Don't Suffer From "Biker Back"
By Krista Elliott
Riding a motorcycle is like no other feeling in the world. The freedom of the open road, the exhilaration of the wind whipping past you, and the camaraderie of the biking community all combine to make biking a lifestyle, not a hobby. There's no place you'd rather be. But when you're off your bike and shuffling around in pain, you may start to wonder how much longer you can keep this up.
What Biking Does to Your Back
Being on a motorbike isn't harmful to your back in and of itself. However, a lot of bikers neglect their posture while on their bikes, which can lead to serious issues. Numbness in the hands, lower back pain, pinched nerves, and herniated discs are all effects of poor posture when biking. Left untreated, these issues can hinder your quality of life, both on and off the bike.
So, how to keep your back and joints healthy while biking?
Watch Your Posture
When riding, especially for long distances, it is easy to let the back and shoulders round down, which puts a bend in the wrists and forces you to arch your neck in order to maintain your viewline. Staying conscious of your posture and remaining upright in your seat helps keep your entire body in proper alignment. Be sure to stop for a rest frequently, to check out the scenery and to give your back and neck a good stretching.
Make Sure Your Bike Isn't the Problem
If you are particularly tall (or short), adjusting your handlebars and foot pegs can make a big difference in how you align your body while riding. And if you ride a sports bike, be aware that those bikes force you to tilt your head back quite a way. They're fun, but not great bikes for long-distance or long-term riding. A bike that allows you to sit up straight, like a standard bike, is much better for your body.
Treat Your Body to Chiropractic Care
Misaligned joints are like that weird engine noise: It's not going away on its own, and if you ignore it, it'll only get worse. Regular chiropractic treatment helps ensure that your spine and joints are properly aligned, making it easier to ride pain-free.
Strengthen Your Core
When we talk about a strong core, a lot of people think of their abs. However, if you work only your abs, you may make your back problem worse because your core muscles will be imbalanced. Make sure to introduce back-strengthening and ab-stretching exercises into your daily routine, to make it easier to stay upright and comfortable in your seat.
The open road is calling. So get out there, take care of your body, and enjoy the ride!