Introductions - Hey, my hand is losing strength, help!!!
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07-06-09, 10:45 PM
So I'm brand new to the forums, just really got into riding. I've been cruising around on a Langster (fixed gear) for about a year and a half now, and I recently just picked up an Allez. Here's the thing, for a while on the Langster I was riding cut down straight bars and averaging like 10 to 15 miles when I rode. I'd try to ride a few times a week. Not too long ago I switched to my road bars, drop bars, whatever you wanna call em. And I've upped my distance to 20 miles a day, or every other day. So here's what sucks, my left hand is starting to lose strength. Just the left one. I can't really grasp down with my thumb anymore and today I noticed it's hard for me to cross my pointer and middle fingers. It almost feels like my muscle isn't responding or there's like a popsicle stick taped to my finger preventing it to cross. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? Could it be nerve damage from where my hand rests on my bars as I ride? I picked up one of those squishy hand strengthening exercise ball things to try to build my hand back up, but this is kinda freaking me out. I don't want to quit riding, but I don't wanna have a half strength hand either. Gloves don't really help either, so there goes that option. Any info or if anyone has a similar story with a solution would be awesome. Thanks everyone!
07-07-09, 08:44 PM
Welcome to Bike Forums. Now get yourself to a reputable bike store for some advice. They should be able to look at your position on the bike, and make recommendations for adjustments.
07-07-09, 09:48 PM
How old are you? And, what drugs do you regularly take? Some of the Statin drugs do that to you.....
07-09-09, 02:28 PM
I have. They said my positioning is good, just my hands have to get used to riding a lot now. Before I'd ride like two or 3 times a week, now it's everyday and twice as far, so they recommended some gel gloves and I rewrapped my bars with some new cork tape. It's helping a bit actually.
07-09-09, 02:30 PM
How old are you? And, what drugs do you regularly take? Some of the Statin drugs do that to you.....
I'm 27, and no drugs. Just my vitamins and Osteo Biflex in the morning as usual.
07-09-09, 05:29 PM
Dear 27 year old. I am a young looking, but dying, 55 year old.
I do not want anyone's sympathy for that.
In fact, I look incredibly young for my age.
POINT: Golden Rule of all athletes: "IF IT HURTS, STOP. DON'T DO IT NO MORE"
(pardon, please, the "shout"?
See, Ive been there, sort of: I was, when your age or nearly so, a serious road biker.
I was so happy, perfect, buff, fit, all that. See image-examples; they ain't about "me".
What happened: I came home from a ride of an hour or so, one day. Sore neck.
Next morning, it felt more sore . It's commonly called a "wry neck". Or "OUCH", you call it
when you move your head into a craned position.
CURE: do not seek out a Chiropractor. Just do as any of your gym buddies would tell you to do:
LAY OFF the irritant, which in your case is the bar style/riding style?
In my example, not so really difference, I persisted with the wry neck/road biking for a while.
Then I quite road biking for years. The pain went away inside of three months, never a hint of "wry neck".
I waited ten years, nearly. In '98, I got a Giant, I think it's called then a "hybrid bike".
I rode with the wind and loved it. But inside of two weeks, even though I was not nearly craning
my neck like a decade before, came on The Pain. It was a pattern.
Nature was telling me: don't do that. IF IT HURTS, STOP, WALK, RIDE A CRUISER BIKE.
This thread is about YOU and your hand weakness, and it is scary for you.
A $$$$ hand specialist can tell you the same as I am telling you:
it is an unlucky, overuse/human frailty anomaly.
Here, an album of myself through the ages, exampling how even a very lucky guy
(I never looked my age, and today, I can pass for 35 on a good day, in low lighting.
I do not think, in my opinion, that you should ride a road bike with drops, at this time, evne as much as I am wishing I could do so.
I recommend that you take up a cruiser bike-type of stance (new bars?, borrow a bike? for two weeks and see if that helps?
Or just go do other sports. Don't ruin yourself with biking obsession like I nearly did?
I am not a doctor. I only spout like one.
(for the images of a loser through the ages, ugly infant and all,
and at 34: that is not Photoshopped, nothing. It is a scan of a dusty, old polaroid print)
Here, for drama, me, two and one half weeks ago, on a really, really happy day.
I had to gather strength to leave the home for even the one hour.
I look damned good for no cosmetic-anything, age 55, living with SLE and heart disease,
And grayed hair, and no shave... POINT: IF your body says "rest" then rest.
