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post #1 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 5:54 am Thread Starter
 
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Lower back & sciatic nerve question

Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?

After riding 50 miles on my LT, mild dull aches start shooting down both legs. By the time I reach 100 miles the pain level elevates to a 9 and the next 500 miles is pure "can't see straight" hell. The peg positions are the cause. I've never experienced this problem on bikes with forward controls.

I have 14k on the 06 LT, love the bike, but comfort has to be #1 above everthing else.

Is there a solution?
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post #2 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 6:10 am
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Have you tried a chiropractor?

Another option is footboards, but you'll lose cornering clearance.



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post #3 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 6:40 am
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How about some sort of highway pegs? That gives more position options as you ride. I haven't had too much back pain, but do get knee pains and a set of highwy ottomas has pretty much taken care of that. I can sstretch out occasionally to relieve the pains and make it further without having to stop.

At this point, I do get a stiff lower back, leftover from y May crash. The worst part is riding a couple hours and then having to get off the bike. That motion is pretty hard on me.

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post #4 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 7:21 am
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I have a problem with pain in my hip after riding for more than an hour. I did a search on the net and found some stretching exercises that helped me a great deal.

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post #5 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 7:45 am
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I have a history of lower back/hip/ and knee injuries causing frequent pain. I've owned several other motorcycles and can say that the LT is the best for me for holding off any pain issues the longest. Harleys were the worst for me. I think you should try a combination of stretching, conditioning exercises, and just plain stopping the bike and getting off and walking around and stretching when you feel the pain starting to increase. I feel myself stiffening and pain appreoaching after about 100 miles. I have accepted that as a part of aging and my injury history. I just learn to manage it and find a place to get off the bike and stretch out, have a drink of water, then get back on. Sometimes I can ride 200 miles without discomfort, sometimes only 75. What bothers me more sometimes, is the seat numbing my butt and legs after 200 or so miles, but that is true with many other bikes for me. The best seat I ever used was on my Harley police bike- a combination of a basket-weave surface and spring suspension under the seat, but not adaptable to other bikes, I'm afraid.
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post #6 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:11 am
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what helped me...

I know some people aren't wild about how they look, but I saw ENORMOUS improvement in low back survivability for long rides once I bit the bullet and bought a bakup backrest. Five mins of stretching, particularly the runner's stretch where you cross one foot in front of the other then lean forward (stretches the vastus medialis which runs from basically the groin to the outside of the knee), leaning forward, then to the left, then to the right, then switching the other foot forward and repeating, does me a world of good as well.

Those disposable Thera-whatevertheyarecalled heating pads you can buy at the drug store and slap on your lower back that gently warm for 6-8 hours are really nice as well.

my two cents

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post #7 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:18 am
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OneShot,

Stretching will help alot, probably the best thing you can do. As Grif says, seeing a good Chiropractor can also help alot. Besides getting everything lined up correctly and checking for proper muscle balance he can show you some exercises and stretches specific for your problem and determine why your getting the symptoms you are. It's worth a Shot OneShot...(had to do it).....

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post #8 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:26 am
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If you have one then disregard. I purchased my LT in San Antonio,Tx on the ride home my back was killing me. I also suffer with sciatica and back problems. I purchased a back rest and all discomfort on the bike went away. I have ridden many 700 mile days and a 1K day, with no back problems.

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post #9 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:50 am
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot
Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?

After riding 50 miles on my LT, mild dull aches start shooting down both legs. By the time I reach 100 miles the pain level elevates to a 9 and the next 500 miles is pure "can't see straight" hell. The peg positions are the cause. I've never experienced this problem on bikes with forward controls.

I have 14k on the 06 LT, love the bike, but comfort has to be #1 above everthing else.

Is there a solution?
You haven't said much about yourself, such as your height and weight, age, or where you live, etc... All these elements can play a role or help us with suggestions. Also I presume you are using the stock seat, but this may not be the case... You may want to fill out your profile as you may be near other LT riders who can show you in person what modifications they made to their mounts.

I have a bad disc on my L5, and occasionally my back hurts like H3ll, but I found that riding my horse or my motorcycle were actually beneficial. Driving the car was the worst thing...

