There’s just something about the freedom of riding a motorcycle and being one with the open road. The outdoors, the curvy roads and the wind in your face, your aching back, shoulder, and neck pain…wait, what? Admittedly, we could all do without any added pain.
It’s not uncommon for those who ride a sport motorcycle to experience back, shoulder, and neck discomfort– a good deal of bikers report an increase in body aches and pains as their time on the road increases. It comes with the territory, right?
Not so fast; you needn’t resign yourself to increased discomfort simply from your choice of transportation. If you’re a sport bike rider, this is what you need to know about caring for your body, to maximize your riding enjoyment.
Aches and Pains from Sport Bike Riding
Whether you’re commuting or just riding for fun, a sport bike places additional stress on your body. The aerodynamic and somewhat aggressive riding position this type of bike requires places more weight on the rider’s upper body— head forward exposing your neck, back, shoulders and wrist to more wear and tear.
As you stay in the same position for a prolonged period of time, your core, back, and shoulders will start to tire, and eventually lead to a breakdown in posture.
Needless to say, it’s easy for this fun activity to become a pain– literally.
Preventing Common Pain From Sport Riding
Motorcycle riding is a sport for some and a lifestyle for others– we get it. There’s no need to sacrifice your freedom or stop riding. Luckily, there are a couple quick, preventative measures that you can take to mitigate the aches and pains that can come with riding.
Check Your Posture On The Bike
For sport model motorcycles in particular, good posture becomes more difficult as the handlebars are somewhat lower, requiring the rider to remain in a forward riding position. Posture not only affects handling of the bike but rider comfort. Our advice?
Periodically check your posture, including:
- Avoid locking your elbows, wrists and shoulders, as this makes bike control harder and places more stress on your upper body and back.
- Firmly grip the handlebars, but don’t squeeze them too intensely; rather, stay relaxed.
- Keep your core engaged, which helps to support your body weight.
- Think of leaning with your chest vs. your back, which will help keep your shoulders from hunching over.
- Don’t forget about your feet. Place some weight in your heels to offset the strain on your back.
Proper posture may not initially feel natural, but over time, your body will get used to it. The rewards to maintaining good form are many— you’ll feel less tired, handling and cornering will improve, and you’ll enjoy the ride…literally.
Build Endurance Over Time
If you’re new to riding, it would be wise to gradually increase the duration and frequency of your trips in order to allow your body to increase endurance for sitting in this position. Even though the act of sitting generally doesn’t seem like a “workout,” when you need to hold a specific posture for long periods of time, there is certainly a physical endurance component to riding that is critical.
Give yourself time to build up to those longer rides before diving in headfirst. And, don’t be afraid of taking frequent breaks during a ride.
Stretch It Out
Speaking of the occasional rest stop, use these opportunities as a way to move and stretch your body in different directions than the one that your motorcycle locks you in to. There’s no way getting around it– while you’re riding, you need to remain locked into that forward-leaning position, and if you ride long or often enough, you’re going to get sore.
However, taking this extra step could be the difference between feeling sore after a short ride versus a weekend full of fun on the bike. To help better care for your body, use those moments of rest for quick stretches to relieve back, shoulder, and neck tension. Your body will thank you for it later.
Chiropractic Treatment For Motorcycle Fatigue
Should you find yourself needing some help recovering from the aches and pains of motorcycle riding, chiropractic treatment is a great, conservative treatment option. Chiropractic can help provide the relief that your body needs after an extended period of riding or the strain from frequent trips.
Soreness in one area of the body can affect so much more than just that one area— chiropractic care not only addresses the pain points you may be experiencing from from riding but also helps give the rest of your body the attention that it also needs to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax.
What should you expect? A chiropractic practitioner uses gentle adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities to help to realign your body, relieve muscle soreness, and decrease pressure, providing real relief and allowing your system to restore proper function.
Chiropractic sessions can be preventative, restorative, or a part of your healing journey, if your body is struggling with the wear and tear from the miles you spend on your motorcycle. Your practitioner will be able to support your specific needs by taking a personalized approach to each session, and will meet you at your unique starting point.