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  #1  
Old 16th April 2012
mdmitchell2 mdmitchell2 is offline
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Default Neck/Shoulder pain while riding: Need advice

First off, let my start by saying I am only 24 years old. Hopefully this helps set the stage.

I am soon to graduate with my BS in CIS and work construction (Carpentry) on the side. Im not really sure when this pain began but I surely know when it got the worst.

The pain moves around a bit. It first started right where my neck meets my right shoulder. It would be this throbbing, almost stabbing pain. It has since almost moved to the entire base of my neck and varies in location. The pain is only present when Im doing something where my arms are above my head (doing over head work) or suspended in front of me (aka riding, and using a computer). Being that i LOVE riding my sporty, i LOVE riding my atv, and im going into the IT field (where i will obviously use computers) this pain has to go. I believe Im far too young for there not to be a solution.

Ive seen a dr, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, and finally a neurosurgeon. Ive had an MRI done, tried anti inflamatorys, chiro work, steroid pack, and nothinhg has helped. I was told by the neurosurgeon that I do have some bone spurring in my neck but its minor at most. He said the cause of my pain is not related to my spine but rather my muscles. This left me almost ready to scream. I was so sick of the pain i was ready to go under the knife. I just knew it would be neurological. SO i get sent home with a lousy anti inlammatory and a pat on the back

Currently Im going back to PT to give it a second try since the last time i basically did it just to get the dr off my back and give me the ok to see a surgeon. Well after reading online i felt more and more confident that strengthening muscles across my back would help alleviate the pain. Im 3 weeks into PT. Hoping that all these exercises pay off

Lets be clear, Im pretty sure this isnt riding position thing. It hurt like this when i rode fourwheelers, drove, and so on. BUT i did just get some taller 9 in T bars because im 6'3" and i was slouching with the drag bars. And i also switched to a badlander seat from a pillow seat so the bars really hit me just right now

Im writing all of this because im simply looking for any advice from anyone who has dealt with similar problems and what you did/do to fix it. At this point, I will do anything to fix it. I feel like this is a group of guys that could understand my aggravation of having to ride in pain. especially since im not even old
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  #2  
Old 16th April 2012
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jharback jharback is offline
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I'm an old geezer and my riding position started to give me fits about 8-10 years ago.

When you say that, "the bars really hit you just right now," what exactly is that? Your wrists should not be higher than your shoulders when riding. I found that there are three major things that effect comfort when riding. The position of your feet, the position of your wrists, and the positioning of your arms. Your back posisition when riding should be somewhat straight. Positioning your spine above your ass greatly reduces shock to the spine. If you don't believe this try going over a speed bump in a bent over position. Then try it again but, this time position spine over your ass. You'll feel a big difference.

If your having any hip problems it can usually be effected by moving your feet. Since yours is in your neck it will mostly have to do with your positioning of your wrists and arms. But, you want to keep your spine over your ass. You'd be amazed at what a few minor adjustments on the handle bars/grip positioning can do to make a ride more comfortable.

Try loosening the grip assemblies and rotating them a little to change position. Try a few different minor changes to see if there is a better feeling of comfort. I dropped my bike off at my indy's one time and he got my grips out of their normal position. I couldn't believe the pain that they gave me after riding just a short distance. It's amazing what a small adjustment can do.

I would also think that your T bars aren't your best bet. I think getting your bars up higher was probably a good thing but, I would think that you'd need some "pull back" too.

Don't give up too soon. It took me quite a while to figure out what worked for me. But, eventually I went from being able to only ride about an hour without stopping to the point where I can virtually ride all day now. You just need to get the bike to fit you.
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  #3  
Old 2nd June 2012
Jules083 Jules083 is offline
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Ever come up with something? Here's my experience, seems like what you have.

I'm 28 now, and have a pain similar to what you described. Mine started, incidentally, when I was 24.

Mine started all of a sudden, meaning instantly. I had just returned from a year long Iraq deployment where I was wearing a lot of heavy gear, and wearing it often. I carried a M4 with a M203 equipped, and an M9. The M4/M203 is the standard rifle with a grenade launcher attached. The M9 is the 9mm beretta. Between body armor, camelback, and tons of heavy ammo, my vest was heavy. I carried more than the standard combat load on everything, especially the 203. I liked the grenade launcher, I was good with it, and it's a major advantage if and when you need it. But the ammo is heavy.

