Back pain and exercise bike: A winning duo? (physiotherapist opinion)

Exercising with back pain can sometimes be difficult. However, we all know that physical activity is good for the body and health.

Is the exercise bike indicated in the presence of back pain? Will it help heal faster, or on the contrary aggravate symptoms and delay recovery.

Back pain and exercise bike, we tell you everything in this article (including adjustments to avoid injury!).

Known causes of back pain

Before discussing the role of the exercise bike in the treatment of back pain, it is worth knowing the main causes of lower back pain. Depending on the cause and the patient's condition, a healthcare professional may issue specific recommendations.

Back pain is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors:

The physical causes

The physical causes may include poor posture and overuse, among others. This causes pain at the top, milieu or lower back.

Traumatic causes

The traumatic causes may include car accidents, falls and sports injuries.


The overuse injuries often occur in athletes who repeatedly use the same muscle group.

Postural back pain and caused the wrong position during sleep

Postural problems can be caused by sitting or standing for long periods of time without taking breaks to move. Poor posture while sleeping can also contribute to back pain.

Other causes

There are many other causes of back pain. These include genetics, stress, underlying medical conditions, etc.

To clarify the cause of the patient's back pain, the health care professional will perform physical tests and request medical imaging examinations if necessary. This will make it possible to issue an accurate diagnosis which will guide the treatment plan.

How to treat back pain?

To reduce lower back pain, there are many solutions. Each should be adapted according to the patient's condition. In particular, it is necessary to take into consideration his medical condition, his level of pain and functioning, his objectives, etc.

Is the exercise bike indicated in the presence of back pain?

To determine if the recumbent bike is a good idea for relieving symptoms and preventing episodes of back pain, consider the following:

  • If the pain is incapacitating and limits movement, it is best to opt for relative rest until the symptoms partially resolve.
  • In the presence of a condition (such as herniated disc), prolonged sitting increases the pain. In this case, it is necessary either to limit its practice, or outright opt ​​for alternatives in a more comfortable position.
  • If the pain is under control and cycling does not make the symptoms worse, it is recommended to use an exercise bike. This will activate the circulation, lubricate the joints and stimulate the musculature surrounding the lumbar region.
  • It will be important to adjust the saddle and handlebars so that the back does not sag too much.
  • It's best to start with a lower resistance and then gradually increase the intensity. The same goes for distance, speed, and all other parameters.
  • Always monitor the parameters of the exercise bike (mainly distance, time and resistance). This will gradually increase the load and avoid re-injury. Ideally, you should not increase more than one parameter at a time between sessions, and you should aim for an increase of less than 10%.
  • If pain of the type sciatica appear in the leg, it is best to stop and consult a healthcare professional (such as a physiotherapist). This will suggest suitable exercises (such as those taken from the Mckenzie method) to relieve you.

Last updated on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from the Amazon Partners API

In addition, it is recommended to ride an exercise bike if the symptoms allow it. If the pain is too severe, we can wait and focus on painkillers aimed at controlling the pain.

There are also alternatives such as swimming, light walking, ellitical training and therapeutic exercises. Consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.

Good recovery !

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