

A big thank you to Carey and everyone else who offered suggestions. I’ll be sure to try them.

I was just wondering if you did a lot of turning on that particular ride. I have never had lower back pain but I have noticed that I use my hips to turn and that it could concievably lead to lower back pain. I get shoulder pain. And I know its from holding my shoulders a bit too stiffly. It’s better on the semi-coker cos I don’t do the twisty thing that I do on the 29er.


ive had lower back pain before. when it hapens i usually just have a break for a while. it usually goes away but im not to sure what causes it.