Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

How do we ride with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

How do we ride with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Old 05-28-05, 04:08 PM
  #1  
Leo C. Driscoll
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kinsale, Ireland
Posts: 155

Bikes: Trek 7300 FSX, Jamis Exile, Jamis Coda Sport, Raleigh Technium, Dahon Vitesse, Dahon Matrix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have friends who sadly have given up commuting on a bike or even recreational riding because of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

My own Doc told me that grasping any handlebar (whether straight or dropped) made biking so painful (and dangerous) for him that he very reluctantly became a walker. He even thought of trying recumbent commuting, but in Boston that is mostly an extreme sport.

I was on the verge of suggesting to him that maybe Cane Creek Ergo Control Bar Ends could help make his pain tolerable because he could hold the Ergo Control Bar ends at 90 degrees or 45 degrees instead of grasping grips that are parallel with the handlebar. However, in the absence of any reviews from riders with CTS, I did not suggest that Doc try the new and improved Cane Creek Ergo II product. http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Bar_End/...t_123874.shtml

I then did a search on Copernic to find out what we know about how CTS impacts cycling and what can help. (Click on attachment for Copernic search results.) I also searched BikeForums and was surprized to learn that CTS really idoes impact bikers. My personal experience is that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome mostly disables those of us who unfortunately ride keyboards for a living and not bikes.

So the question- how do we ride with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? What helps? What can help? What does not help?


Last edited by Leo C. Driscoll; 05-28-05 at 06:19 PM.
Leo C. Driscoll is offline  
Old 05-28-05, 04:26 PM
  #2  
patc
Dubito ergo sum.
 
patc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,735

Bikes: Bessie.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't have CTS... yet. Too many years at a computer, and too many years holding up heavy cameras mostly with my right hand, have made my right wrist very sore. I've was warned that I am well on the way to CTS if I didn't change habits. About a year ago I completely changed my work environment (including putting in three pointing devices to replace the single mouse). After a few adjustments, the only times my wrist still hurt was after weight lifting, and after cycling.

I got rid of most of the after-cycling pain when I got my new bike last August. It had nice riser bars and I could adjust them to an angle that allowed my hand to rest naturally on them, with no feeling of stretch or strain. (Similar to these http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=). I still feel I need multiple hand positions, though, so I have ordered a set of these http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= to see how they work for me.

Other things that may help:
-adjust your bike to move weight off your hands
-at stops/red lights take the weight off your hands completely
-periodically take a hand off the handlebar and shake it around


You may also want to consult a sports medicine therapist, they are most likely to have specific ideas.
patc is offline  
Old 05-28-05, 04:35 PM
  #3  
linux_author
370H-SSV-0773H
 
linux_author's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Penniless Park, Fla.
Posts: 2,750

Bikes: Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
- understand about CTS... after 30 years as a journalist/photojournalist and now a returning cyclist, i have found that good gloves, proper handlebar orientation, good bike fit, and even proper seat foreward/reverse placement has can help alleviate numbness and pain during and after riding...

- my problem was that 'ergonomics' wasn't even in the picture when i was in the industry making a transition from manual typewriters! (best keyboard was Selectric II for me; worst was NBI word processor and Wang VS system)...

- now i'm very careful, but boy howdy, do i feel the pain if i do something wrong!

:-(
linux_author is offline  
Old 05-28-05, 05:08 PM
  #4  
late
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,579
Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9312 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 36 Posts
Hi,
you want padded gloves, but not bumpy. Try Specialized's Bar Phat. If you can find Off the Front Grip Shapes they can help.
The Off the Front website is down at the moment, and I don't know where else you can get them.

Take some tape that tapers towards the edge. Cut pieces to fit the top. Tape the edge at the top and have it hang facing the saddle. Both sides is too much. You will want 4 pieces, you don't need to worry about the corner. Place the Bar Phat gel pad on the bar, and then wrap the bar with a good shock abosrbing tape. The Specialized tape that comes with the Bar Phat is too slippery.

Now if your stem isn't at, or above, the level of the saddle... Raise Dat Stem. ( http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/rr_raisestem.html )

Generously pad the bar, raise the stem, and you have a good start. I am assuming you are icing down your wrists after you ride. Right?
late is offline  
Old 05-28-05, 05:21 PM
  #5  
Leo C. Driscoll
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kinsale, Ireland
Posts: 155

Bikes: Trek 7300 FSX, Jamis Exile, Jamis Coda Sport, Raleigh Technium, Dahon Vitesse, Dahon Matrix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by linux_author
- understand about CTS... after 30 years as a journalist/photojournalist and now a returning cyclist, i have found that good gloves, proper handlebar orientation, good bike fit, and even proper seat foreward/reverse placement has can help alleviate numbness and pain....