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post #10 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 12:30 pm
 
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Over 3 years ago, I was writhing in pain on the floor for 3 days, suffering from Sciatica. (A chiropractor nearly killed me. I'm sure there's good ones out there, but I won't be going to any chiropractor ever again.) But I digress. I promised myself once I got up and about again, I wouldn't let it happen again. Once up and about, I found some great stretching exercises. I do them on a regular bases, and have not had a single ache in my back or legs for the past 3 years. Thank God!
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post #11 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 12:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot
Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?

After riding 50 miles on my LT, mild dull aches start shooting down both legs. By the time I reach 100 miles the pain level elevates to a 9 and the next 500 miles is pure "can't see straight" hell.
Is there a solution?
One Shot
Judging from your symptoms you sound like a chiropractic case. However prior to chiropractic adjustments a through exam and imaging studies are warranted. The riding position of the LT promotes much better biomechanics compared to a foreword control posture.
Fill out your profile and I am sure we can find a competent DC in your neck of the woods.
Yes there are those who have had bad experiences with all forms of health care. At times proper precautions may not have been executed.

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post #12 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 1:53 pm
 
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While I am not an MD or chiropractor (and no, I dont play one on TV either...) I have had numerous back/neck shooting pain issues as a result of a broken back years ago- my neurologist/biking buddie reviewed my posture on the bike, and corrected my wrist/arm positioning ( I was holding my arms up too much , and using by wrists to brace myself) he had me drop my arms/shoulders, hold on limp-wristed, and change my grip slightly- and advised to change up frequently- this has helped the shooting pains down the legs greatly.. Good luck,
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post #13 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 4:43 pm
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I would agree with what has been posted. You might try a set of Highway Ottomans! They have been known to help with leg cramps. Those that use them report that they seem to be the answer.

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post #14 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 5:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot
Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?
I suffer from much the same problem as you do. I went to an excellent chiropractor who did help the problem, but not willing to go through surgery on my back, there is only so much chiropractic manipulation can do. The ride back from this year's CCR was so much better than the trip down it was as night and day. The solution was the installation of Mick-O-Pegs. The new equipment makes it possible to straighten out the affected leg and relieve the pressure in the hip -- spine that pinches the sciatic nerve. That along with learning how to do some back stretches while riding have greatly extended the time I can ride comfortably. I tried the custom seat and that didn't help, but boy, the Mick-o-pegs did the trick for me. Best addition to my LT.

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post #15 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 5:42 pm
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OneShot,

If you are really serious about getting long-term pain relief, two things should help you immensely:

1. Purchase an Inversion Table. It is expensive but the benefits are worth 100 times the price.

2. Use Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel With Ilex. It is the best stuff I have ever used. Warning: DO NOT use with a heating pad. You will literally think your bones are cooking. It is hard to find but if you are interested send me a PM and I will provide all the information. It is Cryotherapy using The Cold Method technology. It is also fantastic for arthritis, joints, etc. It too is very expensive but more than worth the price. They do not sell to pharmacies, etc.

I have gone from not riding at all to riding every day after using the Inversion Table for only three weeks. I only use it about five or ten minutes a day. After another month, I will use it once each week for "maintenance" which should be all that is necessary.
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post #16 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 7:43 pm
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[QUOTE=OneShot]Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?

As one with a history of lower back pain / sciatica problems, my experience is that there are many variables that come into play in the diagnosing and treatment--and results. Not to bore you with my own experience I will offer two therapies that have been successful for me.

The most successful treatment for me was the McKenzie Method of physical therapy. During the diagnosis and treatment the therapist (PT, chiropractor, MD) does not touch you but rather has you make movements that help diagnose the source of pain and then prescribes self-movements to relieve it and, more importantly, you learn how to avoid reoccurence. Doesn't work for all but did for me. If interested try www.mckenziemdt.org

The last one was, ironically, riding my motorcycle. I was worried about buying a bike after many years of not having one, fearing that it would aggravate the back. But after two bikes (both with backrests) since 2002, I have had NO problems.

Good Luck!

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post #17 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 7:58 pm
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oneshot,

My emphatic suggestion is this...first thing you should do is find out what is causing the pain in your back. It's NOT the bike...the pain that occurs while on the bike is simply a symptom...not the problem. I suspect if you have this pain on the bike...you probably have some level of the same that occurs in other aspects of your routine.

If you find the problem...you can likely fix it. My doctors think that my putting off the issue caused it to get worst to the point where my bad disk has degenerated so much the easy fixes are off the table. All this started for me 10yrs and 7 mo ago...when, like Joe, I woke up screaming with a fire in my leg, butt, and lumbar. I crawled and cried for two weeks.

Like other's I've had to put a backrest and higway pegs on my LT to be able to ride long distances. It provides a variety of riding positions to cycle through to keep from getting stiff. I have a completely collapsed L5-S1 disk and a torn L4-5 disk. To get sciatica you normally have a disk problem at the L5-S1 level. If it's not bad it can be corrected non-surgically...even at home sometimes. I'm currently getting cortisone shots from a back and neck specialist for diagostic and short term alleviation. I'm trying my best to put off the knife. But I'm well beyond the non-invasive fixes.


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post #18 of 40 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:18 pm
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I've put up with that for years. I don't have as much of a problem with the LT, especially after adding the Bak-up back rest and Highway Ottomans. I've tried chiropractic with mixed resuls. Recently I tried spinal decompression which didn't seem worth the money at first but the relief did last longer than the usual chiropractic adjustments and recovery from a long ride or other back stress event is a little quicker.
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post #19 of 40 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 4:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot
Does anyone have, or have had lower back & leg pain while riding long distances on their bikes?

After riding 50 miles on my LT, mild dull aches start shooting down both legs. By the time I reach 100 miles the pain level elevates to a 9 and the next 500 miles is pure "can't see straight" hell. The peg positions are the cause. I've never experienced this problem on bikes with forward controls.

I have 14k on the 06 LT, love the bike, but comfort has to be #1 above everthing else.

Is there a solution?

solution, I wish, what it all depends on IMHO since i have a bad back and neck and a few other body parts, is just how bad you are already messed up, seats make a huge difference sometimes,
Start off finding 0ut justwhat is wrong with you in the first place before you cause more damage (been there done that)

Tom

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post #20 of 40 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 4:45 pm
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[QUOTE=grifscoots]Have you tried a chiropractor?

[QUOTE]

Is there such a thing?

Never will one touch me again!

then again I have physical damage to my lower back and neck, Wow ya know now that i think of all this, I'm damn glad to be walking! let alone doing anything else!

Tom

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post #21 of 40 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 8:28 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

Riders thanks for the quantity of advice.
My objective is to find a physical solution on myself before throwing money at the bike. Relieving physical issues will benefit my wellbeing all around.

I've taken notes and will research all that was said.

Three days after the 645 mile ride the pain lightly twitches down the legs.

The next morning following the ride, a muscle spasm shot up through my shoulder and into my next. I figure it was caused by the stress and tension that was going on down below. Needless to say, turning the old brain bag now left and right is a challenge. Been taking muscle relaxers for the last three days and they’ve done very little. Yet it’s hard to say for sure, seeing I take a fresh one every eight hours.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

OneShot
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post #22 of 40 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 9:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot
Riders thanks for the quantity of advice.
My objective is to find a physical solution on myself before throwing money at the bike. Relieving physical issues will benefit my wellbeing all around.

I've taken notes and will research all that was said.

Three days after the 645 mile ride the pain lightly twitches down the legs.

The next morning following the ride, a muscle spasm shot up through my shoulder and into my next. I figure it was caused by the stress and tension that was going on down below. Needless to say, turning the old brain bag now left and right is a challenge. Been taking muscle relaxers for the last three days and they’ve done very little. Yet it’s hard to say for sure, seeing I take a fresh one every eight hours.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

OneShot
I seriously feel for you, I live in pain every single day, I backed out of plates in my lower back for a alternative solution that has helped much for the last 5 or so years, it takes twice as long to do any good, but i just have not seen anyone with a real fix from plates in the spine, the day will come when that is over though and I see it sooner than I would like to. take care of your back, there is no miracle surgery for a real serious back problem.

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post #23 of 40 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 2:54 am
 
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If you have determined the peg positions are the cause, then solve that problem. I have the Surburban foot lowering kit on mine, and it makes a world of difference. You wouldn't think so by reading the small amount they move the pegs, but they really do help a lot.
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post #24 of 40 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 5:17 am
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost55
If you have determined the peg positions are the cause, then solve that problem. I have the Surburban foot lowering kit on mine, and it makes a world of difference. You wouldn't think so by reading the small amount they move the pegs, but they really do help a lot.
One shot is following the proper care path. Proper diagnosis is the key to correction. In some cases with advanced spinal degeneration treatments may only be palliative.

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post #25 of 40 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 9:47 am
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mckenzie

i had chronic back pain for years. a physical therapist introduced me to MCKENZIE exercises. they are completly different from the usual ones that numerous doctors and websites advocate. they involve arching your back and have me painfree for the first time in years. google mckenzie excercises.
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post #26 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 9:04 am
 
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I personally don't have any back pain, but after riding an hour or so, my knees start to hurt a bit. I assume this is because I'm not used to the seating position on the LT. I just stretch my legs out and rest them on the wings for a few seconds.

However my wife has a really bad back. She's got degenerative disk disease, and has had two back fusions, and one cervical one. She's also had one knee replaced, and is scheduled for another next month. We're afraid she might not ever be able to ride with me on the bike. We're not even going to try until she's recovered from her second knee replacement.
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post #27 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 11:59 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryR
OneShot,

If you are really serious about getting long-term pain relief, two things should help you immensely:

1. Purchase an Inversion Table. It is expensive but the benefits are worth 100 times the price.

2. Use Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel With Ilex. It is the best stuff I have ever used. Warning: DO NOT use with a heating pad. You will literally think your bones are cooking. It is hard to find but if you are interested send me a PM and I will provide all the information. It is Cryotherapy using The Cold Method technology. It is also fantastic for arthritis, joints, etc. It too is very expensive but more than worth the price. They do not sell to pharmacies, etc.

I have gone from not riding at all to riding every day after using the Inversion Table for only three weeks. I only use it about five or ten minutes a day. After another month, I will use it once each week for "maintenance" which should be all that is necessary.
so what are you doing to strengthen the muscles to help keep your spine from collapsing on your disc's still after the use of the inversion table?

any particular exercises that seems to build those itty bitty muscles?

Tom

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post #28 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 12:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjordans2000
I've put up with that for years. I don't have as much of a problem with the LT, especially after adding the Bak-up back rest and Highway Ottomans. I've tried chiropractic with mixed resuls. Recently I tried spinal decompression which didn't seem worth the money at first but the relief did last longer than the usual chiropractic
I know it sounds like a joke, but after three years of all kinds of different therapy from pain blockers to traction I gave it a try and it worked the best of everything combined

http://www.prolotherapyforpain.com/

Tom

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post #29 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 12:20 pm
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From the twilight zone:

I too had back pains from riding the bike and then developed back pains doing almost everything else - so I blamed the bike. Purchased a back-up back rest and it helped.

Now the weird part.

My sweet wife decided I needed a rotor rooter (exam) to check my colon so she made me an appointment and escorted me there to make sure I did it. Well they did the exam and found a couple of (benign) polyps and took them out.

No more backache from riding. No more backache from anything since. Like the comic said, "Twenty-four beers in a case, twenty-four hours in a day - coincidence? - I think not!"

Not suggesting anyone do this for backache, 'butt' if you need to get checked anyway - who knows.

Lee Nowell
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post #30 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 4:14 pm
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Glad you feel better after the procedure.... but I'm avoiding the temptation of coming up with a few funny remarks....
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post #31 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 4:53 pm
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I've done just about all the things everyone has listed. I used an inversion table for years. That started putting allot of pressure on my knees but it did work some. Used a chiropractor for the last ten years ( one of my best friends) and that worked fairly well up until this past year. I've had a bad back for the past 20 years or so ( horse fell on top of me). This past Sept I reinjured it doing something really stupid ( don't ask). In bed ( the fetal position for three days) and really bad pain for a few weeks. My buddy who's also my doctor sent me to physical therapy where I'm learning a great deal of deferent stretching and strengthening exercises. After two months it seems to be working. You see little improvements every week. I expect to be doing these for the rest of my life. Oh, I also wear a Back-A-Line back support when I'm ridding to.
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post #32 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 7:54 pm
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Quote:
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so what are you doing to strengthen the muscles to help keep your spine from collapsing on your disc's still after the use of the inversion table?

any particular exercises that seems to build those itty bitty muscles?