A few days after returning I was riding my sport bike, a 2001 Aprilia Mille. Probably the most uncomfortable bike I've ever been on. Coming to a hard stop at a red light it suddenly felt like there were 2 vice grips on the muscles that go from the side of my neck to my collarbone.

The pain has never left me, but I am slowly learning to minimize it. I had to sell my Aprilia, and my GSX-R600. Every bike I've owned since then I've played around with to get it 'good enough'. I actually couldn't drive my 1985 blazer for some reason, it hurt worse than the bikes. Don't know why.

My sportster I'm running stock handlebars, with no pain ever. I don't know why it doesn't hurt to be honest.

My Road King I went from the beach bars the PO had on it, to mini apes, to now stock RK bars. Beach bars were the worst, and the mini apes and the stockers both hurt a little bit. The pain is in different places though.

My FJR and Ninja1400 both hurt some, but it is better since adding risers. I deal with it on those two though, they are way too much fun to ride. Took the Ninja to Myrtle Beach a month ago, 750 mile one way trip, in two days. 300-350 miles each day, so it was a relaxed trip.

I take a proactive approach to pain killers before I leave if I'm going on a trip. 2 Advil as I'm leaving, then follow the recommended dosage from there. I think recommended is 2 every 6 hours, I take one every 3 hours. I think what happened to me is that my shoulder muscles got stronger too fast for their own good, and when I asked them to do something different it didn't work out.

Excercising doesn't seem to matter one way or another, but I still do it anyways just to stay in shape a bit. I'm no longer in the army, I just do light weight high rep stuff whenever I get bored, maybe one to 4 times a week. Nothing crazy or anything, just enough to keep from getting lazy.
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Old 2nd June 2012
mdmitchell2 mdmitchell2 is offline
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No not really. I'm going to physical therapy once a week. They never have fully explained why I'm having this pain because I think they don't really know lol. I believe its an issue with a latent trigger point. I have a really bad trigger point right along my right scapula. They have been trying to get it to release but it wont. Im really wanting to have it dry needled but the guy I'm seeing is only certified from the waste down. I'm probably going to try and find someone that can do it tho. If I get the trigger point to release, it should relieve my pain, at least for a short time. Thing is something has to cause the trigger point.
They told me I have winging right scapula. As I raise my arm it kicks out of the normal travel path of the shoulder blade. Which from what I've read this can be a symptom of trigger point. It'd just frustrating as all hell because its anytime my arms are extended out in front of me, it lights up with pain. If I don't find a solution, my motorcycle days could be coming to an end

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  #5  
Old 2nd June 2012
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rejeanprimeau rejeanprimeau is offline
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Cold air running in your coat around the neck is notorious to induce pain. Zipper up that neck collar.
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Old 2nd June 2012
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try to find a good massage therapist. Worked for me
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Old 2nd June 2012
Choprocker Choprocker is offline
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do you find you are stretching however little when hands on bars etc?
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Old 2nd June 2012
RICOB1 RICOB1 is offline
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Buy the lightest approved helmet possible.This help me!
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  #9  
Old 4th June 2012
mdmitchell2 mdmitchell2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XL Ed View Post
try to find a good massage therapist. Worked for me
I might need to, it seems like the massage portion of PT is the only thing doing anything for me.

My helmet is a NOVDOT so its pretty damn light. As far as air getting around my neck, thats not the problem but thanks for the suggestion. being on a motorcycle is only one thing that causes the pain. ANYTHING i do where my arms have to be out in front of me. It hurts me like this while working over head, using a computer, etc. etc... But to answer your question, my arms are fairly relaxed, im not stretching to read the bars. Im 6'3" so the bikes small on me anyways.

Im more or less trying to find anyone with similar symptoms. There is nothing more frustrating than hurting like crazy and not being able to be told by ANYONE what is causing the pain.
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  #10  
Old 4th June 2012
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I have neck pain on 50+ mile rides with my Bell Shorty helmet, I have little to no pain when wearing my full face Nolan N102 helmet. Better fit and less windshear are the most likely reasons I fair better with the Nolan.

I suggest trying a different helmet and see if that helps. If not, you can rule it out as a cause for the neck pain.
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