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Wrist nerve entrapment

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Wrist nerve entrapment

Old 01-05-19, 02:25 AM
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vol
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Wrist nerve entrapment

Just read up a little, There are two types of similar conditions caused by nerve compression in the wrist area. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Ulnar Nerve entrapment (Cyclist's Palsy, or Handlebar Palsy). It seems I may have the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. My wrists where that "tunnel" is hurts for a long time now, could be a few years, but I just happened to read about these two types of injuries, and it's more like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, according to How do carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment differ? It's almost certain from the pressure of holding the flat handlebar for extended time period. It also gets worsened from swimming.

Are these conditions common among cyclists? Should drop handlebars be better than flat bars?

Here is a nice video I found:

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Old 01-06-19, 09:54 AM
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If you are riding flat bars, you may want to consider Ergon grips such as the Ergon gp3 or 4 that provide multiple hand positions. I ride the gp3s on my Brompton and love them. Be sure to set them up at the correct angle. Part of the problem with carpal tunnel is caused by a less than nuetral wrist position. Set up correctly they should align your hand, wrist and forearm to reduce some of the compression in the synovial sheath (where the median nerves travel).

Another alternative would be to shift to a more upright handlebar such as a Jones sg 2.5 H-bar (https://www.jonesbikes.com/jones-sg-...um-loop-h-bar/) or Nitto Albatross (https://www.rivbike.com/products/nit...mo-55cm-x-25-4). This will put your body in a position that will reduce pressure on your hands.

Good luck.
john
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Old 01-07-19, 03:35 AM
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vol
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Thanks for the suggestions, John. I will look at both the grips and consider a more upright position. I have already changed the stem of my new bike to raise the handlebar a little, but still a lot of pressure on my hands. Replacing with those Ergon grips sounds like a simpler solution. I just realized drop handlebar may not be a good idea as it would be even lower.
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Old 01-07-19, 03:12 PM
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I switched my mtb to a jones h loop bar and am very happy. I have also found though that I can still get numb hands; my best strategy is to ride harder. There are three points of contact with the bike: the pedals, the seat, and the handlebars. Unless you are doing some Sweet Jumps, 100% of your bodyweight is distributed between those three. When you are coasting/seated, most of the weight is split between seat and bars. The more weight on the pedals, the less on the seat and bars.

Also, I was heading towards carpal tunnel, I was lucky to see a doctor at about the same time for a pinched nerve, he explained to me I should not sleep with my wrist flexed, but in a neutral position. Since then my wrists have been better.
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Old 01-07-19, 03:29 PM
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That GCN video misses the core practice that I follow. (Perhaps in part because they were riding bikes that didn't allow it?) I rotate the handebars, drops, levers and all, up or down and watch whether my wrist and hand discomforts get better or worse. In recent years I've been having more issues (65 yo with a lot of miles under my belt). I've found when I rotated the handlebars down, the discomfort both on the bike and after, went away. I now have the flats of my drops dead flat or past horizontal, a steep slope down on the tops going into the brakes and the brake hoods very close to horizontal. Not what any modern bike would ever have but I can ride a 100+ mile fix gear ride with hills and come home with happy hands.

I consider this so important that I will never,ever, own a bike with a modular one-piece handlebar-stem.

Edit: I ride with a lot of weight on my hands, especially on my fix gears since the only relief I can get going upwind is getting low. I am also tall and light. A lousy upwind combo, even with gears. I cannot pass the no-hands test of that video unless I am riding hard in too big a gear. It's not core muscles. I simply fall forward for lack of support. (Yes, many would say I should have my seat further back and tilted up. Thanks, but I like my crotch. I also like an open thigh/torso angle.) So I need hand positions that are comfortable with real weight on them. And I have them.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 01-07-19 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-07-19, 03:32 PM
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The best way...well it's to have good genetics so it never happens in the first place.
But the 2nd best way to fix this, if possible, is to improve your body so that it can hold itself upright more easily (core strength and some other stuff).

