/ Upper back pain - exercises/stretches to help?
Not sure how much the climbing it's self is actually doing it, but the drops certainly aren't helping. I've been making an effort to climb down, but of course that doesn't always happen. When I do drop, have been making an effort to cushion the fall decently.
Pain is between my shoulder blades.
So looking for any advice on what I can do to strengthen the area.
Previously had similar pain a few years ago which turned out to have been from wearing a heavy helmet on a sports motorbike. Same helmet was ok on a more upright trail motorbike.
Have also been doing cycling and running recently. It seems to be the cycling and bouldering that are causing the problems.
Despite all the general abuse received for the following six weeks (sticking sharp objects in me, electric shocks and general physical abuse), it didn't help :).
Am friends with a physio actually, but feel bad about always messaging her whenever I have a problem - and so far all such problems I've had, I've found have only been overcome by increasing strength/fitness/technique in the area affected.
i would rather see a biomechanics coach
I stress that they need to be done with good form though, otherwise you'll probably end up blowing out your back.
Sit upright in a chair and place one finger on your chin.
Look forward and gently pull your head backward while keeping your chin tucked for 10 seconds.
You should feel a stretch in the base of your neck.
Try this over a few days and see if it works, I'm no expert but they definately helped me
Also try and keep good posture and don't slouch :)
I get a similar pain during and after cycling, between shoulder blades and across upper back. This is far more pronounced on long leisurely cycling with mates rather than full racing sportives (even tho these are generally longer/harder) Presume it is the form/posture on the bike. Head and back alot nearer horizontal, more shock absorbed by bend arms and core. Appose to upright cycling, chatting to mates supported on mostly straight arms, rounded back.
Might explain the cycing side for you...race position all the way!
Never had a problem bouldering tho, sorry.
Cat and dog stretches may help.
from everyone i know who has had dealings with biomechanics coaches has given them top marks when it comes to providing long term solutions to problems similar to this.
Link fingers with palms facing you. Hold arms out horizontally in front of you (straight armed). tip head forward so you are looking straight down. Should feel a deep stretch across backs of shoulders.
Hug your opposing shoulder (left hand holds r shoulder,etc) then lift elbows.
Strengthening exercises were various types up push ups to sort out muscle imbalances:
Standard push ups (shoulder width hands elbows pointing backwards)
Narrow push ups - on knees to start with if necessary - hands point towards each other, middle fingers touching - these are bloody hard - take care!
Also in a plank (push up "UP" position) bring your head and shoulders forward as far as you can before bending the arms to complete the downwards dip of a push up, then lift back up. Again start on knees to get the reps in then build up to doing it on toes.
You are aiming for 3 sets of 10 at least of each. After about 4 weeks doing these very morning all was good again.
Unfortunately I don't have cash to splash at the moment, otherwise would happily pay for some professional help if it was going to help.
The idea of a 'biomechanics' coach definitely sounds interesting.
Generally in my experience a physio may sort out the pain, but not the causes of it - fine if it's a previous injury, but not if it's an on-going thing.
And, if I went to the doctor, pretty sure they'd say "well, stop cycling" rather than wanting to refer me etc.
Interesting about sport vs casual cycling - I've been riding hybrids, which partly I got with the hope they'd be more comfortable than road bikes and cause me less back issues!
I do have aero bars on my 'distance' bike (as opposed to the cheaper one I use around town and have panniers on etc.)
Think about where and what order you would go if it was all free.
> I do have aero bars on my 'distance' bike (as opposed to the cheaper one I use around town and have panniers on etc.)
Have something very similar when I'm doing lots of commuting on a bike combined with bouldering. These exercises really helped me -
These press ups seemed to strengthen the area where I get pain, the other exercises on there may be worth a look too.
I can't find a video for the other one I do so shall try to explain!
Lie on your front with your face down and arms out straight at right angles. Then raise the back of your hands to the ceiling as though you're trying to make them touch together behind your back (they should be a long way away from touching!). I do about 20 of these slowly. You can also do them with your arms at 45 degrees so you're body is making a Y shape and also have your arms bent at right angles.
Hope that one makes sense.
Finally, I had a look on a few cycling forums and it seems to be quite a common problem on there. Main advice was to loosen up your grip, keep you arms bent and shoulders relaxed. I found leaving the house 5 mins earlier so I could slow down a bit made all of this a lot easier.
Hope you get somewhere with it!
I had been making an effort to go for a loose grip (actually would kinda just circle my hand around and let the bar float to prove it's 'loose' and make sure shoulders weren't hunched.)
However, last night went for a half hour ride to burn some calories last night and tried to make more of an effort to keep a bend in my arms. Did seem to help a bit, but hard to say.
Now noticing significantly less pain and doesn't really seem to get worse from riding - though do get a bit from the aero bars.
Pain has now moved towards the left a bit.
Chistmas 2006 I chipped a small bit on the top of my humerus. Hardly bothered me since; just a little pain from tendons catching if I positioned my arm very specifically (to the point I had to really think about trying to get that twinge of pain and seems to be pretty much gone.)
Was wondering if it could have been related to that.
Did some rope climbing yesterday (boulder wall closed at Leeds wall, so absolutely no bouldering) and it did seem to hurt more after. So I presume it's partly just the act of climbing, not just the landings.
Trying the press up things, it actually seemed to make it hurt a bit more if anything.
Overall is getting better, but need to actually work out a proper 'plan' of stuff to try.
I have had grief for years in that area despite being fairly "strong". My cause is probably a shoulder injury.
Stretching is deffo key.
In terms of cycling, as well as bending arms and relaxing grip, try to relax and drop the shoulders; I alwasy find myself tightening them up and have to force myself to relax. Also I find road-bike hadlebars are a better option since they give you more options to change grip position and not get stuck in one posture.
I remembered back to 'spin' classes at the gym where the teacher was always going on about 'relax your shoulders' and realised I was riding with really hunched shoulders, so having been making a concious effort to keep them low.
Try the Suryanamaskar sequence in yoga.Find it on the net.
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