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Thread: Weakened hands

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    Weakened hands

    Several weeks ago, I was having problems with my pinky going numb all day long after riding on my hybrid. I bought some better padded gloves and padded handlebar covers and I raised the handlebars a bit. That nearly fixed the problem, and the numbness has gone away except for a short time after riding.

    Last week, I bought a road bike, and now I'm having a somewhat different problem with my hands. After a 30-mile ride on Saturday, I noticed that my left hand felt very weak. I can grasp items in the palm of my hand without a problem, but I have trouble manipulating things between my fingers (buttoning my shirt, pulling off my gloves, etc.).

    I'd like to get my hands to heal before putting any more stress on them, but I want to keep riding as much as I can. Should I stop riding altogether until it heals ( ), cut back my riding to shorter rides, ride the hybrid instead of the road bike, check my bike fit at the bike shop, go see the doctor, or ... ?

    Has anyone else had this problem? How did you deal with it?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    had a similiar problem one time It was nerve compression. Mine as in the pinky and ring finger, condition was called cubital tunnel syndrome the nerve that runs through the elbow joint was compressed it is a serious condition and needed treatment surgery was suggested but i declined , I chose to treat it with P T which helped. the symptoms included numbness and lack of or loss of strength in the hand and clumbseyness I had truble playing my saxophone as my fingers didnt want to respond quick enough. there is a simiiliar condition carpel tunnel syndrome which effects the thumb and index finger with a nerve comprssion in the wrists I had a bad case and took about a full year to go away, yours might not be so bad or could be something completly different. If you have insurance there are some tests they do in the drs office good luck to you

    check your hand position on the handle bars

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    hehe...He said "member" ChipRGW's Avatar
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    Could it be a grip issue?
    By that I mean having a tendency to squeeze your hand on the handlebar. Even a little too tight after a 30-mile ride could leave your hand kind of weak.
    A little like having a sore jaw after chewing gum way too long.
    If anyone can remember those days.

    ChipR

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    Originally posted by ChipRGW
    Could it be a grip issue?
    By that I mean having a tendency to squeeze your hand on the handlebar. Even a little too tight after a 30-mile ride could leave your hand kind of weak.
    ChipR
    It does seem to be related to grip. On my last ride (43 mile round-trip commute), I concentrated on loosening my grip and changing hand positions more often, and my hands did not seem to get any weaker after the ride. But they didn't improve, either. However, I don't think it's a muscle fatigue problem because I can still grip things in my palm without a problem. I think it may be a nerve issue, as catfish suggested.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Its always hard to isolate the grip problem from the rest of your position. Maybe you should analyse your whole riding position, from pedals, to saddle, to bars, ensuring that your back is straight at an angle you prefer, your shoulders and elbows are relaxed, your wrist is in a neutral set, and you hands are supporting weight through the palm, not the edge.
    In the meantime, cut back on your riding before you do any more damage.
    If you can find a good professional bike fitting service it may help, but many will simply get you into the right ballpark for an averagely-dimensioned person.

    Check out
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    Check out
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm [/B]
    Thanks for that! The section on balance was very helpful. His method is much more intuitive than the "fit kit" numbers that they came up with at the bike shop.

    I decided not to take any chances, so I made an appointment with my doctor for this afternoon. I'll post her diagnosis when I get back.

    Tim

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    Well, the doctor thinks it's due to compression of nerves, and she made a guess that it is the "carpal tunnel" nerves that are the culprit. The bad news is she wants me to stay off the bike for at least a week. She wanted me to stay off for longer, but I told her I had a charity ride in a week and a half, and she said I could get back on only if the symptoms didn't get worse. She also gave me a wrist splint to wear and some Alleve to take to reduce any swelling.

    So I dragged out the stationary bike tonight and rode it without the handlebars. That thing is seriously over-geared! Next week I'll be back to the doctor's office for my knees...

    Tim

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    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    I have mentioned this in the past, so forgive me if you already know.

    I would suggest tilting the nose of your seat upwards just a few degrees, this will transfer your body weight slightly backwards and release some weight from your hands. It worked for me, no more numb hands for the past year.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

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