Can a Motorcycle Cause Back Pain?

Can a Motorcycle Cause Back Pain?

I was sitting on my motorcycle and wondering about people complaining about back pain while riding. I asked myself, can a motorcycle cause back pain?  

Many people are riding the same motorbike as you, but they aren’t complaining about back pain. It means there’s something wrong with your sitting position, seat position, and handlebar position. In easier words, a motorcycle doesn’t cause back pain, but your sitting position, handlebar position, motorcycle type, and seat arrangement does.

Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it. In this article, I’ve covered all your queries about back pain and tips to protect yourself from back pain. 

Can a Motorcycle Cause Back Pain? 

No motorcycle doesn’t cause back pain, but your handlebar and footpeg position might cause back pain.

Many people are riding the same motorbike as you, but they aren’t complaining about back pain. 

It means there’s something wrong with your sitting position, seat position, and handlebar position. And there’s nothing wrong with modifying your motorbike according to your body type.

I can relate to how hard it is for you to cover a long distance on your motorbike with this back pain.

Here’re some factors which contribute to your back pain most. 

While researching these factors, I leave no stone unturned to relate your problem with this post. 

Factors Contributing to Your Back Pain while Riding: 
Seat quality. 
Wrong handlebar position. 
Wrong footpeg position.
Cheap or hard motorcycle suspension. 
Underlying problem. 

Motorcycle Seat: 

Motorcycle seats are one of the most significant factors contributing towards back pain which I think no one is talking about. 

Good motorcycle seats are supposed to divide your bodyweight equally in all directions, protecting you from back pain. But nowadays, motorcycle manufacturers aren’t spending many bucks on providing good motorbike seats.

You should at least spend some bucks adding cushions to your motorbike seat. Soft cushions will help you by distributing your all bodyweight uniformly.  

Motorcycle Handlebar: 

Handlebars are also one of the most significant reasons causing back pain to you. Wrong handlebar position causing your shoulder and wrist to engage more while riding. 

Fortunately enough, you can change the handlebar position according to your body needs. But please be careful as doing this may change the motorcycle balance. 

Motorcycle FootPeg: 

Like the handlebar and seat, the motorcycle foot peg also plays a crucial role in your back pain. 

The ideal footpeg should both keep both legs close enough, so your leg muscles aren’t engaged. Footpegs away from your legs may cause leg and lower back muscles to engage, which isn’t good for you in the long run. 

Motorcycle Suspension: 

The motorbike suspension helps to absorb shocks while riding. But rigid suspension sends the shocks to your spine area, which also isn’t good for you. 

If you do off-riding a lot, I recommend changing your rigid suspension to an extra soft suspension.

Underlying Problems: 

Ok! So at this point, I’m not going to give you any medical advice. But being a motorbiker, I know some people still suffer from painful back pain even after doing all the modifications. 

And if you’re one of them, I’d recommend visiting the doctor before you miss the boat. I’d also recommend stopping gathering much information from the internet if it’s some underlying problem. 

What Type of Motorcycle can Cause Back Pain?

Types of Motorbikes: Advantage: Disadvantage: 
Standard Motorbikes. Don’t cause any back pain while riding. You may not look good when riding a standard motorbike. 
Sport Motorbikes. You’ll look cool when riding a sport motorcycle. Sport motorcycles aren’t good for long rides and will cause back pain. 
Cruiser Motorbikes. Cruisers motorcycles offer you great comfortability. Many riders feel chest pressure making them lean forward. 

Many riders are still sitting on the fence wondering why doctor recommendations and motorbike modifications aren’t working. Sometimes it might happen, you choose the wrong motorbike for you. 

Motorbike? How can even motorbike types cause back pain? Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it. 

Standard Motorcycle: 

Standard motorcycles, including touring and dual-sport, are probably the best motorbikes for you. While riding a standard motorcycle, your shoulders and legs are in a neutral position, thus preventing you from any back pain. 

Standard motorcycles are also suitable for long riding if all factors mentioned above are in your favor. Overall, you can rely on the standard motorbike for the day to day riding.

Sport Motorcycle: 

Sport motorcycles are most famous for their speed and image portrait by our film industries. We all know how cool it is when you ride a sportbike but is the sport motorbike actually good for your health? 

