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Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between low back pain (LBP) and training characteristics in recreational cyclists. Purposive sampling was used to recruit sixty-six recreational cyclists from nine cycling clubs. Participants completed a survey reporting training characteristics and LBP behaviour during a usual week of cycling. This included percent of time spent cycling in three common riding positions, cycling terrain, average cycling pace, number of gears, days per week cycled and number of cycling events per year. Fifty percent reported LBP during or after cycling or smoking and LBP. Cyclists who reported LBP cycled significantly further in a usual week of cycling than cyclists who did not report LBP (p=0.022). An odds ratio indicated that people who cycle 160 km or more per week are 3.6 times as likely to experience LBP compared with people who cycle less than 160 km per week (OR=3.6, CI=1.29-10.15). Preference for riding with the hands on the brakes approached significance with respect to LBP reports (p=0.06). No other significant relationship between LBP and training characteristics was identified. In order to reduce the risk of LBP recreational cyclists who report LBP should consider decreasing cycling distance to less than 160 km per week.