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ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 16:51
33 & 35 years ago I had 2 "should have died" motorcycle accidents I walked away from (after trips to the emergency room). I've had back and neck pain for years and knew one vertebrae in my neck was broken in the first wreck. I've taken glucosamine/condroitin and ibuprophen over the years for the pain.

Well the last couple of years things have gone downhill to the point of losing griping strength and pain in my left hand and pain in my knees so bad I can't kneel on them.

I've had an MRI and x-rays in the last month, and the news is ... not only the fracture in my neck, but also one in my low back, and three crushed, destroyed discs in my neck and one in the low back. All are now compressing nerves.

My orthopedist is going to have me try physical therapy to try to strengthen muscles to make up for some of the lost support in my spine. I'm going to up my dosage of the glucosamine/condroitin. He doesn't recommend any currently available surgical options.

I guess the moral of the story is even if you walk away from all accidents as I have, your body will likely get even with you somehow, sometime.

My doctors know I still ride. I rode to my appointment yesterday. My son thinks I'm pretty tough for not complaining all these years. My wife knows I'm not a whiner, and I know I'm an addict, a motorcycle addict. But, there's worse things to be.;)

Mr.Hick
12th March 2008, 16:55
One thing I have learned in the Army. Being mentally tough doesn't mean that your body will follow the brain's lead. best of luck man.

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 17:00
One thing I have learned in the Army. Being mentally tough doesn't mean that your body will follow the brain's lead. best of luck man.

Xactly right. In fact my wife mocked me the first time the shooting pain hit me when I kneeled down, then yelped in pain and rolled over on my side. Nothing my brain said could change the nerve pain in my knee.:doh

jcox
12th March 2008, 17:01
Have you tried any alternative therapies?? I'm a chiropractor in Oklahoma and have been using Spinal Decompression on my patients for low back pain, herniated discs, and degenerative joint disease. This gets the pressure and compression off of the nerves. But if the vertebrea still have active fractures (which they should have healed by now) you will not be able to do the Spinal decompression therapy. Hope this helps and good luck with your treatment. Keep riding............:tour

Islander
12th March 2008, 17:06
Ed,
My thoughts are with you this morning. Good luck, and it seems you have other blessings in your life.
Islander

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 17:14
Have you tried any alternative therapies?? I'm a chiropractor in Oklahoma and have been using Spinal Decompression on my patients for low back pain, herniated discs, and degenerative joint disease. This gets the pressure and compression off of the nerves. But if the vertebrea still have active fractures (which they should have healed by now) you will not be able to do the Spinal decompression therapy. Hope this helps and good luck with your treatment. Keep riding............:tour

Thanks for the advice. The fractures are very old and I'm sure pretty well fused. The x-rays even show some arthritis in my neck. That ought to add extra mass and strength ... I guess.:wonderlan

Unfortunately I've acquired a phobia of chiropractors. The first wreck broke the vertebrae in my neck. The rest of the pain in three vertebrae below it, the area of the disc compression, began during chiropractic treatment. I don't know what that particular chiropractor did, but I don't want anymore of it.:frownthre

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 17:22
Ed,
My thoughts are with you this morning. Good luck, and it seems you have other blessings in your life.
Islander

Thank you. Yes I've been blessed with a great family and definately seen divine intervention, at least in surviving brushes with death.

I started this thread as a sort of warning for others, maybe the young'uns here, to be extra careful with their bodies because we don't get away with anything we do to them over the years. A price will be paid.:frownone

jcox
12th March 2008, 17:25
Ya Ed, chiropractors are like Stealers, some are the best places to get help and some just don't know what they are doing. Sorry about your bad experience. :doh I wish you a short and healthy recovery.

gusotto
12th March 2008, 17:31
When riding, a weightlifter belt can give extra support.

Good for long rides, even if you don't have a back problem.

indyrednek
12th March 2008, 17:33
With fractures/breaks of vertibrae Chiropractor can do nothing. There are forms of alternative medicine that can work. I shattered C3 years ago. I have learned to deal with it over the years. Kepp doing what you enjoy until you cannot do it anymore. Enjoy life.

