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Did mountain biking cause my DDD?

Started by tangyp on 07/27/2011 8:12pm

Hello all.

I started mountain biking about 2 1/2 years ago... going off road riding at least once a week.

I started getting back pain about 8 months ago... the pain would be considered mild, compared to some of the stories I've read here. Main problem would be my back would feel very tight and I would not be able to bend down even to put on my pants. I don't have pain shooting down my leg, or my back, or anything like that. The pain would come and go and currently, I am not on pain medication. Some days I would feel ok and some, it would hurt for me to just move around. But not so bad that I would be bed ridden.

6 months ago, I went to get an MRI and the doctor diagnosed me with DDD in L4/L5.

My question...

1. Did my mountain biking cause or aggravate my DDD condition?

2. I really love my mountain biking and would like to continue? Is this advisable or should I give it up totally? Notice I said... I really LOVE my mountain biking? ;-)

Thanks in advance for any replies.


Andrew - Malaysia

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I also have been diagnosed with DDD and have a synovial cyst near L4/L5. I suspect that stationary bike exercises revealed the condition. I don't think it caused the condition but it may have exacerbated the problem. I had been exercising at the YMCA three days a week for almost a decade without back problems. When I switched to a different stationary bike style the back problems began. The new style bike required a more erect position (legs down and under the waist) and the older style which did not give back problems had the legs extended parallel with the floor. (These bike styles have technical names I just don't know what they are). Anyway, my primary care physician was not surprised and said that several of his patients have had the same thing happen when exercising with the bike and that I should stop all bike exercises. After physical therapy, drugs, and one epidural the pain continued to get worse although I had stopped exercising entirely. I am now on a self imposed bed rest (for the past 6 days) and my back is better. At 67 I think my body is telling me to slow down and that is just what I am going to do.