OR YOU WILL BE SORRY and maybe not even live as long as stufu-me.
Yeah, I'm near the end. This was Lime Lite Purchase Day. I was, like, on a cloud.
I still am, seated, below three really good principles of the LBS, with a brand new UPRIGHT bike,
that does not hurt my neck. RELATE to your poor hand! I feel your pain. I really, figuratively do.
It's called "empathy", not sympathy. We want no sympathy. We can walk and talk and joke and
get out of the house, most all of us.
Trek Lime Purchase Dayof less than three weeks ago,
, photo by my 78 year old life partner:
Ismael, Alberto, Ramon, of Coral Way Bicycle Shop, Miami, Florida
seated: one unidentifiable flying object
This is NOT about "me" it is proof that we all are subject to strange, scary, things.
Bumps and bruises need not bump us off. Gain, without pain? Don't harm yourself?
I only meant well, not to lecture.
I hate know-it-all-blowhards, but I like myself and I like you.
07-09-09, 05:48 PM
...I'd try to ride a few times a week. Not too long ago I switched to my road bars, drop bars, whatever you wanna call em. And I've upped my distance to 20 miles a day, or every other day. So here's what sucks, my left hand is starting to lose strength.... You wonderful, perfect specimen of masculine do-and-dare!
What you described (you will know this when older and naturally more miles are on your odo,) is CLASSIC perfect, hand/joint overuse/fixed tensed strain.
It will only get worse and worse UNLESS you entirely lay off, or switch to a biking stance (as I did) which never, ever causes a hint of said-weakness/lameness.
Ignore this advice, and, dear young man, I do not patronize nor pity you.
IGNORE THIS ADVICE and you are in for the permanent ride to hell of your life!
LISTEN TO YOU BODY, ALWAYS
This post is for everybody here now, in the future, everybody! It is not about "you" or "me" except in the specifics:
use a hurting joint or muscle: it will get worse and worse and you will be lamed for life.
Ask any experienced gym rat? I do not lie.
07-09-09, 05:59 PM
It sounds like you may have a tendon strain, carpel tunnel syndrome, or some other nerve compression. If you can, go see a Doc, preferably a good sports orthopedist, so they can evaluate it. It may be as simple as doing some stretching exercises, wearing a brace in the evenings, icing, general physical therapy. If you don't get it checked, it could become so bad it will require surgery and who knows what restrictions you'll have then?
If you are in college, see if your school has an athletic trainer and see if they will evaluate you. At least that's a head start. Most of the "Tests" for carpal tunnel don't really work, so it's best to be checked by someone who knows what they are doing.
Lots of different things can cause the same symptoms. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel, then thoracic outlet syndrome, then it was determined I had a herniated disc in my neck that was causing the problems in my hand, so definitely get checked and get it fixed.
07-11-09, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I took a break from riding for a few days, just to let my hand rest up and I went and saw my doc. He said it's just the nerves reacting to the bars. My straight bars were oversized, as where these Cinelli road bars are not, so he said it was the narrowness of the bars pushing right into a group of nerves in my hand. So he recommended I use gloves and put a tennis overwrap over my existing wrap, to make the bars a little thicker to take the strain off of that nerve group. So today starts that, so hopefully I'll have good news from all of this, and if not, back to straight bars for me I guess.
Sounds like you're on the road to recovery now. Good to hear, as Reid points out, the best reaction and solution to pain is to stop doing what's new. You'll also find that as pointed out in many ariticles I've recently read, is the location of the pain may have nothing to do with what's causing it. Most recent example was runner's knee often being caused by weak hip muscles. Let the pro's (doctor's and trainers) best advise on how to proceed when something hurts. Afterall, it hurts for a reason, and their training should help narrow it all down into things that will make it stop hurting.
07-11-09, 04:12 PM
Typical of the american health system - when you get anything physically wrong you go and search the internet. I hope your government manges to bring in a system that keeps their citizens healthy. They dont seem to have trouble finding enough money to pay more for their military than the next 10 most militaristic nations combined. Probably nerve damage. from pressure in the wrong places, You may be able to fix by changeing the angle of the bars. My bars are most comfortable if the bottom of the drops are pointed to just above the rear hub. You could also try clip-on aero bars, so your weight is taken on your elbows. You can switch to these for a few minutes to restore circulation to your hands, but dont do this in heavy traffic or when drafting another rider. Good luck.
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