BTW Are you going to Ramjet this sunday? I can give you some details on alternatives.

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 17:40
When riding, a weightlifter belt can give extra support.

Good for long rides, even if you don't have a back problem.

I've got a friend that has used one and he likes it.

The bad spot in my low back usually isn't to painfull itself. It's the pinched nerves downstream from it, particularly the sciatic and sapehenous nerves. The sciatic pain was relieved when I added forward controls and pullbacks. Pain in the saphenous nerves(kneeling) is what forced me back to the doctor. Riding is great, but the thought of landing on my sensitive knees is a little scary. If the belt relieved pressure on the nerves it still might be a good idea. I'll try to remember to mention it to my physical therapist when I start treatments.

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 17:50
With fractures/breaks of vertibrae Chiropractor can do nothing. There are forms of alternative medicine that can work. I shattered C3 years ago. I have learned to deal with it over the years. Kepp doing what you enjoy until you cannot do it anymore. Enjoy life.

BTW Are you going to Ramjet this sunday? I can give you some details on alternatives.

Sundays are my no ride days. I spend those with church and family. It's my fault I've trashed my body, but it's the grace of God that I'm still here to appreciate the time I have left, and I don't take that for granted.

Thanks for the offer though.

Urrell
12th March 2008, 17:50
I lost strength in my arm. Hospital tests showed 3 missing discs in my spine and others damaged. Pain relief tablets would not touch the pain. When the pain starts I go into the garage and lift weights. I have a cranked bar with only 20kg on it. I stand with the bar resting on my thighs, I then lift to outstretched arms over my head in as smooth an action as possible keeping the bar close to the body and bring it down behind my head to rest on my shoulders. Reverse action to finish with bar at top of thighs. I do this about 12 times. This is magic for pain relief (nearly as good as taking the Sporty out). The strength lost in my arm muscles I recovered by exercising with a Bullworker (the wife's). This probably would not work for everyone but I find stronger muscles help to support the damage. I have not found anything to help the blxxdy sciatica though.

:tour:tour:tour:tour

DIESEL
12th March 2008, 17:54
Ed--I don't know if this will help, but a while back I was having some pains in my back. I always used to carry a wallet. I paid the doc to tell me to remove the wallet. I carry my cash, id/etc.. in my front pocket or in my back pack.

No more pain. Something to do with sitting straight up instead of caulked a little bit to a side.

pbudrovic
12th March 2008, 18:00
In my country doctors likes to do such surgery. I done one 8th years before. Pain is still here, o yea, and I ride too. I hope you will be o.k.. Best wishes. Rock an' roll.

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 18:09
Wow, great minds think alike.:laugh

I use 20lb dumbells for my arms. It does help. What didn't seem to help was a sponge? grip exercise thing.

I ditched the back pocket wallet decades ago. I know that works too.

Islander
12th March 2008, 18:12
I started this thread as a sort of warning for others, maybe the young'uns here, to be extra careful with their bodies because we don't get away with anything we do to them over the years. A price will be paid.:frownone

Ed,
I'm not sure the young'uns are slowing down enough to hear us (crippled) old farts mumbling on the sidelines. For many years now my personal mantra has been "tricks are for kids, silly rabbit!"(from the old cereal ads).
Personally I've had to manage chronic back pain a long time. I had a thirty year career as a mountain guide/heli ski guide. I in last ten years if I could bend enough in the morning to put on socks I could go to the morning briefing, if an hour later I could bend enough to put on ski boots I could get on the heli, and I never took the pills that warn against operating machinery until I knew I was on a flight back to the valley! Worked with many aspiring pro snowboarders on movie shoots jumping cliffs etc. saw many compressed vertabrae in young atheletes and saw them get old later in life.
Islander

Gone
12th March 2008, 18:18
When riding, a weightlifter belt can give extra support.

Good for long rides, even if you don't have a back problem.

You have to be careful using those too much because they will eventually weaken your back and stomach muscles.

XL 50
12th March 2008, 18:41
33 & 35 years ago I had 2 "should have died" motorcycle accidents I walked away from (after trips to the emergency room).