:-(
Intuitively, gloves should make a difference. Just like gel seats definitely help cyclists with numb butts or who ritualistically use PrepH or Tucks or Nelson's (in Europe) at every pit stop.

Gloves are very personal. I have found that PMI (soft leather, "Light") rappeling gloves http://www.botac.com/pmitacrapglo.html and Jojoba (plus Ergo bar ends) and high-rise bars (using Technomic stems) have solved my numb hands problem.

BTW, linux_author, I laughed at your CTS/VS connection. I worked in the Wang VS R&D group in the Pre-Ergonomic Era. I should say in the Wang Anaerobic Era. I thought the constant tingling in my hands was caused by the toxic levels of second-hand smoke in the Herman-Miller open office environment. In those days, only disk drives got any respect ;-) As a newbie engineer, I met Dr. An Wang in an elevator in Lowell HQ and brightly announced, "I've just joined Wang Labs and just arrived from Ireland....." Dr. Wang leaned forward into my face, blew a stream of smoke from his Camel up my nose from macro range and replied, "We sell many computah to third world country."


Last edited by Leo C. Driscoll; 05-28-05 at 05:51 PM.
Leo C. Driscoll is offline  
Old 05-28-05, 09:54 PM
  #6  
bostontrevor
Retrogrouch in Training
 
bostontrevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Knee-deep in the day-to-day
Posts: 5,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have had issues with RSI on-and-off for the last dozen years or so (way too long for someone of my age, really). As you might expect, most of my solution involved changing up my computing setup, primarily moving from QWERTY to Dvorak. Apart from that, you can do things like raising your stem so that you don't rest so much on your wrists.

I know my rain bike with the drops and aero brake can cause a flare-up while my usual ride with the bullhorns and bar-top lever doesn't.
bostontrevor is offline  
Old 06-02-05, 06:17 PM
  #7  
dmiller91
Senior Member
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm scared of carpal tunnel too. I was reading through threads because I've had symptoms at night that have now progressed into daytime. I do a lot of high risk things, sit at a computer all day (accountant), lift weights and ride my bike to work (16 miles round trip). What started out as periodic numbness has now become a full time complaint. I just turn 44 Tomorrow I go to see what the doc thinks. I don't want to give up my biking or my weight lifting! I'm seeing more upright handlebars in my future.

Diane
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 06-06-05, 11:33 AM
  #8  
AlphaGeek
Just Follow Your Feet!
 
AlphaGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 515

Bikes: Volae Expedition, ActionBent Tidal Wave II, Nishiki Olympic, Giant Cypress

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't have CTS, but I do have a pinched nerve that affects my arms and hands. My solution - a recumbent with under seat steering. It has made ALL the difference...plus it is a blast to ride!
AlphaGeek is offline  
Old 06-06-05, 12:28 PM
  #9  
dmiller91
Senior Member
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What are bullhorns? I rode with Specialized BG gloves today and that helped. I just bought a new bike too...no drop handlebars on this baby!

http://www.feltracing.com/2005_bikes/2005_sr71.html



Originally Posted by bostontrevor
I have had issues with RSI on-and-off for the last dozen years or so (way too long for someone of my age, really). As you might expect, most of my solution involved changing up my computing setup, primarily moving from QWERTY to Dvorak. Apart from that, you can do things like raising your stem so that you don't rest so much on your wrists.

I know my rain bike with the drops and aero brake can cause a flare-up while my usual ride with the bullhorns and bar-top lever doesn't.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 06-06-05, 02:25 PM
  #10  
bostontrevor
Retrogrouch in Training
 
bostontrevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Knee-deep in the day-to-day
Posts: 5,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bullhorns are the common name for a style of time trial and pursuit bars.

Here's a bike with them: http://www.hubjub.co.uk/blog/surlybull.jpg

You can get them with various amounts of drop coming off the stem and various sized ends on the bar. Like here: http://bike.db94.net/lang/langbike-step1.jpg or here http://www.zweknu.org/uploads/sunny_day_1024.jpg
bostontrevor is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.