June 20, 2023

Ride Smarter: Can Chiropractic Help Your Cycling Backpain?

We know firsthand the joy of hitting the open road on your bike, but let's be real—spending hours hunched over the handlebars can lead to some serious back pain. Don’t let back pain ruin your ride! Chiropractic can help.

Written by

Dr Anders

It's no secret that cycling’s a great way to keep in shape.

Cycling offers numerous health benefits. Not only does regular bike riding help you to improve your muscle strength, balance and heart health but it can be great for your mental health too. 

However, those hours you spend crouched over your handlebars can take a toll on your back, often leading to lower back pain.

At Forward Chiropractic we regularly see cyclists with complaints of back pain after cycling.

Here we discuss the causes of back pain in cyclists and how chiropractic may help you prevent and treat it. 

Why does cycling cause back pain?

Back pain in cyclists can arise from many factors, including poor bike fit, poor posture, muscle imbalances, and overuse injuries.

Although sitting on your bike is generally much better for your body than sitting on your couch, the cycling position, with a forward-tipped pelvis and flexed spine, can strain the muscles and ligaments in your back. This prolonged flexed position can lead to muscular imbalances and tightness, particularly in your lower back and hip areas. 

When the muscles in your lower back and hips get tight your glutes don’t function as well as they should. Tightness in some muscles, while others are weak can cause your spine to become misaligned.

Thankfully, you don’t have to let back pain get in the way of your ride. By addressing the underlying causes, you may overcome and prevent back pain, allowing you to get back to the joy of riding.

Preventing and treating back pain

Bike Fit- The most common cause of back pain in cyclists is riding a bike that’s either too big, too small, or incorrectly fitted to their body. A professional bike fitting session can help adjust your bike's saddle height, handlebar position, and pedal alignment to suit your unique body shape.

When your bike is properly fitted, it can make a world of difference in preventing back pain and keeping you comfortable on your rides. Fortunately, Dr Anders our Chiropractor at Forward Chiropractic offers bike fitting sessions to help you get the right fit on your bike. Click here for prices and availability.

Core Strengthening and Flexibility - A strong core gives you stability and helps you maintain proper posture while you’re cycling. Additionally, flexibility plays a crucial role in preventing muscle tightness and maintaining an optimal range of motion. 

Chiropractic care may help your back pain by focusing on both strengthening your core and improving your flexibility through personalised and targeted exercise advice. A chiropractor aims to help you create a solid foundation for better posture, reduced strain on your back, and improvements to your overall performance on the bike. 

Chiropractic care for cyclists

If you’re struggling with back pain because of cycling chiropractic care may help in several ways.

  1. Correct spinal alignment- Misalignments in your spine (known as subluxations) can cause pressure on your nerves, resulting in pain. Chiropractic adjustment aims to address these misalignments. Restoring proper spinal alignment may help to reduce your pain as well as improve your overall function.
  2. Improved mobility and flexibility- Chiropractors use techniques, such as spinal adjustment, therapeutic exercises, and soft tissue therapies, to enhance joint mobility and flexibility. Chiropractic care aims to optimise your body's movement and performance on the bike.
  3. Injury Rehabilitation- In the unfortunate event of a cycling-related injury, your chiropractor may play an important role in your rehabilitation. Chiropractic care can involve targeted treatment plans including manual therapies, tailored exercises, and lifestyle recommendations aiming to get you back on the road again and, where possible, prevent further injury.

Optimise your ride with Forward Chiropractic

You already knew that racking up the kilometres or encountering a few too many bumps in the road can cause wear and tear on your bike. But here's something you may not have considered: those kilometres and bumps could also cause wear and tear on your body, like putting your spine out of alignment. Just like you'd take your bike in for a tune-up, chiropractic care could help you achieve optimal alignment for your body.

As cyclists ourselves, at Forward Chiropractic we understand the unique demands the sport puts on your body. 

Don’t let pain dampen your enjoyment and hinder your performance on the bike.

Give the friendly team at Forward Chiropractic a call to book a chiropractic appointment.

*All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Healthdirect. (2021). Cycling and your health. www.healthdirect.gov.au/cycling-and-your-health