Hey my brother ED, sorry to hear of your "pain in the neck". I would be close to being the winner on this forum for the number of bike accidents I was in, if MOST would mean your a winner. I didn't walk away from one, woke up looking at doctors, not expected to live, head in a cast, head with permanent stainless wires to hold things in place, no visitors allowed, etc. Ahhh.... what a great bike it was though, a 1960 XLCH, Hi-FI blue and white ( left turn car, I laid down 66 feet of tire marks). Oh, by the way the Lord blessed, I don't feel a thing.

ed_in_az
12th March 2008, 18:53
Islander and XL50, you guys definately know whereof I speak. Sounds like we share the same addiction too:).

Maybe the 2 accidents I had long ago did put some sense, or fear in me 'cause even the one in 2004 that totaled my 1st Sportster was no where near as painfull, I was prepared and composed before impact. And, if it takes 30 years for those injuries to get unbearable I might be compost first.;)

Gone
12th March 2008, 19:00
Ed,
I'm not sure the young'uns are slowing down enough to hear us (crippled) old farts mumbling on the sidelines.

I dont recon Im an old fart at the ripe old age of 26. :shhhh
I have quite a few physical problems from motorcycle accidents. The best thing you can do, and what any chiropractor, neurologist, and physical therapist will tell you, STREGTHEN MUSCLES AND STAY FLEXIBLE.

Islander
12th March 2008, 19:29
I dont recon Im an old fart at the ripe old age of 26. :shhhh
You're absolutely right I should have written "this old fart". Sorry to generalize.
Islander

Gone
12th March 2008, 19:33
it's all good, old fart. you can blame senility! LOL

powellsanmiguel
16th March 2008, 22:05
Long ago I had terrible back troubles, and fixed them with these books. The stretches are superb and unlike most, actually work.

You can get both books on Amazon, and they don't cost much.

SURVIVING EXERCISE Judy Alter's safe And Sane Exercise Program

and,
Stretch and Strengthen

a little tiny book by Judy Alter.

Read. Do the exercises. Not a cure, probably, but very good for you.

sportyblue
17th March 2008, 01:24
Sorry to hear about the back problems. It sounds extremely painful at times.
I had back problems and still do at times.......my leg gets numb...... it's hard to walk right....there isn't really alot of pain associated with this.......just the numbness pretty much. Seems like it starts in my back and just goes down that one side......odd. I found that a good romp in the sack cured it........every single time..........imagine that!! A pinched nerve that gets unpinched...............I dunno.

Keep riding and do what you can do as long as you can do it.

Woodycustom
17th March 2008, 01:54
I have had chronic back pain for years. Not sure if it was from the number of tumbles off the different bikes or what. Last year though I bent over to tie my shoes and my back went out. After months of nothing working not even a chiropractor. I ended up at a chiropractor that uses lasers for treatment of the disks and laser acupuncture for pain. Have not been better. The hardest part of it all was that I only rode the Sporty for 100mi. Now I will have to do 10000mi this year to make up:banana
Bob

unclesumo
17th March 2008, 03:33
Ed,
Sorry about your injuries. I suffered for years with chronic lower back pain. Figured it was all those spectacular crashes on my dirt bikes. Had a compound fracture of the right leg above the ankle, after recovery it was an inch shorter than my left leg. Years later limping and favoring the right leg led to disc dengeneration in the lower back and I ended up blowing 3 levels out L3, L4, L5 (also didn't hurt I worked for a major airline previously, loading and unloading planes.) I had a spinal fusion surgery done but didn't let it stop me from riding bikes, in fact the vibration of the V-twin actually makes it feel better ( I wonder if you can get a prescription for a Sportster?) For longer trips I do wear one of those elastic back belts that seems to help too. Still no feeling in most of my left leg (permanent nerve damage 3 years later) but I can still shift OK. Just remember a bad day riding your bike still beats a good day sitting at work!!!:tour

Mohntonite
17th March 2008, 03:46
Have you tried any alternative therapies?? I'm a chiropractor in Oklahoma and have been using Spinal Decompression on my patients for low back pain, herniated discs, and degenerative joint disease. This gets the pressure and compression off of the nerves. But if the vertebrea still have active fractures (which they should have healed by now) you will not be able to do the Spinal decompression therapy. Hope this helps and good luck with your treatment. Keep riding............:tour

I've got issues between L4 & L5. I get decompression and that does a great deal of good in my case. Ive seen more chiros than I care to imagine. I finally found one I like and trust.

