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  1. #1
    Active Member Fat Baxter's Avatar
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    Default Spyder mods after a back injury

    I'm looking for feedback from other Spyder riders who've suffered back injuries with some lingering discomfort, on what mods worked to alleviate discomfort while riding.

    I had a compression fracture of the T4 vertebra, fixed via kyphoplasty. However, the procedure left me with some minor lingering discomfort between my shoulder blades. Most of the time I can ignore it -- except when I go on long rides. After about 2 hours, the discomfort becomes more noticeable, and increases a bit more thereafter, but not to the point that I can't ride the bike any more. It's just extremely annoying.

    I think it's related to the upright, "sit up and beg" riding position on my 2014 RT-S. I'm 5' 7" and 170 pounds, and so far the stock seat with sheepskin pad has been satisfactory. But I'm wondering if upgrading to the comfort seat, and/or getting a stock backrest, might alleviate the problem by changing my seating position a bit. I also still have the stock handlebars; would a tri-axis handlebar help? That would be a pricey fix.

    So, if anyone else with lingering back problems could offer advice, I'm all ears. Thanks!

    Edited/updated: Please note that this is an upper/middle back problem, not a lower back problem.
    Why, yes, I have a yellow Spyder. Why do you ask?

  2. #2
    Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar situation, I'll tell you what I did if you won't hold it against me. Reason I'm saying that is you referenced the straight posture of your previous bike contributing to the problem. My problem may not be similar enough to yours.

    I have a cervical and lumbar problem that has taken some strength from my right arm and leg, and left me in an large amount of chronic pain. Long story short I got rid of all my 2 wheelers because I just couldn't do it any more. Pain was too bad and the weakness created safety issues.

    Decided on a 3 wheeler, Spyder came to the top. Went around until I found (on separate bikes) one with the Tri-Axis bars, and another with the adjustable driver backrest. Together, combined, they keep all my broke junk in alignment, minimizing pain. My specific pain demands that all my broke junk is aligned directly over my hips. something people tell me is good posture. I have the old timers parade posture going while riding, and it gives me the ability to at least ride. Handlebars adjust (see here) https://youtu.be/4rg6VpjnU_E , which can be raised and pulled to the rear so you don't have to roll your shoulders to reach. The adjustable backrest keeps the pressure on my back to prevent slumping. All in all, these 2 things I give 100% credit for allowing me to ride again. Expensive as heck, but what's my other alternative?
    h0gr1der
    2018 RT Limited Blue/Chrome SE6 *Tri-Axis Bars*Adjustable Driver Backrest*175/55R15 Vredestein Front, 205/60R15 Vredestein Rear Tires*Baja Ron Front Spring Pre-Load Adjusters*Roadster Renovations Vibration Damper*Misty Mountain Sheepskin seat cover*Centramatic balancers *Garmin Zumo 595LM GPS*KOTT Grills*BajaRon swaybar*SpyderPops Alignment*Missing Belt guard
    States Visited on Less than 4 wheels.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member canamjhb's Avatar
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    If you haven't already done so, have your bike laser aligned. A misaligned bike will cause you to constantly "fight" the directional control. In some cases, you might not even realize you are fighting. It just results in fatigue in your upper back/neck area after a couple of hours riding..... Good luck..... Jim
    Platinum Silver Satin 2014 RTL, Driver Backrest. Baha Ron Bar, Elka Shocks, Hiway pegs, Lighted Bump Skid, Centramatic Wheel Balancers, Wide Vu Mirrors, Third Tail/Brake light, Missing Belt Guard, Federal Formoza front and General Altimax rear tires, Squared Away, Mirror turn signals, Vibration Damper, Magnetic Mirrors, Matching RT622 Trailer.....Semper Fi....

    .]

