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Unicycling helping my back pain

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  • #16
    So unicycling helps some health issues but I'm finding it creates others.

    About six months ago I tweaked my shoulder during an assisted mount. Over time it's gotten worse. No more assisted mounts for me. I also avoid catching the seat with that arm. Today I got an MRI which revealed some problems and got referred to a shoulder specialist. While looking over her website I noticed it mentions that she mountain unicycles! Hopefully she'll have some answers (and not ban me from riding).

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    • #17
      I have a pretty significant scoliosis and people say I walk tilted forward and off to one side. It has gotten less obvious according to many people. I myself have noticed much less lower back pain and am sleeping better. If I do strain my back and am feeling back pain (lower in my case) a unicycle ride really helps. It surprised the heck out of me the first time I forced myself to go for a ride with a sore back and came back feeling much better.

      I suppose back exercises could be equally benificial but I've never had enough 'backbone' to stick to them( a pun in case it wasn't obvious )
      Reid

      20 inch Qu-Ax
      26 inch Yuni
      26 inch Flansberrium with 4.7 inch tire
      Two 36 inch Nimbus titans, one for home (Ca) and one for work (Alaska)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Reid View Post
        I suppose back exercises could be equally benificial but I've never had enough 'backbone' to stick to them( a pun in case it wasn't obvious )
        Of course unicycling is back exercise, but without the obvious exercise and with the fun.

        Originally posted by crashtestdummy View Post
        Even after years of chiropractor visits (2-3x/wk), daily inversion therapy, and bicycling about 100 miles/week, I was still experiencing recurring pain and very susceptible to lumbar strains.
        My wife had spinal fusion on her L5/S1. Afterward, doctors caution against road biking in the standard riding configuration because it can be hard on the lower back. Fortunately she was already a recumbent rider. Lots of people on recumbents ride them due to back issues. They are comfortable!

        My back bothers me sometimes also; probably a damaged disc. Riding unicycles generally seems to shore things up, though sometimes my back twinges after a long Road ride (36" with long handlebar). Muni or "regular" riding seem to be better for the back than bent-over riding.

        I've also had a nagging problem with my left knee since last year's Muni Weekend. After getting back from our recent vacation it was really bothering me. I was walking with a limp and worried about finally getting back into the saddle for a Road ride on Monday. But afterward, it felt much better!
        John Foss
        www.unicycling.com

        "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
          My wife had spinal fusion on her L5/S1. Afterward, doctors caution against road biking in the standard riding configuration because it can be hard on the lower back. Fortunately she was already a recumbent rider. Lots of people on recumbents ride them due to back issues. They are comfortable!

          My back bothers me sometimes also; probably a damaged disc. Riding unicycles generally seems to shore things up, though sometimes my back twinges after a long Road ride (36" with long handlebar). Muni or "regular" riding seem to be better for the back than bent-over riding.
          My 2009 injury resulted in a slight lumbar extension (toward the front). My chiropractor actually recommended a forward riding position to help correct it. He also recommended lumbar stretching to loosen the back muscles. While I don't think this "prescription" made things appreciably worse, it might have slowed my recovery and definitely didn't provide the dramatic improvement I experienced from regular uni rides.

          I've also had a nagging problem with my left knee since last year's Muni Weekend. After getting back from our recent vacation it was really bothering me. I was walking with a limp and worried about finally getting back into the saddle for a Road ride on Monday. But afterward, it felt much better!
          Found this stuff (Joint Renewal) for my wife when she complained about her glucosamine/chondroitin supplement causing nausea. She's now a big fan (for knees/ankles): http://www.newportnaturalhealth.com/...offer-nahe018/

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          • #20
            A colleague suffering lumbago was recommended to ride unicycles for the benefit of his back by his physician.

            Being a long term unicyclist I never had back problems, but my knees always feel like they are on the verge of becoming a problem. Cross-training seems to help, but I don't do it.

            Join Unicyclemap.com!
            ----
            [ Karlsruhe/Germany - kamikaze@bsdforen.de ]
            ----
            onewheeldave: deep in my heart I feel that unicycling was born of heroes and atheletes, not clowns and entertainers

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            • #21
              It definitely helps me. I just got back in to riding a few weeks ago after a 30 year hiatus. Last Saturday I wound up in the ER after messing my back up at work unplugging a wire from behind a computer. After a course of steroids I got back on my uni today and rode for a few miles, felt great. No complaints from the L4-L5 area.

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              • #22
                I'm going to be the lone contrary voice on here then. I've only very occasionally had problems with my back - until this year, when I've twice hurt my back, on both occasions I'm certain it was due to unicycling. Admittedly that was riding a road guni with bars where I'm a little bent over - though still nowhere near as much as on my bikes where I've never got back problems.

                Am almost recovered at the moment after a couple of months, though I've been avoiding the unis (doing kayaking to work on my core muscles instead). Not sure when or even if I'm going to ride the guni again.
                Unicycling: great for your thighs.

