Back Problems: Is there a doctor in the house?!

Hey all! (sorry, couldn't resist the stupid title hehe :D)

Ok now on a serious note...My dad hasn't been able to ride as much due to a bad back. He works all week as an electrician, physical labor, and it is fine. It is only when he rides that his back hurts (lower back).

It has been gettin progressively better, but 1 or 2 hours is now pretty much the max amount of time in the saddle before the pain sets in. He used to be able to go for about 4 or 5 hours...but even then the pain wasn't too bad.

Now when he gets the pain he can't even walk really! Doesn't really matter which bike he rides, the KDX or DRZ. Hes only 36 too, not fat either.

So would any of you know what could be causing the pain? And it would be awesome if anyone could reccommend a solution or something.

Thanks again,

~Matt :)

A friend of mine has been suffering with a herniated disc most of this year which he got from laying a timber floor in his house. He has seen a couple of chiropractors (one of them actually made it worse)and physios with no improvement, he was hardly able to sit, walk, stand or sleep. In desperation he saw a doctor trained in Chinese medicine. She used acupunture and gave him some herbs to drink with warm water. Inside a week he was a LOT better, but he has slipped back a little bit now. However he says he still has more mobility and less pain than before. She also said he has poor circulation and not to drink or eat any cold stuff, only warm as it would aid blood flow to the disc area. If nothing else is working you might want to consider acupunture.

Does he have any pain in his leg(s)? I sure hope it's not sciatica. I ruptured a disc (L4-L5) in my back and it was extremely painful - made it hard to walk, stand, sleep etc. I could not ride dirt at all so I sold my DR350R...but I was able to ride my street bike, barely. Didn't really know what was wrong until I had an MRI. I'm a stubborn son-of-a-bitch and didn't want to have surgery. Eventually it just stopped hurting but it took about a year. Best of luck!

Sorry, I'm no MD, but I've had some minor back problems...

Does he stretch everyday? unless you have slipped disk or something serious (like sharp pain shooting down your legs or numbness) this is the best thing you can do for overall back soreness.

-warm up with 10 mins light cardio exercise or a heating pad (former is better)

-stretch his whole body, not just his back. The muscles/body is a connected system so if your hammies or glutes are tight, for example, it can make your back hurt too.

-Once he's done that for a week or so and it's improving, he can add some light back exercises to strengthen (does he do sit ups or ab workouts now? Sometimes doing this without doing back exercises can screw up your back - your stomach gets stronger and pulls your back out of whack)

Maybe he could stretch when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep, especially if he's working all day?

If he does have shooting pain, could be a pinched nerve. Rest a few days, take advil, and it should feel better.

I'm an eye Doctor and know squat about the back, but some possible problems:

1)disc problem.

2)poor posture on the bike/ poor ergos( low bars? )

3)Prostate problems.....can cause back pain.

4)poor lower back muscle strength or not the right muscle group weak.

5) KTM?? hard seat . XR?? soft seat :)

A koubalink helped my back cause it stopped the rear end from smacking me everytime I went over a log. Mayeb his suspension is a little too stiff. A kidney belt can help with the lower back and exercise is always good. You can get the belt at walmart. They sell them as lifiting belts and they are a stretch velcro thing with suspenders that I just cut off mine to make a nice back support for riding.


A kidney belt will also provide some added support.

Chinese medicine, it works. I had a shoulder problem that the doctors or therapists (sp?) could not help. I went to a chinese doc and she did some deep tissue rubbing and then made up some sort of pack from herbs and stuff (smelt like a wet goat) and after two treatments I've had no problems for the last 5 years.


Do a search for Dr. Kenneth Burres. He fixed my severely herniated L4 L5 disc and I haven't had any pain since. I did have surgery, but that was after plenty of more conservative treatments, including physical therapy. His web site has lots of good info about the back and its problems. Disc problems can, and usually go away on their own however, if they are pinching nerves and you wait to long, the nerves may never heal, even if the disc problem has been corrected. I have no pain, but I still have a weird sensation in my upper thigh, years after surgery. Oh well, it doesn't affect my activity and I can ride without pain.

I've suffered from back pain since high school. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and did the whole x-ray thing. Your dad should make the same visit, nothing like real data on the problem! I Found out I have a partial lumber 6 vertebrae, you're only supposed to have 5. He wanted to cut me open, he said it would be real interesting! BUT, he reccomended I go their their Back School. Which basically teaches you that keeping your upper body in shape is critical. These muscles keep your spine aligned. He needs to get some real info, from a real surgeon first. Good luck, back pain sucks :)

I have had three back surguries, the L4/SI disks were blown like a bad OEM seal. Well first surgery held me off for 5 years until some dimitted DWAM (Driving while appling Makup) slammed into me on the freeway in bumper to bumper standing still traffic.

We her estimated 65 mph impact shattered my once intact fusion.

2nd surgery and two knodt rods later to hold it together I was doing good.

one year later I had the rods removed becouse the were bothering me,

Anyhoot the reason I am splaining all this.

If at all cost avoid "AVOID" surgery, unless its the only thing left do it. But as Bryan said I went through many diff treatments, Epidurals, Pain Managemnt (Narcotics) and some little dim wit that did the Hairy-Chrisna chant with a dead bloody chicken and naked dancing virgins :).

Anyway I still have pain but know how to manage it with out pain killers (STAY AWAY FROM THEM) excercise, diet and learning when to listen to your body say STOOOPPPPP

and a good YZ426 helps... :D

Good luck

BTW I had Dr Donald Prolo from Stanford University do My Back.

I'm of course not a doctor I have however had back problems off and on for the past 10 years.

My Take:

There are at least two kinds of back pain, which are basically bone (spine) or muscle. If you have spine problems and pain the options are either alignment (Chiropractic, rest,) or herneation see an ortho. MD. (rest).