No, sport motorcycles aren’t good for your health. The sports motorcycle causes your body to lean forward, which might cause back pain. Also, you’ve to face wrist pressure due to the poor handlebar position of the sport motorcycle. 

And that’s why experts don’t recommend sport motorcycles for long rides. 

Cruise Motorcycle: 

Cruise motorbikes are the second-best option after standard motorbikes because of the comfortability (depending on the handlebar position) it offers. 

The seat and footpeg position of cruise motorbikes are also pretty good and offer you a neutral position. However, at higher speeds, many riders feel tension on their chest and make them lean forward.

Overall, some motorbikes have a considerable fan base, but they aren’t good for your health. And it sucks when you can’t even ride your favorite motorbike because of back pain. 

I recommend only buying a motorbike according to your needs, and avoiding jumping on the bandwagon blindly. 

How to Prevent Yourself from Back Pain? 

Neck Pain: 

Neck pain is caused because of unnatural shoulder position and heavy helmet. You can avoid neck pain while riding by doing proper stretching. 

Stretch your neck from one shoulder to another slowly while taking a breath. Stretching will help you to reduce neck muscle stiffness caused by long hours of riding. 

Lower Back Pain: 

Lower back pain is common when your motorbike seat isn’t soft enough. In 99% of cases, riders suffered from lower back pain, and fortunately enough, you can avoid lower back pain. 

Turn your upper body by 180 degrees and hold the left handlebar with your right hand and the back seat with your right hand. Do this five to six times slowly and feel the stretch while maintaining the breath. 

Upper Back Pain: 

Although upper back pain is rare, it’s more commonly found in people who ride with their backpacks. If you’re suffering from upper back pain and stiffness, then you can hold your neck back with your hands and swing them gently. 

Wrist Pain: 

Riders who ride a sports motorcycle generally suffer from wrist pain. Wrist pain is one of the most significant signs of a wrong handlebar position. You can avoid wrist pain by rotating your wrist slowly. 

However, in the long run, you should avoid riding a sports motorcycle. 

Numb Fingers:   

Constant pressure exerted by your fingers when pressing the clutch and brakes causes numb fingers. The best thing about numb fingers is that they can be avoided by simple stretching. 

You just have to cross both hands fingers together and stretch outside slowly. It will also boost blood in your fingers and will relieve your finger from stiffness.

How Many Hours You can Ride a Motorcycle?

It depends on person to person; some riders can ride for more than six hours a day, whereas some even can’t ride for more than two hours a day. 

If you’re planning for long riding then, I’d recommend riding at least for three hours to see how your body responds to the riding. 

Do Motorcycle Back Protectors Work for Back Pain? 

Manufacturers made back protectors solely for your back protection. However, you can also use a back protector as a tool to improve your spine position.  

But please make sure the back protector you choose won’t be too tight for you, or else it will be uncomfortable for you. 

I recommend a back protector if you’re struggling with a bad posture problem. 

Also, don’t forget to read more about back protectors in my previous post. Click here to read.

Do Motorcycle Kidney Belts Work for Back Pain? 

Yes, motorcycle kidney belts work well for back pain. It helps to keep your posture straight, helping you from lower back pain. 

The best thing about kidney belts is that you can wear kidney belts under your t-shirt or shirt without any problem. However, the most significant disadvantage of a kidney belt is that it makes you sweat a lot if you’re living in hot weather.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How good a motorcycle seat protects you from back pain?

Good motorcycle seats protect you from back pain by dividing your bodyweight equally in all directions thus protecting you from back pain

Do handlebar positions also cause back pain?

Wrong handlebar position causing your shoulder and wrist to engage more while riding which may cause back pain.

What should be your motorcycle peg position to protect you from back pain?

The ideal footpeg should both keep both legs close enough, so your leg muscles aren’t engaged.

Can underlying back problems be the main reason behind back pain?

Yes, underlying back problems could be the main reason why you’re suffering from back pain while riding.

How does a standard motorcycle protect you from back pain?

While riding a standard motorcycle, your shoulders and legs are in a neutral position, thus preventing you from any back pain. 

Final Verdict: 

Can a motorcycle cause back pain?  No, the motorcycle doesn’t cause back pain, but your sitting position, handlebar position, motorcycle type, and seat arrangement does.

I’ve mentioned some tips through which you can prevent yourself from severe back pain. And remember to see a doctor if the problem persists.