Tom
Tom,

Currently I am not involved in any specific exerecises to strenthen the back muscles. The inversion table is working so well for me that I am afraid to do anything else. Once I back off and use it just for maintenance and if the pain returns I will check into the exercise part.
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post #33 of 40 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 10:27 pm
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Tom,

There are a lot of things you can do for the muscles that support your spine and upper body. There are a lot of muscles that do the job too. They are collectively called the CORE muscles. That is the muscles in your lower back, obliques, and abs. Look up books, websites, etc. that promote strengthening your core. Stretching is also important for your back...especially your hamstrings and glutes.

I've been working-out with weights most of my life. Crunches and leg lifts are good for the upper and lower abs. Side crunches and trunk twists work the obliques. Back extensions and supermans help for the lower back. Follow it up with stretching.

Take care, Tom


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post #34 of 40 Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by Tbird
Tom,

There are a lot of things you can do for the muscles that support your spine and upper body. There are a lot of muscles that do the job too. They are collectively called the CORE muscles. That is the muscles in your lower back, obliques, and abs. Look up books, websites, etc. that promote strengthening your core. Stretching is also important for your back...especially your hamstrings and glutes.

I've been working-out with weights most of my life. Crunches and leg lifts are good for the upper and lower abs. Side crunches and trunk twists work the obliques. Back extensions and supermans help for the lower back. Follow it up with stretching.

Take care, Tom
Thanks Tom,

next time in (I need to get in to new doctors up here) I will check into this after my next set of MRI's to see if anything is getting worse.

Tom

Tom

'07 GS Adv (mine), '06 GS <(My brides)
(the only bmw's in the stable)
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post #35 of 40 Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 5:34 pm
 
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I have a sciatic nerve/low back problem...where can I get a backrest for my LT?
Hnemets
2006 LT
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post #36 of 40 Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 7:51 pm
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There are several options out there, but my favorite is the Bakup. You can buy one here.

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #37 of 40 Old Nov 23rd, 2006, 8:38 pm
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know the feeling

Some 15 or so years back I woke up with shooting pains down left leg, and could barely walk for months, caused by a surfing mishap. Bulging discs caused it, and no doctor, chiropractic or generalised physio care I tried could fix it.
About 18 months later I came across a doctor that had a method of using an enzyme from papaya's to dissolve the bulge, plus remove some disc fluid to take stress off the sciatic nerve. It involved some long needles and a couple of days in hospital, but at least I got about 90-95% of my left leg movement back.

Whatever you can try to do to strengthen your back and minimise the problem before it gets worse will be a huge benefit to you.
I ride the LT rather than use a car 95% of the time because the seating position is better for my back. Gives me a good excuse to ride too!

Chris
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2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
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post #38 of 40 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 7:56 am Thread Starter
 
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Riders:
Sorry, I keep forgetting to mention this important fact concerning my
bike related back-legs-nerve problems. The problems that I have are not caused by a BMW design-fault. The bottom line is, I don't fit the bike. The bike is great!

It seems that any manufacturers that mount their foot pegs further back of below the knee, I'm going to have problems riding. I assume this includes all BMW models. Golly high speed blow-out Batman! I really had my heart set on buying a GS for off road riding as an addition to my collection.

All is not lost yet. This is why I've asked for help. Hopefully I'll be able to find a solution to my health issues so I can continue to ride BMW bikes.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

OneShot
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post #39 of 40 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 9:04 am
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I had a 1200 GS for a while and foot peg locations where fine. It was the low seat that was the problem. It tilted my pelvis and put allot of pressure on my lower back. After market seats raised the height to much for my 30 " inseam.
I did have bar backs and that helped some.
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post #40 of 40 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 5:19 pm Thread Starter
 
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Adding height to the seat does help to a point.

Using one of those 2" thick foam hunting pads to sit on has helped keep the pain level down for a few extra miles because it raise me up a little. Unfortunately after a few hundred miles, the pad becomes quite uncomfortable.

I'll use the pad until the bottom hurts then I'll put it away and continue on switching to pain relievers.
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