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Old 08-09-06, 07:46 AM   #1
tly
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Wrist pain anyone?

Have been riding my new Specialized Allez for a couple of weeks. Everything great except now I am experiencing wrist pain in my right wrist and supect that it is because of the "brifters". Have never had this before on the old Cannondale. Anyone experienced this and perhaps find a solution Maybe a wrist brace? Could it be a carpal tunnel kind of thing?

thanks

tom
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Old 08-09-06, 08:32 AM   #2
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I get wrist pain regularly. Preventive measures include:

1) shifting hand positions frequently (i.e. every 5 or 10 minutes) & have multiple ones available on my flat bar + bar ends

2) wearing wrist braces to sleep (some kind of sleeves that my physical therapist wife got me) so that I can't bend my wrists forward while sleeping and tuck them under my chin or similar position

3) During my work day (typically at a computer) doing the wrist exercise of extending my arm with forearm upwards then gently pulling my opened palm downwards with my other hand - this stretches all the tendons & muscles that tend to tighten & cause the pressure on the nerve sheath of the tunnel

With those three preventive measures, my incipient carpal tunnel remains at bay...
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Old 08-09-06, 09:56 AM   #3
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If all else fails trying getting some of the weight OFF your arms & wrist
by adjusting your bars or sitting more upright. As you age not all of
your body will like remaining in a full crouch that drops require.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:14 AM   #4
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Your bike isnt adjusted properly. Try moving your seat in and reducing the length of your stem. A good check is to sit on your bike while it is stationary with your hands on the hoods. Then remove your hands from the hoods, if you dont fall forward, the bike is set up ok, if you fall forward it means you are putting too much weight on the hoods and you need to adjust as I have mentioned above.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:46 AM   #5
tly
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good ideas all. I still wonder if this isn't more of a carpal tunnel thing rather than a bike fit thing. The reason that I think this is because:
1. It is the right wrist only ( the one that shifts the most).
2. My hands do not "go to sleep" like they did on the old ill-fitting Cannondale.
3. The pain is in the topside center of my wrist which I can feel when I mimic shifting with my middle finger.
4. The pain doesn't show up till the following day of the ride.

tom
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Old 08-09-06, 11:15 AM   #6
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Could be simple tendonitis. My MD tells me that it feels different from tendonitis in the larger tendons (elbows). Not so much an ache, but a sharper sensation because of the smaller scale of things in the hands??? I get a little of what you're talking about from brifters, too. Right side is the action zone. I also have terrible carpal tunnel. It's one of several reasons I went with a Sequoia. This is not a plug for any brand of bike, just an amplification on what was stated earlier about weight on the hands and wrists. It's a slightly more upright type of frame for a road bike. Still, the brifters do have an effect, no matter what the geometry. I installed North Road bars on my Trek 520, kept the bar ends. Same on my old Trek 830 with thumbers. Very nice 'old school' improvement. Some things shouldn't be thrown out with the bath water...
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Old 08-10-06, 04:28 PM   #7
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There are 2 kinds of nerve pains. One effects the thumb and neighboring finger,the other effects the outer fingers. Both are caused by nerve compression, which may be carpal tunnel or other nerve. Sorry don't recall the name of the other nerve.

Keys to preventing are:
1. vary positions frequently
2. keep weight, i.e, bar, out of the center of the notch between the thumb and next finger.
3. keep wrist as straight as possible, i.e. don't rotate the hand upwards to get into drop position.
4. something like ironman gloves can really help but still need to watch positioning.
5. decrease weight on hands by changing seat/handlebar positions. One mm at a time, this is a small amount, like 1/8", until you find some relief.

What I find works is to keep weight on the pad part of the thumb hand muscle. It took me about 3 days to keep from either putting bar in natural normal place, between the thumb and next finger or cocking upwards the hands. If you find any tingling or numbness, you need to keep working as you are doing something wrong with positioning and need to get that fixed before have permanent damage.
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Old 08-10-06, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger5oh
Your bike isnt adjusted properly. Try moving your seat in and reducing the length of your stem. A good check is to sit on your bike while it is stationary with your hands on the hoods. Then remove your hands from the hoods, if you dont fall forward, the bike is set up ok, if you fall forward it means you are putting too much weight on the hoods and you need to adjust as I have mentioned above.
Good post Ranger.
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Old 08-10-06, 08:23 PM   #9
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Thanks Ranger. I will start paying more attention to keeping the wrist straight. I tried the wrist excersise suggested by centexwoody and got almost immediate relief so probably wouldn't hurt to try that during rest breaks and before and after rides. I am also experimenting with seat position. The seat doesn't have a lot of forward movement possible but there is a little so will play with that. I have lowered it a tad to see if that makes any difference. thanks to everyone for the great info.

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Old 08-12-06, 03:14 AM   #10
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I think the adjustment thing is key

1. Are the handle bars too wide? They might be and many are--

2. Height and reach-- of these reach might be the more important although a more upright position helped me -- but the stem wasnt long enough so I was too cramped--- solution longer stem-- solved 90 percent of the problem

3. I already wear gel gloves and think everyone should and the mountain bike typles have more gel

4. Final adjustment that really helped -- just turned the handle bars down slightly so my wrist was in alignment more with the axis that my hands go to naturally

regards from Iowa

Gene
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