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Cramping / Pain in Lower Left Back & More

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Cramping / Pain in Lower Left Back & More

Postby jasonkraus » Wed May 05, 2010 12:24 pm

I'm 36 male and have just started transitioning to MTB sport class from novice (2 laps instead of 1). I started in novice class the end of the last season and did a handful of races.

The problem I am having is in my lower back, on the left side, and in my left testicle. It originates in my lower back for sure. It's more of pain than cramping, but it could be the same I guess.

I get it after I really push myself, 30-45 minutes into a ride. On casual rides and even when I am training on the trails, I don't feel this pain at all. It's mostly on races when it happens or if I am training and I really push myself. When I push myself extremely hard on a spin bike, I don't get any lower back pain at all.

When it happens, I have to slow down considerably until the pain lessons and then I can start hitting it again. This is a horrible cycle to have to go through during races and I'm not really sure what to do.

I thought it was my bike, but I actually experienced the same thing when running at a duathlon.

I drink about 12 oz of heed an hour before a race and then use perpetulem during the race. I'm a pretty healthy eater too, but I do drink muscle milk occasionally in the morning or the day before. Not sure if that matters.

EDIT: I also take sport legs pills before training and racing.

I use recoverite after races, 4 scoops since I generally dont eat right away. I tend to feel like my body is shutting down after races so I try to consume as much food and liquids as possible to fight that feeling.

Please help. Thanks!
jasonkraus
 
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Re: Cramping / Pain in Lower Left Back & More

Postby mangumc » Wed May 05, 2010 6:49 pm

Hi, Jason. Sorry to hear about your pain problem. I have experienced something similar to what you describe and would like to offer a possible explanation.

I, too, had been experiencing low back and testicular pain during and after a hard ride. I found out, painfully, from a massage therapist that I had extremely tight iliopsoas muscles, the muscles that run down both sides of your groin. They connect the lower back to the legs and are the main muscle group that lifts the leg, especially during cycling. During the stress of a ride, especially a longer ride, the iliopsoas muscle can shorten, thus increasing the girth of the muscle and possibly causing pressure on surrounding tissues. When the muscle shortens, the body adapts by tilting the hips forward, having the tendency to cause low back discomfort. Proper stretching of the iliopsoas is essential for us cyclists.

The increase of the size of the iliopsoas during strenuous cycling has been reported to cause pressure on the femoral artery and thus reducing the blood supply to the muscles of the leg. Professional cyclists in some countries have had surgery to reposition the femoral artery to correct this problem. Probably nothing for you or me to consider, but I figure pressure on an artery could also mean pressue on a nerve, and seeing how the muscle is down there in the pelvic area, it wouldn't surprise me if my testicular pain was related to the cause of my low back pain.

I've been stretching my iliopsoas muscles every day for a couple of weeks now and I have continued my deep tissue massage therapy, and I have been pleased with a gradual decrease of both low back and testicular pain. I'm not there yet, but I can tell a difference, plus I can tell a difference in my cycling. My speed and strength have both noticeably improved as I have been faithful to stretch these muscles. Go figure.

It may not apply to you, but focusing on these muscles has really helped me, and maybe others in the group.
Chris Mangum
Raleigh, NC
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Re: Cramping / Pain in Lower Left Back & More

Postby jasonkraus » Tue May 11, 2010 9:35 am

Awesome info, thanks for sharing! I will most certainly give this a try. If you have links or any additional information on how to stretch this muscle, please do share.
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Re: Cramping / Pain in Lower Left Back & More

Postby mangumc » Tue May 11, 2010 6:37 pm

You're welcome.

My friend, a Sports Medicine doc, suggested I use the following technique to stretch the iliopsoas. On a soft floor, go down to your knees in an erect position. Place one foot out in front of you to where the thigh and calf form a 90-100 degree angle. Lean the body forward and arch your back. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. 3 sets should do you.

As the iliopsoas is connected to the quads, you should stretch them, as well, and since you've had low back pain, the hamstrings. I stretch in reverse order, hamstrings, quads and then the iliopsoas.

My friend, who is also the Team Physician for the NHL Carolina Hurricanes, told me they stretch each player during the intermissions of each game. They do a bit of a twist on the iliopsoas stretch above by reaching back and grabbing the foot of the rear leg and pulling it towards your butt as you do the iliopsoas stretch. They can get their foot to touch their butt in this position and hold it for 30 seconds. That is my new goal in life ;)
Chris Mangum
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