  4. #4
    Active Member Haze's Avatar
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    Chronic low back pain and residual discomfort from multiple broken ribs due to a 2 wheeler accident.
    On my STS I have installed a MotorCycle Dave Gel seat pad. It stopped my squirming and wiggling to find comfort on long rides.
    I also use a Camping Dry Bag stuffed with a sleeping bag and strapped across the pillion to act as a back rest.
    Cheap fixes but it works for me.
    David C
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  5. #5
    Active Member Fat Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canamjhb View Post
    If you haven't already done so, have your bike laser aligned. A misaligned bike will cause you to constantly "fight" the directional control. In some cases, you might not even realize you are fighting. It just results in fatigue in your upper back/neck area after a couple of hours riding..... Good luck..... Jim
    Thanks for the feedback, but the discomfort is present whether I'm on or off the bike. Since it's at the site of the surgery, I'm sure it's an aftereffect of not quite readjusting the collapsed vertebra when they mudjacked it during the kyphoplasty. And I didn't experience this on the Spyder prior to the event.
    Why, yes, I have a yellow Spyder. Why do you ask?

  6. #6
    Very Active Member JayBros's Avatar
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    No back problems ever other than an occasional pulled muscle but since you say the discomfort is present whether you are on or off the bike have you asked your physician if there is any physical therapy or just plain old exercises that might help. Just trying to help.
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  7. #7
    Active Member Pallidus Aranea's Avatar
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    I too suffer from chronic pain in my neck and thoracic back. I have had multiple neck, shoulder, arm and hand surgeries in attempts to relieve the pain from the nerve damage. Now on to riding .... Like so many, I left the two wheeled world for three. For me, from a Harley VROD to Spyder RTL. I found the seating position actually more difficult at first. Being upright actually caused more stress and pain rather the expected relief. I looked at various seating options to adjust how I fit on the Spyder. (I am 5'8", 29" inseam, 200# for reference). For me the ideal answer was found in three things (1) a quality backrest - while it is always mounted, I am not always resting on it. (2) highway pegs and (3) a bolster ... kind of a great mistake. The backrest was a no brainer - having the ability to lean back and take the stress off helps. It allows me to safely change positions. And my wife likes to have something to lean on once in a while. The pegs ... what a find. I found myself putting my feet on the black air diverters / splash guards on the lower skirt to get some relief. Light bulb went off - why haven't I just invested in pegs. Between the backrest and pegs - it helps relief stress and discomfort a great deal. Now the bolster - I purchased a full size bike cover that had a "backpack" holder. On a short jaunt I threw it on my back ... as I leaned against the backrest .... voila. Since then I have found a better bolster that is more like a lumbar support - the three items make the long-haul ride comfort great.
    I am a believer that the tri-axis handle bars could offer better ergo but I would like to see / test before the investment. Larger foam grips also help .... sounds crazy but gripping less keeps the arms looser, keeps the shoulders looser ... you guessed it helps the neck and back.
    Good luck .... share your results as we all can benefit.

    Dave
    Dave

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  8. #8
    Very Active Member canamjhb's Avatar
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    One of my riding buddies has had chronic back issues. He went to his Dr. trying to get some kind of shot for pain. Not sure what the shot is but it is expensive. The Dr. told him he needed to try physical therapy first, otherwise, the expensive shot would not be paid for by insurance. He is a stubborn old goat and said he really didn't believe a therapist could help him but he reluctantly went anyway. Well, after a few sessions and learning new stretching exercises, he is pain-free and a believer. He now boasts about HIS physical therapist to anyone who will listen...... Best of luck to you..... Jim
    Platinum Silver Satin 2014 RTL, Driver Backrest. Baha Ron Bar, Elka Shocks, Hiway pegs, Lighted Bump Skid, Centramatic Wheel Balancers, Wide Vu Mirrors, Third Tail/Brake light, Missing Belt Guard, Federal Formoza front and General Altimax rear tires, Squared Away, Mirror turn signals, Vibration Damper, Magnetic Mirrors, Matching RT622 Trailer.....Semper Fi....

    .]

  9. #9
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    I am a paraplegic at T5 and have mid back pain all the time and the best thing I have found is a 8" wide neoprene strap that is typically used on the lower back and I put it at the the t3 thru t7 range and find it makes a long ride enjoyable vs one where I am gritting my teeth at the end looking forward to getting off.

