Is Cycling Good for Arthritis In The Back: 8 Benefits & 6 Precautions

There are 8 benefits and 6 cautions to cycling for back arthritis

A chronic condition, arthritis causes joints to hurt, stiffen, and swell. Osteoarthritis affects the back, causing cartilage to wear away between vertebrae. Despite its debilitating effects, cycling is a low-affected exercise that can ease arthritis symptoms. It helps maintain joint mobility, strengthens muscles, improves flexibility, and reduces inflammation.

Yes, cycling is good for back arthritis. It’s a low-affected exercise that puts minimal stress on the joints in your back. It has been shown that cycling can reduce joint pain and stiffness and improve muscle function.

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether cycling is good for arthritis in the back, the benefits of cycling for back arthritis, and safety precautions for cycling with back arthritis.

Key Takeaways

  1. [Cycling can be beneficial for managing symptoms of back arthritis by improving circulation, building muscle strength and endurance, and providing a gentle low-impact workout on joints.
  2. Increased circulation and nutrient delivery to back joints can help reduce inflammation and nourish the cartilage.
  3. Cycling helps strengthen back muscles, allowing for better support of the spine and improved joint function.
  4. Cycling can also increase the range of motion in the back, decreasing stiffness and improving flexibility.
  5. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing back arthritis, and cycling, as a cardio activity, can help burn calories.
  6. Cycling can also improve sleep quality, essential for managing arthritis.

Is Cycling Good for Arthritis In the Back: 8 Benefits

Here are 8 benefits of cycling for arthritis in the back

Cycling, often considered a hobby of fitness enthusiasts, can be a valuable solution for people suffering from back arthritis. Regular cycling workouts can significantly affect managing the symptoms of back arthritis, providing hope for improved mobility and decreased discomfort. Here are some benefits:

Joint Circulation and Nutrient Delivery

Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that pumps blood and nutrients to all body parts, including joints. Increased circulation and nutrient delivery to the back joints help nourish the cartilage and reduce inflammation,. and cycling is also a good option for osteoarthritis. You may feel less stiff and have more range of motion.

Builds Muscle Strength and Endurance

Cycling helps build strength in your back muscles. When you cycle, your muscles, including those in your back, contract and relax, which helps to tone and strengthen them. As your back muscles become stronger, they can provide better support for your spine, which helps improve joint function and flexibility.

Low-affected Exercise

Cycling provides a low-affected workout that is gentler on the joints than high-affected activities, such as running or jumping. This makes it an ideal exercise for people with back arthritis, as it can help reduce back pain and inflammation. Research shows that cycling is good for improving outcomes in people with arthritic knees.

Increased Range of Motion

Cycling can help increase the range of motion in the back, improving joint function and flexibility. This is crucial for people with arthritis, as stiffness and limited mobility are common symptoms.

Muscle Strength and Endurance

Cycling requires using several muscle groups, including those in the back, legs, and core. Regular cycling can improve muscle strength and endurance, which can ‌help support and protect your back.

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential with back arthritis because excess weight can add pressure on the joints. Cycling is a great way to burn calories and manage weight, as it is a cardio activity that can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

Cardiovascular Health

Cycling increases cardiovascular health because it gets your heart pumping and increases circulation. It protects against heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions often associated with arthritis..

Improved Sleep Quality

Regular exercise, such as cycling, has been shown to enhance sleep quality in people with arthritis. This is important, as poor sleep can exacerbate pain and inflammation and make it more challenging to manage the condition.

6 Precautions To Take When Cycling With Back Arthritis

The 6 Precautions for Cycling With Back Arthritis

If you have back arthritis, you must take special precautions to ensure that cycling does not exacerbate your disease. Here are some safety precautions to consider when cycling with back arthritis.

Consult with a Doctor Before Starting

It’s vital to seek medical advice before initiating any workout program, particularly if you’re dealing with arthritis. Your physician can evaluate your health status and recommend an exercise routine that best suits your requirements.

Properly Fitted Bike and Equipment

To avoid placing unnecessary strain on your back, make sure your bike is fitted correctly. A bicycle that is too big or small can hurt your back, hips, and knees. Investing in the right cycling equipment, such as padded cycling shorts and gloves, is essential to lower the risk of injury. This can help to minimize any impact and reduce the chances of sustaining an injury.

Gradually Increase Intensity and Duration

While cycling can be a great way to stay fit, overdoing it can exacerbate your back pain. Therefore, start slowly and accumulate your workout intensity and duration over time as your endurance increases. This will help you avoid injury and make it easier for your body to adjust to the new exercise routine.

Stretch Before and After Cycling

Stretching before and after cycling can reduce the risk of injury and muscle strains. Before cycling, stretch the lower back, hamstrings, and quadriceps. After cycling, stretch the hip flexors, glutes, and calves.

Use Proper Technique and Posture

Proper technique and posture can help improve your workout’s efficiency and prevent injuries. Ensure you sit upright on your bike, keep your shoulders relaxed, and your arms slightly bent. Avoid overreaching, which puts an unnecessary strain on your back.

Avoid Cycling in Extreme Weather

Avoid Cycling in Extreme Weather

Cycling in extreme weather, such as hot or cold temperatures, can increase muscle strain risk and exacerbate back pain. It is essential to avoid cycling in these conditions and instead opt for indoor cycling or wait for the weather to improve.


People with back arthritis should cycle as a form of physical activity. This low-affected exercise helps reduce pain and helps improve overall physical fitness.

Regular cycling allows you to manage your arthritis symptoms, improve mobility and flexibility, and maintain a healthy weight. So, if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to manage your arthritis, hop on that bike and start cycling.


It is recommended to cycle at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes each session to see improvements in back pain and overall joint health.

A comfortable and well-fitted bike, such as a hybrid or upright bike, with a wider saddle and handlebars positioned higher than the seat, can help reduce strain on the back and provide a more comfortable riding experience.

Yes, cycling is beneficial for hip arthritis. It helps improve the range of motion and reduces pain. A 2020 study showed that a cycling and educational program enhanced the quality of life for patients with hip osteoarthritis.

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