Ralphthe3rd
17th March 2008, 04:14
Hey Ed, I just came late to this thread, but feel for ya bro. My back is almost as F'd up as yours, and mine came from cycle wrecks as well, 'cept the dif was- I crashed while Racing Flattrack. My last crash that broke my back and ended my career, was in back in 1984. But in the past few years, since my muscle tone and strenght has started to fade(I'm 5 years younger than you- but we have the same b-day), I've really started having the pains and associated problems. But like you, I'm still riding, but I gave up riding sportbikes(ie- Ricers and Buells), and have settled on an '07 883R which is slow and heavy enough to keep me from doing stupid things ;)
But it sure sucks growing old with pain and disabilities :(

:sporty:

spineshot
17th March 2008, 04:39
I understand where you are at,I also have 2 ruptured disks,2 herniated ones,I tore a rotator in my left shoulder,broke all the bones in my left foot after falling 30ft and bouncing off a ship's main engine.I've got scar tissue wrapped around my spine and neck throw in some arhtritis,i'm trashed no matter what i do.I did no work of any kind for 4yrs or anything to increase my pain,So i had a dull life and piss poor attitude,And still my pain got worse.I learned from an ex marine who was ALOT worse off than i was,several AK rounds to his back,legs,face and ruptured disks he was a real mess,BUT he was riding a sporty,he was working,and was in very good shape,He told me the worst thing he ever did was to stop being MOBILE,he figured he was all done in life,But he 'bit the bullet' so to speak and started doing his physical therapy,walking,anything to keep moving,in spite of the pain.His pain lessened or at least because he was back in the game he looked at it differently,So i've done the same; i feel better i'm back at my normal weight of 160-165,it really hurts alot of days but i recover quicker,and i'm happier,i'm never going to be pain free,but i know if i keep moving i'll be better off,And a chiropractor scares me too,but i'm going to try one anyways,anything before another surgery,i do not want to be laid up for any legth of time,i'm terrified that any interruption in my mobility will set me back so i'll try that first

ed_in_az
20th April 2008, 23:15
Got an update.

I've done all the physical therapy I can take. The Therapist had me doing back arches on my stomach (Robin McKenzie method) and pulling my knees up while on my back. These were to determine which direction of flexing would help reduce the nerve pain. 1st week = back arching = not much difference. 2nd week = pulling knees up = I could hardly walk! Pain shooting down my left leg and the calf feeling bruised. 3rd week = back arching (to undo week2). I can walk again!

I can hardly lift my right arm now. The pain is intense. Going downhill FAST. A coworker raved on her neurologist that fixed her back and neck so I'm going to give him a call. He did surgery to open up the pinched nerve channels for her. I'm SO ready. Cut me open and fix me Doc. I've got an appointment with my orthopedist in 2wks so I'll try and wait until I can talk to him before scheduling with the neurologist.

I went for a 150 mile ride Saturday and I was fine hanging onto the throttle. But, anytime I had to let go and move that arm it was awful. Ibuprophen doesn't even touch the pain. The therapist told me the longer I could hold off surgery, the better. Well I'm done, I want to go in for repairs.:(

sportyblue
21st April 2008, 01:56
Dang Ed this sounds terrible. One of my BIL's had back surgery......he also got to the point where that became a viable option. It did help him. Hope this all goes well for you and you can get rid of the pain.