I started doing Limber 11 for a non-biking injury, and it really improved my comfort level on my bike:

Limber 11 Flexibility Routine | stretching-exercises.com


Not saying it would work for everyone, but it helped for me.

Other thoughts:
- As others mentioned better grips on the bars can help
- Sometimes a better bike fit can improve things, a slightly longer or shorter stem sometimes moves you into a position your body is much better at holding without pressure on your wrists
- I found that a smaller keyboard at work lets my mouse arm sit more naturally and is a lot more comfortable. Here's one specific suggestion:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F3U4TQS/
- Similarly I believe that a better chair would help as well, though it's been a pain finding one.
- Road bars can help because they put pressure on your hands differently. With flat bars your hands twist horizontally, with road bars your hands stay vertical like they do when they rest at your side while standing. Here's a pic of how one typically rides with road bars:
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Old 01-07-19, 03:53 PM
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thx for that limber 11 video, it looks really good. I'm going to try to start doing those
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Old 02-24-19, 12:32 AM
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Thanks PaulRivers. Haven't visited the forum since the first few replies, just saw your elaborate helpful comments and tips. I've been thinking about replacing with a road bar or buy a road bike for the bar, the only problem is the mounting of mirrors. I will try the flexibility exercise in the video.
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Old 02-24-19, 06:12 AM
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Honestly, I would look at BioKork Ergon GP3s or GP5s.

I don't think that drops are what you want even though everyone here will rave about numerous hand positions.

Want you want is dampening of the vibrations from the bars to the wrist, thus I would recommend the BioKork models.

Produkte ? ERGON BIKE

The fibreglass and the cork will reduce vibrations and it's probably what you're after.

Good luck.
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Old 02-25-19, 12:14 PM
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If the different handlebars and posture don't resolve the issue I'd look into Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and/or Double Crush Syndrome. You may have more than one issue.
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Old 02-25-19, 12:26 PM
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Also, consider OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) if it is performed on the wrist area.

To be serious, we are employing traditional Chinese acupuncture to open my partner's Muttermund (Mothermouth / Cervix) in preparation for natural birth.
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Old 02-25-19, 04:28 PM
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Sore wrists (and even more sore shoulders) were what finally pushed me to go recumbent. It's my regular commuter now (and I'm hoping to get a velomobile soon).
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Old 02-25-19, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Also, consider OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) if it is performed on the wrist area.

To be serious, we are employing traditional Chinese acupuncture to open my partner's Muttermund (Mothermouth / Cervix) in preparation for natural birth.
Osteopaths don't get much training on manual medicine here in the US, nowhere near what chiropractors do.
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Old 02-25-19, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the new comments.
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Old 02-25-19, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Should drop handlebars be better than flat bars?
They certainly are for me. I can't do more than few miles on flat bars without pain and never have a problem on drop bars.
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Old 02-26-19, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Thanks for the new comments.
No prob. Just make sure you exhaust all possibilities before yielding.

Good luck!
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Old 02-26-19, 08:49 PM
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Physical therapists are gods. They like to cause pain, and it feels so good when it stops.

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Old 02-27-19, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for those carpal tunnel stretches, I will use those!
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Old 02-27-19, 11:58 AM
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Decades back My commute was long, mostly Rural river valley ..

The bike rig was a high and close aerobar setup , so my weight was on the arm pads

High and close was comfortable , low and far , typical set up, was not..

Aerodynamics was taken care of with a Zzipper 'thriller' fairing..
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Old 02-28-19, 09:51 AM
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FWIW after Wifey recovered from a broken wrist last summer (due to crashing her bike into a bike trail bollard), she was diagnosed by a doctor w/ carpal tunnel syndrome & had the traditional open carpal tunnel release surgery. seemed to work fine
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Old 02-28-19, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Thanks for those carpal tunnel stretches, I will use those!
Check out her channel, she has some great exercises.
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