If it's muscle then there are more possibilities sprain/strain (rest and anti-inflammatory), posture, weakness, balance (stomach stronger than back), tight hamstrings, flexibility, stress, etc.

I had back pain several years ago and one of my Sensei's showed me the art of redirecting stress, (I just took over a VERY stressful assignment) which seriously changes the frequency as well as intensity of my back pain. I won't go into how to do it except to say, you need to evaluate how much stress you're dealing with and find a way to transfer or eliminate it. Everyone has his or her own way of doing it with the only common thread is that it's created and as such needs to be eliminated mentally.

I obviously don't know what your Dad's dealing with, I'm just throwing another option out there for consideration.

Riding can of course be stressful.

Hi Matt, as you know I've been under the knife 5 times for back surgery. It hurts, bad. Until your dad can give that back some rest and heal up don't expect any miracles. He's darn lucky to be able to ride as long as he is. Once he's healed up he needs to get into therapy and get into shape. That sucks even worse. I'm struggling with this myself. The training I'm doing is on my own.All of the surgery I've been through and not once has a doctor sent me to Physical Therapy. I used to be a powerlifter, so I guess they figured that was enough. I don't train power to much anymore, every once in a while I'll stick on a few more rods.

I'm actually bodybuilding. Sure hope none of my old lifting friends see this. No I ain't gonna strut around in my underwear. It does help though. Walk on a tread mill is also helping me feel more like a human again. I wish him all the luck in the world. He's in for a rough go round, George :):D :D

I am an urologist in training,not really the doctor that your dad needs.I think he can use a weigth lifting belt so he has good suport of his back while riding.He should contact a neurologist or a traumatologist they probably would order a RMN of you dads back.That's the best way to go.But for the description that you give, is probably muscular pain from the riding position.

Matt, I'm older than your dad (48) and not fat either, but I'm a little soft around the middle. Exercise goes a long way. It could be he just needs to do a few pushups and situps? It works for me.

Wow, thanks for all the advise guys!!! :D

I like the sounds of the wieght lifting belt for support, maybe some stretches and excersice. He used to not stretch at all before rides, thats when it would really hurt. BUt now that I got him to stretch out for at least just a few seconds before each ride it hasn't been as bad.

I'm thinking some excercise and stretching right now though... :)


I suggest that your father have his back examined to determine what might be causing the pain. Could be a case of scoliosis. Backs are not to be taken lightly. We have three club members who are out with back problems, including my brother-in-law, and there is a good chance that none of them will be able to ride the dirt again.

I compressed my spine in the early 1980's landing a big jump. My fingers went numb and I had shooting pain in my arm, shoulder and back. Couldn't lay down and had to sleep sitting in a recliner. I tried a traditional doctor first, he put me in traction and gave me pain killers. This did not seem to work so I found a chiropractor and he worked on me for a couple weeks and the pain and numbness eventually went away.

Before your father gets any treatment, he should have his back examined and x-rayed.

I agree. Get it checked out to rule out anything serious. I'm 36 also and have been dealing with back pain most my adult life. Last year, I got fed up and changed my diet and maintained a moderate exercise regimen, nothing too strenuous, but consistently 3-4 times per week. Guess what, the back pain went away. Now, if I slack off for a couple weeks it comes back. I guess it's incentive to not slack off.


A bad back can ruin anyone's day. I should know I've had a marginal lower back for over 20 years. During this time I have run, biked, entered the US Army at a " late" age, ride like a mad man, and enjoy a lot of.....well you know.

Here is how I've coped: See a Chiropractor, one that is a Palmer Graduate!!!!! Stretch everyday. Keep one's weight down. Get good sleep. Walk often, like instead of getting the parking spot that is close to the store's door, park out aways to take advantage of this "passive" excersise. If it is too heavy...get help. Take a little Advil before bed. It keeps the swelling down. Big tip here....SLEEP WITH A FLAT PILLOW BETWEEN THE KNEES. This take the pressure off the hips. Anyway, a good DC will stear your 'ol dad in the right direction. Hope it helps. :)

ZA, I'm 45, ruptured L4 and L5 a year ago this month. Couldn't walk standing straight up for 3 weeks. Saw Orthopedic Doc. Used NAPROXEN religiously, still do at first sign of inflamation. As soon as possible started back therapy, mostly self-directed at local YMCA.

...3 months later started playing Tennis, and rode only on street. At 6 months I was on heavy trail.

DO NOT LET HIM GO TO A CHIROPRACTOR... I have permanent other injury from Chiro...years ago. Martial Arts stretching is very beneficial...half-speed workouts good too. last week I completed 72 mile trail ride, all day... Still hurts some, but if I keep fit I'm OK to ride... Bigger bike lessons trail shock on back, until you have to pick it up.

I've also suffered from back pain for the past 7 years. I'm 33 now. At its worst, I was relegated to lying on my side and stomach for 10 days, and not riding for 5 months. Mine is related to scoliosis (excessively short leg!). Lots of good advice in the above posts. I stretch the back 20 min. per day, and also use the pillow between the knees when sleeping on my side and under the knees when on my back. Don't sleep on your stomach.

Another item that has been great for me is the inversion table I bought three years ago. I generally hang for 15 min. per day for 5-6 days week. I also walk regularly with my kids (sometimes in a backpack, sometimes in a walker) 3 times per week and work out with weights two to three times per week. I still have to be very aware of what I'm doing and pay close attention to how my back feels. But, as stated above, I know I need to stay fairly fit, and that is key for back health. The best part is I can go rage every weekend and feel great. Your dad needs to get thoroughly checked out and then make back care a regular part of his life. Good luck.

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