Good luck.

twiztidtorinokid
19th May 2008, 00:08
another one late to the thread but i know how it goes, im 23 with degenerative disk disease couple herniated disks, had surgery back in 03 was pretty good for awhile but i sling boxes and military equipment around all day tweaked it real good the other day coming round a corner saw a dip in the road at the last second and i was in it have the good days and the bad days but i have gotten used to it i guess, best of luck i know how much it sucks.

ed_in_az
27th May 2008, 21:58
I figured it's been over a month, so I'll give an update. I had an MRI done on my shoulder. The orthopedist said it showed only some old tearing in the shoulder and no separations, but there is a lot of inflamation due to calcium deposits in the joint. He gave me a shot of cortizone. I now have more movement with less pain. I did a 100 mile ride yesterday and with just stretching my arm a bit occasionally while riding I returned home none the worse for wear. I'm still doing my back flexing exercies and I can now kneel on both knees and only have pain in the left knee.

The un-addressed problem now is the pain under the right shoulder blade which is proably related to the disc damage in my back and may well contribute to the shoulder inflamation.

At this point my low back and leg problems are tolerable once again and I haven't been cut on.:)

I'd like to try some light weight lifting to test my right arm but I've been told not to. I've got another appointment in 2 weeks.

Getting old sucks.

You young pups take care of yourselves.

My wife says I'm grouchy ... well I've got a license.;)

ed_in_az
27th June 2008, 22:44
I was just going to append onto the last post.

Can't do that anymore.

I guess this thread's too old, like me.;)

I got an MRI on my C Spine and went to my orthopedist for followup. He looked at it and said he was done, this was beyond his expertise. Low back and neck are bad, but the neck must have looked worse. He called it quits but at least he's honest. A good Doc in my book.

C-7 is compressing the disc, into the nerves. He said to make an appointment with a Neurologist and be sure I take my MRIs and X-Rays.:o

powellsanmiguel
28th June 2008, 23:50
Yes getting old does indeed suck.

My wife had her knee blow out the other day, and we saw the local futbol (soccer) team's doctor. Mostly she is better, but may need a new knee at some point. Sports Medicine docs are cool because they never say, "Of course you are in pain, you are riding a motorcycle!" They just try to fix you up so you can do some more.

I think it was Groucho who said, "If I knew I was going to live so long I would have taken better care of myself."

Good luck.

Likemlouder
29th June 2008, 04:06
good luck with your therapy. had part of my skull taken out and c3 and c4 in my neck hollowed out to remove binding of my spinal cord. also expanded my brain liner. two weeks later my brain liner exploded . surgery to repair that. then two weeks later hydracepulus too much spinal pressure. another surgery to install a brain shunt. two bulging discs in my back pressure on nerves pain in legs numbness. pain everyday some worse than others. where iride or not. both knees shot bone on bone. except for being totally wore out im good as new. but by the grace of God i am still here still preaching still riding. so ican relate. i will add you to our Prayer list. :tour

Davincicodebreaker
23rd July 2009, 16:03
I want a softer ride from my 2008 1200 xl low. It rides like a hardtail. What would be my best choice for shocks. ?At almost 60 years old ,my back is getting old. I like the Sporty and want to keep the bike .My wife doesnt want to ride so I dont need to upgrade to a big twin or get a jap bike. Right now I have a Mustang solo which is an noticeable improvement in ride quality.My old Triumph rode better than this Harley.

CBAS5
23rd July 2009, 16:39
I've had an MRI and x-rays in the last month, and the news is ... not only the fracture in my neck, but also one in my low back, and three crushed, destroyed discs in my neck and one in the low back. All are now compressing nerves.

My orthopedist is going to have me try physical therapy to try to strengthen muscles to make up for some of the lost support in my spine. I'm going to up my dosage of the glucosamine/condroitin. He doesn't recommend any currently available surgical options.

I can't help you with your neck or fractures, but degenerated discs and herniated discs especially in the lower back respond very well to decompression therapy. It is the only thing that can actually heal degenerated and herniated discs depending on how far gone they are. Looking at the reasearch decompression therapy is more effective than spinal fusion. Spinal fusion pain relief success rate is about 66% and limits mobility while spinal decompression therapy has a success rate of over 80% (even in older patients) without limiting mobility. There is also disc replacement surgery, but that isn't an option for you.

