Best standard pain killer of cycling

by kayakboyuk   September 7, 2012  

Okay so I have been 'inspired' and am now training to tackle some sportives next year. However whenever I get over about an hour on the bike or 45km I start getting pains. I have a sore small of the back and my right big toe goes numb or gets pins. I know I am just breaking myself in and am trying yoga and shifting position to help.
But here's the real question; what sort of regular pain killer is best to relieve the ache and pains of distance cycling. Aspirin, paracetemol, ibuprofin? I know they all have subtly different effects.
I don't want to be knocking them back every time I go out but I need to go further and faster and it is tough going sometimes. Up to 66km in 2h10. 100miles seems a long way away.

8 user comments

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The best pain killer might be a change of bike-fit, think seatpost height, maybe a different stem, shoe cleat position etc. Ibuprofen is good for inflammation, which is generally the cause of soreness.

the_mikey's picture

posted by the_mikey [153 posts]
7th September 2012 - 7:09

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If you are getting lower back pain and a numb / fizzy foot or toe it would suggest that your bike set up isn't at its optimum. I'd suggest going to your LBS and getting the bike set up properly for height, reach etc but also cleat positions and amount of float. Thinking

posted by Ellismg [1 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:05


Pins and needles in your toes might well be caused by incorrectly fitted cleats (I'm assuming you use them) either buy or borrow a decent "guide to cycling" type book which will explain how to correctly fit cleats, or if you have a v. good LBS (local bike shop) they will have a fitting service. Sore small of back may well be caused by bad positioning (bike fit) over reaching/stem too long, again do either of the above for a remedy to that.
Best of luck with your rides in the future.


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [662 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:07

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if you're getting lower back pain it's worth trying moving your saddle slightly forward on the rails, or angling it down at the front just a touch, or lowering it a touch. or a combination of all three. you can also look at raising the bars slightly with a different stem or just rearranging the spacers. also, look for exercises which improve your core flexibility to help you bend from the waist with a straight back.

ibuprofen for me if things start hurting Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7742 posts]
29th October 2012 - 13:48

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+1 Dave

also, masking the pain is bad and it can lead to really bad injuries (like my herniated disc!), try the above advice, and then if thats not working try bike fit.

posted by a_to_the_j [108 posts]
29th October 2012 - 14:01

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No quick fixes. Tinkering is not wise if you get this type of pain or discomfort, as it can suddenly become far far more serious.
I have six ruptured disks in a my spine from poor posture and ignoring signs since I raced as a teenager. It has completely changed my life. A good day is a pain free day.
Get a proper fitting, stop what you're doing if you feel the above and do not medicate to ride, just to get you through until you get help/recover.

But, fear not, a good fit, a SLOW increase in miles and if your body reacts well and some complimentary exercise like swimming or pilates will see you right. You can't just hop on a bike and ride a long way.
A visit to a physio may be a good idea. Don't mess with backs (problems in toes can also be back)!
Best of luck.

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [359 posts]
29th October 2012 - 14:42


as per virtually everyone above take your bike to the lbs and get it set up properly. It might cost you the thick end of 100 quid buts its money well worth spent.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [3067 posts]
29th October 2012 - 14:46

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I'll just add my ha'porth here. A proper professional bike fit is essential - and I mean essential - if you're planning to cycle long distances. I now regularly cycle in excess of 100 miles after having one of these and, although I'm pretty knackered, I suffer very little in the way of back pain, etc., despite being well over 6 feet in height.

If your LBS doesn't do this, try a Retul bike fit. I'm afraid it may cost in the region of £150, which I know sounds a lot, but you get all sorts of useful data and measurements that you can transfer to any bike you buy/rent in the future. As an investment in your cycling future, can't be beat.

posted by ploughclose [19 posts]
29th October 2012 - 18:06

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