As a cyclist, do you need strategies for relieving and preventing neck, upper back, and shoulder pain? About 20% of cyclists indicate that they suffer from upper back and neck pain. If your one of the 20%, you don’t have to suffer from neck and upper back pain while cycling. There are several things that you can do to help relieve and prevent the pain.

Strategies for Relieving and Preventing Neck, Upper Back, and Shoulder Pain

When people consider cycling, they mostly think about the fatigue of leg muscles. Leg muscles are in constant motion while cycling, which is a benefit for your legs. Your muscles in the legs are contracting and relaxing. However, while cycling, the muscles in your upper back are in a constant state of activation. There is no opportunity for the muscles to relax. As a result, the blood flow in your upper back area is not flowing adequately resulting in pain. What can you do to relieve and reduce the pain in your upper back area?


Before and after cycling, it is important to stretch your neck, upper back, and shoulders. In addition to traditional stretches, you need to add elbow presses to increase upper back, shoulder, and neck blood flow. Another stretch that you should include is reverse shoulder shrugs. Make sure that you are not shrugging normally as those type of shrugs will not help with relieving neck and upper back pain. The reverse shoulder shrug is important as it allows for both contraction and relaxation of the muscles.


Massage can be a great form of relief from sore muscles. If your upper body muscles are sore, then you should have the pressure points worked out to help you feel better.

Right Size Bicycle

Another thing that can contribute to upper neck, back and shoulder pain is having a bicycle that is too big or too small for you. This can cause additional strain on your upper body. When trying out a bicycle at the bike shop, you need to spend some time on the bicycle to determine if it is the right one for you. Take your time. Also, another good tip is to have someone else look at you to see how you are riding the bicycle. Another set of eyes can help identify posture issues that you might not notice.


If your helmet is not sitting right on your head, it can cause additional strain on your neck. A helmet that is sitting too far forward or that is not snug on your head can cause your head to be heavy or for the helmet to slip around.

Proper Cycling Posture

The last of the strategies for relieving and preventing neck, upper back, and shoulder pain is through proper cycling posture. You need to make sure that your hand bars are at the right height for you. Another area that you must review regarding posture is where your pedals are in relation to your seat height. If you are not comfortable, then you will have muscle strain and pain after cycling. If you are not comfortable with measuring and identifying all the proper alignments, then speak to someone at the cycle shop. They should be willing to assist you with proper measurements.

In Conclusion

While and after cycling, you shouldn’t suffer from upper body pain. Follow these strategies for relieving and preventing neck, upper back, and shoulder pain.