Cycling Ouchie!

Ok so I am well confused - when I do long distances, sometimes my coccyx hurts - I mean, it hurts like it takes my breath away when I try to straighten my back.  Other times (like on this mornings ride) it doesn't hurt at all.  Then of course, my butt gets sore and my cycling becomes the most amazingly painful, hateful, nasty piece of sh1t and all I want is to sell the bike and forget triathlons forever.

Why does this happen?  Is it something that just happens (in which case, tell me now so I can forget the whole cycling thing and just carry on with my running) or is it perhaps that my saddle is too high or low?  Can it be because I have done too much (only ever happens when I am fit - it's not a saddle sore from not being in the saddle - it happens regardless) or to little in terms of cardio?  Can I blame the wind?  If it's a headwind and I am cycling into it for a while (nasty wind on last race and slight wind on last triathlon, but no wind this morning and no pain)?

I ask because I hate cycling now.  I hate my bike and I am dreading my race in 3 weeks time.  Until this morning and then I have a good ride.  Can I do anything to stop the pain?


  • First port of call would be to look at your setup, the fact its worse when cycling into a headwind could point to a positioning issue.
  • Hmmmm good idea - thanks  image
  • I find I tend to "stoop" more in a headwind, which can put more pressure on your lower end
  • How do you combat though?
  • Its not really a problem for me, you have to tweak the positioning on the bike so it doesn't cause an issue.
  • I do exercises for my front and back - I need to keep my back muscles strong for the back problems I have.  I mean, I wouldn't say I am superwoman, but my core is maybe average?

    Should I try upping the intensity?

  • Sore coccyx isn't something usual PO - I've never heard anyone complaining of it from cycling so it's definitely worth looking into.   Not sure what the first port of call would be - someone like an osteo might be worth visiting but they can get expensive can't they and with no guarantee of results. 

    I don't really know but there are joints of sorts in the coccyx and if you are spending a lot of time in a certain position on your bike they may just be seizing up a bit. 

  • +1 with dano - check your setup.

    I suspect your saddle may be a little too high - maybe only 5mm or so - so try to drop it by that amount and see what happens

    the coccyx pain is something else altogether I suspect - pelvic misalignment maybe? I suffer lower back pain on long rides (I use ibuprofen to counter it) due to years of front row rugby causing issues. I just accept it as being me and nothing I can do about it but tough it out

    EDIT - you mention back problems PO so maybe it's just that I suspect
  • I have already dropped my saddle - will try again.

    I wonder if the breaking of the back has something to do with it?

  • Hmmmm ok don't worry:

    One way of classifying coccydynia is whether the onset was traumatic versus non-traumatic. In many cases the exact cause is not known (called idiopathic coccydynia).

    Coccydynia is often reported following a fall. In some cases, persistent pressure from activities like bicycling may cause the onset of coccyx pain. Coccydynia due to these causes usually is not permanent, but it may become very persistent and chronic if not controlled.

    OH AND: Rest, avoiding re-injury to the affected area, antiinflammation and pain medications can relieve symptoms. This injection is simply performed in the doctor's office and can potentially dramatically relieve the pain and even resolve the symptoms for many. Rarely, when patients have unrelenting pain, a surgical resection of the coccyx can be performed to remove the irritated bony prominence.

    Anti-inflams it is  imageimageimage

  • Thanks FB - you're a genius!  Will purchase Ibuprofen and munch on that

    YAY!  image

  • give the ibuprofen a go PO - seems to work OK for me but does take about 20mins to kick in so pop some when you start to feel the discomfort. I take 200mg tabs. one thing I will say however is that I "suspect" that ibuprofen can lead to leg cramps when you really are giving it some wellie - I've had this in some races after taking it but I can't categorically link the 2 - it maybe cramps just due to working harder than in training.

    I haven't been able to find any studies linking the 2 so it may not be a real issue, just coincidental. but thought I'd give you a heads up on it.
  • Will start off by munching some in the morning and then after every 2 hours I reckon.  Should be fine. 

    Thanks for the heads up - will definitely keep that in mind  image

  • I used to get that a while back, and found that the Sacroiliac joint needed opening up as I had a sitting job at the time and my body wasn't liking it. Can feel uncomfortable to fix but worked for me.

    I just used a rolled hand towel, sitting on the floor at an angle both arms on the sofa/chair behind you for support. Place the towel between the floor and your coccyx and place some body weight down to force the coccyx up and open the joint, hold for 10secs and repeat 3 times. 3 times a week for a few weeks did mine ok. Bit like yoga stretching, it takes a while before you can touch your toes if you haven't done it for years.

  • Thanks so much for your responses.  I went along and had my bike refitted to cater for my bad back.  He also re-measured everything - small adjustments here and there and most importantly, found out that my intial fit had been done on my longer leg as opposed to the shorter leg.

    Anyway -Il still have the pain after long rides, BUT it's a better pain (does that make sense) and even better is that my ride feels easier!  I am more consistent and it seems easier to maintain a higher cadence.

    All in all - better overall so thanks for your advice  image

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