I have also found joint supplements to be very effective. I take one with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. I have heard that MSM is actually what helps with joints in your spine, but I am not sure how accurate that is.

As for physical therapy, you have updated it before I could respond. The physical theraphy ortophedics generally put you through isn't that effective and has back fired for several people causing them more pain the relieving. I suggest finding a chiropractor with a decompression machine, but again that depends on exactly what kind of damage you have and where. I didn't see your MRI's so I don't know.

Davincicodebreaker
23rd July 2009, 23:37
Myself I strained my back 40 years ago in the mine where I worked.Old age dont help eithe. What helps me is execising with my bicycle.I ride about 10 miles a day on my Schwinn Cruiser to take the kinks out. I hope you get better so you can ride. Thats what its all about.

ed_in_az
3rd August 2009, 01:35
For those that have posted since my last entry, I apologize for neglecting to update my own thread.:doh

Since my last entry, I was prayed for at church, and it wasn't the first time. Then I went to the neurologist. He said I wasn't bad enough for surgery. I guess the fact that I could walk and talk and ride:shhhh indicated I'm functional. When he looked at the MRIs, he didn't see any signs of fractures. The lumbar disc was still missing (black area) and the cervical disc was pressing into the spine, but no old breaks. I'm assuming God healed the MRIs as well as the bones, or ... the Doc is a quack.:rolleyes:

At any rate, after some physical therapy on my upper back and neck I've learned a couple of stretches, one for my neck and one for my low back. I'll credit God too since I'm back to where I was before I started feeling like a cripple. Now I only have bad days and not bad weeks and months.

Hallelujah!

nh roads
4th August 2009, 12:28
Good luck Ed....glad to hear you're doing better.

celtic
4th August 2009, 14:21
Best wishes to you, Ed.

I really hope you find a way to make your back and neck feel better.

Cheers!

roaddogg37
4th August 2009, 16:01
I dont want to air my pains but I can feel for ya man good luck and best wishes

fat old gun nut
8th February 2010, 17:27
"67 % '69 had back operations then '89 & '96 had more. 1/15 (2 months after last surgery) was rear ended. Result?-cronic pain from waist down. Why - football- can't feel feet or toes . riding my bike? Use voyager kit and the sporster vibration actually help keep back loose. People have made remarks about -chicken w/training wheels but WTF I enjoy my riding. Plan on bike week next weelk, who else is going?:tour

Toadz
16th March 2011, 09:32
Unfortunately young people are affected by back problems too. I'm 22 going on 80 with degenerative disc disease from years of abusing my body being involved in off-road motorsports and motorcycling. I've herniated my L3, L4, L5, and the one below the L5. Been through many months of physical therapy, pain killers, muscle relaxers, etc. but I've found being physically fit is the best thing for me. I haven't ridden my bike since my last injury this fall but every doctor and PT has told me I should never ride again. I'm going to give it a try but I'm guessing new shocks are in order (stock XLN shocks still). I do have a comfy Mustang seat that helped significantly but more is definitely needed. Any tips or advice for making the bike as comfortable as possible are much appreciated!

KevinJ
16th March 2011, 10:36
The one below the L5 is the S1.

I have 3 vertebrae fused together: L4-L5-S1. First surgery fused L5-S1, because S1 slid about 1cm forward and was completely falling apart (if I waited any longer for that surgery I would have ended up in a wheelchair).
The second surgery fused L4 to the existing L5-S1 fusion because that vertebra was twisted (and the first neural surgeon never noticed that).

After every surgery there was about a year of revalidation (thats how long it takes for the vertebrae to grow together) and alot of pain (pain killers, epidural injections, muscle relaxers,...).

I could ride my bike, a little bit. But I had to take a painkiller (tradonal odis) before I started riding and one or two right after, before I crawled into bed to lay down for the rest of the day. Btw, a "ride" was about 5 miles, just enough to keep my mental health more or less ok.