  10. #10
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    My back problems are not very serious, mostly lower back pain after over use. I have found the back rest to generally be more comfortable. I would not have bothered getting a back rest, but it came on my new-to-me-Spyder.

    One think I have found that increases my general Spyder-comfort is stretching a bit while ryding. Every 10 (highway) miles I stand up on the pegs. On the alternate 10s, I kick out my heels or wriggle my back.

    I have told my riding confederates that this is my exercise program. They have told me I'm crazy.

    I hope you find something that works for you.

    ~Sandee~

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  11. #11
    Active Member FalconAF's Avatar
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    Motorcycle accident 3 years ago. Surgery to replace 3 herniated disks pressing into spinal chord and nerve roots in my neck (C4 - C7) with 3 bone grafts and 9 screws holding it all together now. I had major pain in my SHOULDERS and UPPER BACK prior to the surgery, and AFTER the surgery too throughout an 18 month recovery period. I'll tell you what I learned during that whole process, and what I think you need to reconsider about some of your riding and pain problems right now.

    1. The location of the pain in your back can be caused by problems and stress being applied to areas OTHER THAN where your back is currently hurting. The anatomy of upper back pain can easily be a result of spinal nerve pressures applied to your NECK cervical joints. So don't assume your current pain is being caused solely by where you had the medical procedure you described. Bad posture NOW or any unconscious attempts you are making that are not good "posture related" can be the actual cause of your discomfort.

    2. You say your back hurts whether you are on your Spyder or not. A critical thinking analysis of that results in the fact that it is NOT JUST your Spyder riding causing your problems. Your posture while riding your Spyder may be CONTRIBUTING to it while riding, but riding your Spyder is NOT the SOLE reason you are hurting. You still hurt even when you AREN'T riding your Spyder now.

    3. "Sit Up and Beg" is the PREFERRED riding posture if you ARE experiencing neck or back pain when riding. Talk to any Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon, and any certified Physical Therapy specialist, and they ALL will tell you that poor posture is the MAIN cause of neck and back pain and distress, even after a successful surgery to "fix" something like you describe you have had done. Poor spine alignment over extended periods just puts undo stress on your whole neck and back, and after a while all the nerves and muscles in that area WILL start protesting. Pain is how your body tries to prevent you from causing FURTHER damage from happening. If your back hurts in certain positions, quit staying in those positions for extended time periods. It's an old joke, but if you tell your doctor "It hurts when I do this", your doctor is going to say, "Well quit doing that!!!".

    Here's my advice. If your "surgery" (or whatever you had done) has been considered a success by your doctor, you have to start making everyday life changes to SUPPORT the results of that surgery. Exercise to keep your back muscles in their proper tone. Do the things necessary to maintain a PROPER POSTURE at ALL times, even when sitting in your comfy chair at home watching TV. Most of us here aren't "Spring Chickens" anymore. We need to do the things that will PREVENT back pain more often than not. Leaning forward in the "sports rider" position, or leaning BACK in the "cruiser rider" position, are NOT the right things to be doing if you have "back problems". Until you get the ergonomics of your own Spyder to allow you to provide proper spine column support, you will keep experiencing the pain.

    There were times prior to my surgery and during the 18 months of recovering from it that I thought I would NEVER be able to ride again pain-free. Heck, I couldn't even sit in a CHAIR pain free sometimes. But a combination of initial SUPERVISED Physical Therapy, and CONTINUAL proper exercise after that (daily) to maintain my spine muscles "strong" and not abused have worked. Along with getting the ergonomics on my Spyder properly set up to provide proper back and spine support while riding. The road back may not be easy at all, but you have to do the work and you MUST get the ergonomics of your bike such that you are not contributing to your pain issues yourself.

