Can I ride a motorcycle with herniated discs in my lower back?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc in your lower back, you needn’t allow it to keep you away from your favorite activities. For instance, if you enjoy riding a motorcycle, there is really no reason to stop. But, only you know how you feel. If your pain worsens or you simply feel uncomfortable on your bike, you may want to park it temporarily as you explore your treatment options.

Even though you might find that you have to stay off your motorcycle for a while due to low back pain, keep in mind that your symptoms will likely improve with several weeks of nonsurgical treatment. For instance, you may benefit from stretching and exercising regularly, applying hot and cold compresses to the painful area of your back and taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as needed.

Tips for riding a motorcycle with a herniated disc

If you feel up to it, here are some general tips for riding a motorcycle comfortably if you have a herniated disc in your lower back:

  • If you can, choose a bike that allows you to ride with your spine positioned slightly forward of vertical, such as a standard motorcycle or cruiser
  • If possible, adjust your seat so that it feels comfortable to you
  • Consider using a seat cushion, gel pad or other accessory
  • Maintain good posture while seated on the bike
  • Wear a supportive back brace
  • When riding long distances, take periodic breaks to rest, stretch and walk around a bit
  • Ask your physician about appropriate pain relieving medications, which you can take as needed

Of course, every herniated disc is unique. While you might find that some of these tips work well for you, others may not. The best approach is to pay attention to how you feel and avoid any body positions and movements that cause you pain.

Surgical treatment for a herniated disc

If you are considering surgical treatment to address a herniated disc in your lower back, you might understandably have some concerns about the risks associated with traditional open back surgery. Why not find out if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure performed at Laser Spine Institute? Our minimally invasive outpatient surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ Contact us today to request a free MRI review.*

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