I have recently began cycling again after having injured my back in 1999. I missed cycling, especially mountain biking, even more than not being able to continue employment. I finally purchased a Sun recumant trike this year, which allows me to ride again with little and no pain related to the injury. The recumbant seat back provides excellent back support. Although I am still unable to ride on rough terrain, it has been a joy to get back in the saddle.
Anyone considering cycling after a back injury, I recommend trying a recumbant. If you are able to pedal a stationary exercise bike, then a recumbant is a small step up from that. I began riding short distances until I was able to determine my limitations. The secret to developing extended distance rides, for me, has been to take regular rest stops, as dictated by my level of discomfort during riding. Over time, since I was so out of shape from being off the bike for so many years, I was able to work my way up to greater distances and eventually participate in group rides.
Biking has provided me with a great form of exercise, which my doctor is quite pleased with, and it has helped tremendously with the emotional aspects related to my disability. Rather than sitting around the house, watching television and playing video games, reading, and doing other sedentary activities, I strongly recommend investing in a good recumant bike or trike, and get back on the road again.