    I sincerely hope you find your answers. Been There...Done That...Got the T-Shirt. I can empathize with what you are going through. But YOU have to do what's needed if it is going to work. Good Luck!
    2018 Spyder RT Limited

  12. #12
    Active Member Chasinsparks's Avatar
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    I have had 3 back lower back surgeries, fusion with rods and cages. I also have T6 T7 T8 with bulged disk. My personal comfort came in the from of a seat and I too will be going with the tri-axis on my RTL. Now with that said the biggest difference has not cost me any money, I simply do back exercise prescribed by my physical therapist and know my limits. I can ride all day and be in complete discomfort/pain when I get home or I can ride all day and be okay when I return home by simply stopping, walking and stretching every hour.
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  13. #13
    Active Member Airborne's Avatar
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    Ex-Airborne with back, hips and neck problems, totally agree with the physical therapy and a backrest is the best mod i ever had.

    Hope all goes well for you.

  14. #14
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    Crushed vertebra with chronic pain. I have a TENS unit that I use when riding the Spyder, driving the truck or flying in a plane any time it is going to be over a couple of hours. I won’t get on a plane without it! https://www.healthmateforever.com/co...ted-descending

    I just have a $30 unit with dual channels, one for T3 and a permanent muscle spasm at my shoulder blade from C3. For me, it’s like a miracle drug. I recommended it to two others in our riding group and they are also using one.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Baxter View Post
    I'm looking for feedback from other Spyder riders who've suffered back injuries with some lingering discomfort, on what mods worked to alleviate discomfort while riding.

    I had a compression fracture of the T4 vertebra, fixed via kyphoplasty. However, the procedure left me with some minor lingering discomfort between my shoulder blades. Most of the time I can ignore it -- except when I go on long rides. After about 2 hours, the discomfort becomes more noticeable, and increases a bit more thereafter, but not to the point that I can't ride the bike any more. It's just extremely annoying.

    I think it's related to the upright, "sit up and beg" riding position on my 2014 RT-S. I'm 5' 7" and 170 pounds, and so far the stock seat with sheepskin pad has been satisfactory. But I'm wondering if upgrading to the comfort seat, and/or getting a stock backrest, might alleviate the problem by changing my seating position a bit. I also still have the stock handlebars; would a tri-axis handlebar help? That would be a pricey fix.

    So, if anyone else with lingering back problems could offer advice, I'm all ears. Thanks!

    Edited/updated: Please note that this is an upper/middle back problem, not a lower back problem.
    Back trouble and multiple surgeries here too. For me, tri-axis bars, back rest, and Airhawk seat cushion all help a ton. For you, if you haven't done it yet: get a good stretching routine from a physical therapist or some other professional, and then use that stretching routine at every stop.
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



  16. #16
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    I have chronic back and knee pain from degenerative arthritus

    Make sure you have the best suspension available for your ride, and that it is set up properly.

    Consider handlebars with some pullback.

    I saw that there is a vendor who makes very long floorboards. You mentioned riding position, being able to move about might help.

    Get an airhawk seat pad.

    As others have mentioned, a backrest is helpful, even a stuffed duffel bag on the passenger seat to lean against.

    Make sure your windshield is set to be a good windbreak. Wind pressure can cause a lot of tension in the neck and back.

    Just some ideas....

    Bill.

  17. #17
    Active Member Fat Baxter's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the feedback. As for the suggestions to get some physical therapy, perhaps I should have mentioned that I've been weightlifting for some years now, so I think my back muscles are getting an adequate workout. That's a big reason I think it's related to the surgery itself, not quite putting things back into place.

    Perhaps a backrest is in my future.
    Why, yes, I have a yellow Spyder. Why do you ask?

  18. #18
    Very Active Member Saluda's Avatar
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    Wish you the best.
    ​Never stop questioning

  19. #19
    Very Active Member KX5062's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Baxter View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the feedback. As for the suggestions to get some physical therapy, perhaps I should have mentioned that I've been weightlifting for some years now, so I think my back muscles are getting an adequate workout. That's a big reason I think it's related to the surgery itself, not quite putting things back into place.

    Perhaps a backrest is in my future.
    Lifting weights and working out are perfect, but I was referring to specific types of stretching routines. Things that come from professionals who can tailor the routine to your specific needs. Stretching at stops helps tons.
    2014 RT SE6

    Previously 2008 GS SM5



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