One day, the neuro surgeon that did the last surgery suggested that he could always remove all the nuts and bolts because those could very well be the reason of the pain (muscles rubbing the bolts and plates).
So I had all the junk removed in day treatment and searched a different physiotherapist.
After a few sessions with that new therapist, I got off the painkillers completely, after more then 3 years of taking 2 to 8 painkillers per day!

Riding the bike (2004 custom, with mid-controls and roadking shocks) wasn't a complete succes, though. I could ride about 30miles before I started getting really sore.
The riding position needed to be changed. Ideal setup would be: rearsets, lower handlebars and no risers (you know, the race bike position), change the suspension again to something that suits my needs and weight.

Never did all that. Instead I took an XR1200X for a testride and when I got back to the dealer I immediately asked how much he wanted for it. A day later, the XR was in my garage.


So as you can see in this topic, you're not alone with lower back problems.
Mine started at 26, now I'm almost 30.

Toadz
19th March 2011, 03:20
I never could ride a crotchrocket because the riding position would put a strain on my back so I can't imagine rearsets would be an option for me. I might try forward controls because the more inline my legs are with my back the better. A set of bars that are more rearward would also help with forward controls in my case.

KevinJ
19th March 2011, 09:30
Make sure to testride a setup before you buy anything.
Forward controls take away any support you legs can give to the lower back. That's why I removed mine for a set of midcontrols on the XL custom. The more upright you sit, the more your spine gets hammerd by shocks the suspension doesn't absorb (I live in Belgium, we have bad roads and very bad roads).
Try different handlebars. The ones that make you lean a bit forward are better for your back, though they might not be as comfortable as bars that make you sit upright.

I'm not saying you have to buy a crotchrocket, that seating position is too extreme (it is for me too), you need something in between. Changing you riding position to a more sporty one will give you a better riding position with more lower back support and the spine will no longer be hammered (your a$$ will take the beating instead).
You might want to try a corset or kidneybelt too.

If you visit a dealer that has an XR, check out its riding position. It works great for me, though it might not for you.

snake oil
19th March 2011, 18:32
Toadz, I spent 3 years trying to find a bike I could ride more than 20 miles without making my condition worse, I bought modified and sold half a dozen bikes before getting my 04 XL1200R, Stock I was only good for 10 miles tops. I added 13 1/4'' Ohlins shocks in back an Ricor Intimulators in the forks, I also added a spring seat origonaly for a softtail with 3'' coil springs. I can now do 200 mile plus days back to back. I have got negative comments on the look but could care less cause I'm Ridin. http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n630/72gag/015.jpg

XLXR
19th March 2011, 19:06
The First 7 Pages of Suspension (http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=552795)

If you have back problems, a properly set up Roadster with high end shocks and full length suspension can make a huge difference. My Roadster, properly set up with Ricor IAS shocks and Intiminators, rode a bit softer than my Ducati Multistrada with reworked Ohlins. A spring seat can also help, but I have never tried one

Toadz
4th April 2011, 11:19
Make sure to testride a setup before you buy anything.
Forward controls take away any support you legs can give to the lower back. That's why I removed mine for a set of midcontrols on the XL custom. The more upright you sit, the more your spine gets hammerd by shocks the suspension doesn't absorb (I live in Belgium, we have bad roads and very bad roads).
Try different handlebars. The ones that make you lean a bit forward are better for your back, though they might not be as comfortable as bars that make you sit upright.

I'm not saying you have to buy a crotchrocket, that seating position is too extreme (it is for me too), you need something in between. Changing you riding position to a more sporty one will give you a better riding position with more lower back support and the spine will no longer be hammered (your a$$ will take the beating instead).
You might want to try a corset or kidneybelt too.

If you visit a dealer that has an XR, check out its riding position. It works great for me, though it might not for you.

I've got a kidney belt from my ATV racing days but haven't tried it yet for riding bike since it wasn't that big of a deal until my last injury. I'm a bit weary on the leaning forward position just because it'll put more pressure on my bulging discs. Yes, it's true the more upright you sit the more your back takes the abuse (sitting down puts 3x more pressure on your spine than standing) which is why I am looking more at a leaning back position where the legs are more inline with my spine.

