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Severe back pain from riding a scooter daily: Ways to fix the problem?

I'm only 28 years old & suffering from back spasms in my lower back and strain on my neck and shoulder area.

BHPian pranavshet recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Respected members,

I wanted advice on the following topic:

Context: I have been riding a Honda Activa 125 for the past 8.5 years. Earlier my daily running was hardly 10 kms a day. I used to commute mostly by bus.

However, due to a change in the organization last year & due to poor bus connectivity on that route I had no other option but to use my Activa on that route. My daily usage of Activa escalated from 10 km a day to 45 km a day.

Last year my body somehow managed to bear the additional burden. But this year and certainly now my body has started protesting. I have been suffering from back spasms in my lower back and strain on my neck and shoulder area. Also, my hamstring has started to hurt. Please note I'm only 28 years old.

I have observed that the suspension of Activa 125 is very soft at the front which leads to it bottoming out and the rear one being excessively stiff.

I ride between 40 to 55kmph. Also, my vehicle is being regularly serviced. Even my mum complains of the rear suspension being stiff.

I just wanted to know if I can deal with this problem by making adjustments to my riding style.

Should I stop riding a scooter? I don't intend to upgrade at least in a year as I have some other commitments.

Would love to know your valuable views on this.

Here's what BHPian ebonho had to say on the matter:

Maybe it's got nothing to do with your scooter and just your general fitness that has taken a nosedive.

Fitness changes in as little as 3 weeks. That has been proven by sports physiologists. For elite athletes.

So for a common man, a year is a long time. And youth is no guarantee of fitness.

Here's what BHPian AulusGabinius had to say on the matter:

Dude, 55 km on an Activa on bad roads? Kudos to your superhuman endurance for doing that. No, as someone who also graduated from a 1st gen Activa to a bike, riding style is not going to make enough of a difference. The Activa 125's suspension is not even close to as nice as many others, and even the best scooter is going to cause problems at that distance on bad roads.

The only thing you could do short of changing the vehicle is:

  1. Start strengthening your lower and mid-back muscles. Push-ups, surya namaskar, deadlifts, and the good old Indian jor are all good options to do. As many as you can, but keep in mind your fitness level and take a trainer's advice if necessary.
  2. Try and move around while riding. Move to the front seat and back seat after a few minutes as your back starts hurting, change your arm positions, stretch the neck a few times and so on.

Other than that, changing bikes to an ADV seems like your only real option. Expulse or Scram suggest themselves.

Here's what BHPian Castro Gunner had to say on the matter:

Your problem resonates with mine.

I had the same problem of back pain (But I ride an SF250) thinking that roads and bikes were the problem. For a 28-year-old this shouldn't be one except the occasional pains. No physiotherapy/homoeopathy/ayurveda treatment helped.

Finally, I was found to be deficient in Vitamin D3! Took an injection and the pain vanished like magic.

I would highly recommend you to take the test.

Also as others recommend, if you are severely out of shape that could be a reason.

Here's what BHPian b16h22 had to say on the matter:

Scooters are terrible on the back. I picked up a tailbone injury trying to daily Access 125 over bad roads. Took me almost two years to recover. It is not just the poor suspension travel and the small wheels, the riding position of most scooters puts all the stress on your lower back. If your seat foam has collapsed and you are a heavier rider, you will be sitting on the seat frame in no time.

And you can't keep your upper body relaxed because there is nothing to hold the scooter with your lower body, like a motorcycle. I never had a single trouble riding my motorcycles which included a stiffly sprung Duke 390 over bad patches for a whole day. Do yourself a favour and stop riding the Activa. 45kms is a lot for a scooter on our roads. Switch to a proper motorcycle, ideally one with a neutral or slightly leaned forward riding position with foot pegs in the middle and not the front.

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