The Most Common Causes of Buttock Pain for Cyclists
Cycling is gentle on your buttock — until it’s not. Tease out these common causes of buttock strain to keep your biking pain-free.
If you’re a cyclist who’s ever felt the sharp twinge. Buttock pain is the most common lower-body problem among us biking , with as many as 65 percent of us experiencing it, according to one study.
Most buttock pain comes from “Wrong posture”. But what about those spontaneous flare-ups of hip-stopping pain? It might feel like they came out of nowhere, but they’re usually just the first noticeable symptoms of a long-brewing problem: The culprit is generally improper equipment and/or bike position.
Many cyclists are forever tinkering with their position, looking for that elusive perfect position. A good cycling pad/chamois pad is essential for preventing most causes of buttock pain. But before you head to a bike fitter or medical professional, try a little self-diagnosis.
The biggest complaint I hear from beginning cyclists as well as whiny cycling veterans is related in one way or another to discomfort on the bike padding shorts.
Most cyclists have discovered that the days of riding in cutoff denim jeans are over and that padded Coolmax/lycra is the way to go. Given this as a starting point, I offer a few comments on cycling shorts. The pad in cycling shorts is typically called the “chamois”, regardless of its composition. Originally constructed from the hide of deceased mountain goats, the material is now typically synthetic; however, we still call it chamois to pay homage to the generations of goats that signed the donor card and then gave their life to this cause.
In general, a good chamois pad/cycling pad for 20 miles or more is relatively narrow, relatively firm, and shaped in a manner that properly supports your “sit bones”. Those are the bones on either side of your pelvis that support the vast majority of your weight as you head down the road. In between these bones is that particularly sensitive part of the anatomy that none of us relish mashing, regardless of gender. It is for this reason that many modern bike saddles have a cut-out or soft section in the middle .
So, in summary, here’s what to do to keep your butt from hurting while cycling:
1) Ride and be patient – it takes a while for your body to grow accustomed to the abuse heaped upon it by cycling.
2) Wear good bike shorts (Good chamois pad/cycling pad are necessary)
3) Don’t wear underwear (remember – we will hunt you down like the dog you are and ridicule you in front of your panti-less colleagues).
4) Find a saddle that works for you – narrow and firm is good, wide and cushy is bad. Springs are an offense worthy of a public caning.
5) If your skin is chafing, consider using a skin lubricant under your shorts.
6) Get your bike professionally fit.
7) Change positions when riding – stand occasionally.