Toadz, I spent 3 years trying to find a bike I could ride more than 20 miles without making my condition worse, I bought modified and sold half a dozen bikes before getting my 04 XL1200R, Stock I was only good for 10 miles tops. I added 13 1/4'' Ohlins shocks in back an Ricor Intimulators in the forks, I also added a spring seat origonaly for a softtail with 3'' coil springs. I can now do 200 mile plus days back to back. I have got negative comments on the look but could care less cause I'm Ridin.

I think your bike looks fine just the way it is! I do love the low ride of my bike but I know I'm going to have to give that up for the luxury of shocks that actually absorb. After my tires I know my first purchase will have to be shocks/springs. I would love to have Ohlins but I don't think I can justify the high cost of those shocks on a Harley that I'm not racing.

The First 7 Pages of Suspension (http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=552795)

If you have back problems, a properly set up Roadster with high end shocks and full length suspension can make a huge difference. My Roadster, properly set up with Ricor IAS shocks and Intiminators, rode a bit softer than my Ducati Multistrada with reworked Ohlins. A spring seat can also help, but I have never tried one

I've read a bit of that thread when I first joined the forum but I'll probably need to print it off and read through it a few times so I can set my bike up the right way. It frustrates me on how ancient the suspension feels on these bikes. Like I mentioned before, I love the low look of this bike but it's something I'm willing to sacrifice if it enables me to continue riding.

ed_in_az
21st May 2011, 16:25
Well guys, and Toadz in particular, I feel your pain.:doh

Since my long ago post I've continued my live and let live relationship with my back.:laugh

I take my meds and do my exercises when I neeeed to. Still the lower half of my arms and the bottom 2 fingers can be numb when I wake in the morning. I cannot, absolutely cannot twist from the waist. I did that accidently awhile back and L5 was killing me for about a month.

Like Toadz I don't want to lean forward. That doesn't work for me. I owned a sportbike for a year in between Sportsters. Too much weight on my wrists and back until up to highway speed to achieve "weightlessness".

Here's how I've got my bike set up for my particular needs. Fortunately I also like the look.:)

Progressive springs in front and Progressive 412 shocks in back. I've got the full height Sporty for plenty of travel though. Change your suspension anyway regardless of travel and Progressive is the best bang for the buck. Call 'em and describe what you're trying to achieve. They're good to deal with. Progressives can achieve a fairly plush ride with the right springs. Because of their winding they get stiffer as they compress. I fear no railroad crossings with my setup.

4" pullback risers for the bars make for a more upright comfortable seating position. No reaching for the bars.

I've got a Memphis Shades Sportshield, nose high. I like the look and don't have to take the hit of 100mph winds.:laugh

LePera maverick LT seat. It's a 2up so my wife can ride too. Great support and good looks.

Forward controls. They may not be for everbody. But for me they prevent leg cramps and sciatic pain.

I've also got tendon problems in my hands so I replaced the skinny grips with real HD grips (the thicker ones from the pre '04 Sportsters = more comfy

I can now ride until the tanks needs filling or my bladder needs emptying. Then repeat.:D

Good luck to all in pursuit of a comfortable ride.:clap

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/medium/2showlow2.JPG

ElectricCityIron
7th June 2011, 03:23
what happend to this guy?

Kayakeur
12th November 2014, 09:05
I see a physical therapist group that uses methods very different than the PT's down the hall from my doctor. My knees would just cave sometimes, doing certain movements. Not caused by pain so much but just give way. And one side of low back would spasm for a couple minutes at a time. Not good when riding. Two sessions & that never happens anymore unless I stupidly lift stuff too heavy or lift in improper position.
These folks measure me every which way, do something kind of like massage and muscle stretching around nerve pathways but it is all very targeted and it works. They are an hour and a half ride away, 'way out in the countryside. Nice ride. I'm going to ask one of them to evaluate my riding position. I think my stock HD seat doesn't let my butt slide back far enough.
Cheers, Be Well, stay on the green side of the grass, ride something.
Kayakeur Bud, 66
Northern Virginia 11-12-2014