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                • #23
                  Hi all.
                  I`m a doctor (thoracic surgeon and emergency phisician), obviously a unicyclist and unfortunately I suffer from back pain....

                  Generally speaking I`m agree with you all. A lot of back problems are caused by lack of movements, sedentariness and bad habits that reduce the strenght of our core. So, riding a uni, as we know, is usually helpful to keep our bodies fit and even to reduce the pain during the acute phase of the back pain (at least, for me it works!).
                  But I found that riding downhill over rocks, logs, roots, and playing uni-basketball are not so good for my back. I think it`s beacuse of repeated jumps that cause repeated trauma on the lower back, that can`t be absorbed by the flexion of the legs.

                  Anyway, we can try to write a paper on this topic and publish it on a scientific journal!

                  We need unicyclists with back pain! :-P
                  Nic
                  http://picasaweb.google.com/Giocologgi

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                  • #24
                    You're after an ig nobel prize?
                    Unicycling: great for your thighs.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by giocologgi View Post
                      Generally speaking I`m agree with you all. A lot of back problems are caused by lack of movements, sedentariness and bad habits that reduce the strenght of our core. So, riding a uni, as we know, is usually helpful to keep our bodies fit and even to reduce the pain during the acute phase of the back pain (at least, for me it works!).


                      Anyway, we can try to write a paper on this topic and publish it on a scientific journal!

                      We need unicyclists with back pain! :-P
                      That's not really easy to make statistically sound. I guess we'd need a random sample of people with back pain, I guess somewhere between 90 and 150 people.

                      We'd have to divide them into 3 random groups of equal size:
                      a) This group is taught unicycling, lets say for 1:30 h, 3 times a week.
                      b) This group receives no treatment
                      c) This group is treated with an "experimental drug", that actually is a placebo

                      In all cases we have to withhold pain killers at times to measure the success of treatment. Also, what exactly would our measure of success be? I guess we'd require a pain scale.

                      Join Unicyclemap.com!
                      ----
                      [ Karlsruhe/Germany - kamikaze@bsdforen.de ]
                      ----
                      onewheeldave: deep in my heart I feel that unicycling was born of heroes and atheletes, not clowns and entertainers

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by kamikaze View Post
                        In all cases we have to withhold pain killers at times to measure the success of treatment.
                        The only way you'll withhold my ibuprofen is by prying it out of my cold dead hands.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by kamikaze View Post
                          In all cases we have to withhold pain killers at times to measure the success of treatment.
                          Yeah, let's not get too carried away. At 63, I've got plenty of other aches and pains that are totally unrelated to unicycling. So yeah, I still keep the over-the-counter pain meds handy.
                          "I'm a unicyclist. I make my own reality."

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by LargeEddie View Post
                            The only way you'll withhold my ibuprofen is by prying it out of my cold dead hands.
                            Originally posted by LanceB View Post
                            Yeah, let's not get too carried away. At 63, I've got plenty of other aches and pains that are totally unrelated to unicycling. So yeah, I still keep the over-the-counter pain meds handy.
                            See, already two possible subjects lost. As I said - not easy.

                            I don't have a use for over-the-counter pain meds. If my pain can be treated by them it's not strong enough to justify the use of drugs.

                            Join Unicyclemap.com!
                            ----
                            [ Karlsruhe/Germany - kamikaze@bsdforen.de ]
                            ----
                            onewheeldave: deep in my heart I feel that unicycling was born of heroes and atheletes, not clowns and entertainers

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                            • #29
                              I developed disc degenerative disease about a year and a half ago, this while being very active unicycling. It's been a career ending thing for me.

                              I don't necessarily know whether unicycling caused the condition, furthered it along more rapidly than it otherwise would have, or made no difference at all.

                              For any ride I suffer for the first 15 minutes or so before I loosen up to where I can mount without severe pain.

                              After a low intensity road ride I have an hour or two afterwards where the back is very tender but after that passes the back feels a little better than before the ride for the rest of the day.

                              After trials I can't walk fully upright (I have to hunch and hobble) for several days. It can be the same after muni depending on how technical the trail is.

                              For any unicycling I don't ride as long as I'd like, I ride as long as my back allows it.

                              I've ridden fewer than a half dozen times in the last 6 months, before I was riding 3 or 4 times per week. So no, not all back pain is alike.
                              Last edited by jbtilley; 2015-09-19, 11:53 AM.
                              I'm different, yeah I'm different. I'm different, yeah I'm different. Pull up to the scene and my wheel is missing. Pull up to the scene and my wheel is missing.

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                              • #30
                                I just started learning unicycling yesterday. But after few days I would feel a sharp pain on my groin. I didn't think much about it and stopped for a day. I came back and I'm still experiencing this. Is it normal? I thought of consulting a physiotherapist from nearby Athletic Edge Sports Medicine here at Toronto.

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