A bad back needn't be the end of your cycling - seek specialist help!

It’s now almost 16 years since my GP told me I would never ride again. Years of bad posture had wrecked two vertebrae in my neck and another couple lower in my back. Yet this season I’ve ridden as many miles as any time in my long, if not illustrious cycling career thanks to proper medical assistance.

“If your back hurts when you ride a bike, don’t ride a bike,” was pretty much the advice from my doctor. I was prescribed as many painkillers as I wanted but warned that if I didn’t quit cycling I would end up in a wheelchair!

That wasn’t an option. I tried physios and osteopaths but with only limited success until I was introduced to a cycling-friendly chiropractor. That was the turning point. I was back on the bike within weeks and by using a weekly Pilates session to build core strength, it’s been enough to keep me riding ever since.

It’s ridiculous that without that introduction to the chiropractor I would have been wrongly advised to retire from cycling over one and a half decades ago.

If I was given bad advice back then, how many others have suffered a similar fate over the years?

A bad back (or neck) isn’t necessarily the end — seek specialist help and keep riding.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly