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Numbness

Old 08-02-19, 06:09 AM
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Numbness

How to prevent Numbness in my hands. Or why does it happen?
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Old 08-02-19, 06:15 AM
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Too much pressure on the hands. They should not be supporting your weight. Try to keep your elbows bent to reduce the pressure. Keep your grip light and try to change hand positions often.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:13 AM
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Numbness in the hands MAY be caused by pressure at the hand itself, but it may not. You can trace back along the nerve up the arm, across the shoulder joint, through the back muscles, to its root at the spine, and interference/pressure anywhere along there can be perceived as numbness or tingling in the hand.

Along with what Jon said above, your balance point on the bike might be off. In an ideal world, you would be perched on the saddle, with your weight shared between the three contact areas (pedals, saddle, handlebar). Like a jockey, you should be able to ride with your hands lifted and not resting on the bars at all, but floating. When you ride, your hands should rest lightly on the bars. Not gripping tightly, and certainly not bearing much of your weight.

If you have access to a bike trainer, then put your bike in it and experiment with your position to gain a more balanced distribution of weight. Take video or have a friend take still shots and examine your body position. What can you improve?

But, the problem may be in your upper back. If you are hunched over, tightening your back muscles or pinching your neck, then that can contribute to pressure on the nerves that lead from your hands. Try to become aware of relaxing your head, neck, upper back and shoulders as you ride. Be purposeful to relax your upper body as much as possible, as often as you can remember to be aware of this. Quiet upper body.

I hope that his helps you.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:17 AM
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A final thought is hand position. How do you rest your hands on the hoods, on the curve, on tops, in the drops? Do you grip right across the ulnar nerve? Some riders suggest that you "karate chop" the bar instead, by resting on the outer meat of the palm with the wrists in a neutral position, as in a handshake. Resting lightly, ready to move to the brakes when needed.

I have found this to be very comfortable for me, and I've done it for the last 20 years or so. YMMV.
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Old 08-02-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bygeorge
How to prevent Numbness in my hands. Or why does it happen?
What parts of your hand are going numb? That will tell you which nerve is affected:



Numbness is a blockage of signals through the nerves. In cycling, it's usually (but not always) caused by putting pressure on a flexed wrist, where the nerves pass through.



A useful rule of thumb is "straight wrist, bent elbow". That will take some pressure off the nerves where they pass through the wrist.
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Old 08-02-19, 09:08 AM
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What the previous posters said, and I'll add that if you find yourself resting your upper body weight heavily on your hands even when your bike fit is close to ideal, that most probably means your core muscles lack strength.
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Old 08-02-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bygeorge
How to prevent Numbness in my hands. Or why does it happen?
Not enough information. What kind of bike do you ride? Do you wear gloves? What kind of gloves? Does your bike fit you? etc.
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Old 08-02-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade
What the previous posters said, and I'll add that if you find yourself resting your upper body weight heavily on your hands even when your bike fit is close to ideal, that most probably means your core muscles lack strength.
Im pretty sure at 72 my core muscles are lacking!
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Old 08-02-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM
Not enough information. What kind of bike do you ride? Do you wear gloves? What kind of gloves? Does your bike fit you? etc.
I have a Trek 26" Hybrid, I have never been fitted. I have handle bars as high as I can but still lean onto my hands. No Gloves, would gloves help?
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Old 08-02-19, 02:37 PM
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If you have pressure on your hands, move the seat back until you feel no pressure.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:52 PM
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In my case it is from tightly gripping the bars while climbing. This pulls the inner (between fingers) area of the gloves in and cuts off the circulation to the hands. Trying to prevent holding your hands in such a manner helps but doesn't stop it altogether.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:27 PM
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For me it is/was carpel tunnel. 1st surgery late July, second was last week. Prior to the surgery 10-15 minutes on the bike they were numb.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:32 PM
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Without knowing specifics, I treated my general numbness by wearing decent padded gloves and replacing the basic grips with Ergon gp2's. No problems now
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Old 08-02-19, 03:44 PM
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depending on when the numbness happens it could be to high of a heart rate.
if mine goes over 150 my fingers start to get numb. if i keep it over 150 to long my whole hand and toes go numb.
if i slow down and let it drop to 140 after about 10 min the numbness goes away.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mrt2you
depending on when the numbness happens it could be to high of a heart rate.
if mine goes over 150 my fingers start to get numb. if i keep it over 150 to long my whole hand and toes go numb.
if i slow down and let it drop to 140 after about 10 min the numbness goes away.
You might want to get that checked. That does not sound right at all.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bygeorge
I have a Trek 26" Hybrid, I have never been fitted. I have handle bars as high as I can but still lean onto my hands. No Gloves, would gloves help?
Gloves might help - there are a variety of padded gloves available. There are also a variety of pressure reducing grips on the market. I used Ergon grips like these prior to riding recumbent bikes - https://www.jensonusa.com/Ergon-GP1-Performance-Comfort-Grips-Large-Gripshift?pt_source=googleads&pt_medium=cpc&pt_campaign=shopping_us&pt_keyword=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwvo_qBR DQARIsAE-bsH_GskN3UU7I5_tCTxUnkarp_2RZcZx9A2rka4Xdk1z-

Both mentioned by Digger Goreman above.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:34 PM
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Can you put bar ends on your flat bar? I ride my hybrid great distances and I need to keep changing my hand positions so I remember to keep the grips loose.

For me, gloves don't matter much.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
For me it is/was carpel tunnel. 1st surgery late July, second was last week. Prior to the surgery 10-15 minutes on the bike they were numb.
Are you riding without numbness now, after the first surgery. Are you certain there is no numbness on the bike.?? Seems to soon to tell.
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Old 08-03-19, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs
You might want to get that checked. That does not sound right at all.
i have on several occasions. i have a significant family history of heart disease, this is the biggest reason for me riding a bike.
i should be a bit more specific on heart rate numbness. it's more in the mid to high 150's when i start to have problems with numbness. the numbness slowly builds up and it's easily recognized and controlled. it's not like i originally made it sound like if i hit 150 with my HR my fingers and toes go numb really fast. 15 years ago it was in the 160's- low 170's before i started to get numbness.

Last edited by mrt2you; 08-03-19 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 08-03-19, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mrt2you
i have on several occasions. i have a significant family history of heart disease, this is the biggest reason for me riding a bike.
i should be a bit more specific on heart rate numbness. it's more in the mid to high 150's when i start to have problems with numbness. the numbness slowly builds up and it's easily recognized and controlled. it's not like i originally made it sound like if i hit 150 with my HR my fingers and toes go numb really fast. 15 years ago it was in the 160's- low 170's before i started to get numbness.
Take care of yourself, glad to hear that you are on top of that.
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Old 08-03-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs
Are you riding without numbness now, after the first surgery. Are you certain there is no numbness on the bike.?? Seems to soon to tell.
I only managed to get two rides in between surgeries. The numbness was gone from my left hand, though working through the scar tissue bulge at the incision site, it is still a bit sensitive. The right hand still has the stitches, so waiting until they are out to resume riding. I was waking nearly every night with numb fingers, that has been completely eliminated, so far. I am optimistic all numbness (on the bike) will be gone for good.
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Old 08-03-19, 04:10 PM
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I suffered from hand numbness for years. Moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was diagnosed. I had the left hand surgery in Spring of 2018, and my left hand experienced no numbness in 2018. Right hand surgery was last December, and my right hand no longer gets numb. The surgery tends to work, if CTS is the reason for the numbness, if the surgeon is competent, etc..
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Old 08-03-19, 04:22 PM
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I ride with a lot of weight on my hands unless I am riding hard (which at 66 yo doesn't happen as often). I'm tall on a bike, lean and skinny. Not a whole lot of muscle. The wind is real. My legs say "thank you" when I get low. I have never done well with a closed leg/abdomen so I do not push my seat back.

What I have found critical is to choose "friendly" handlebars and brake hoods and position them where my hands like, not where fashion or anyone else's idea of "correct" is. My hands like to be palms in, rotated down. To facilitate that, I rotate my bars and hoods down much further than fashionable.

My suggestion - go for one or more rides with no handlebar tape and all the wrenches for brake hoods and stem. Make changes and observe how you feel. Go more or back depending. Trust your body to tell you what it wants. I do that bare bar ride with every new bike and after every major change. First HB tape is cloth, from the bottom si I can unwrap to th e hoods, move them and re-wrap easily.

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Old 08-03-19, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
I only managed to get two rides in between surgeries. The numbness was gone from my left hand, though working through the scar tissue bulge at the incision site, it is still a bit sensitive. The right hand still has the stitches, so waiting until they are out to resume riding. I was waking nearly every night with numb fingers, that has been completely eliminated, so far. I am optimistic all numbness (on the bike) will be gone for good.
Sounds good buddy. I've had carpal tunnel for many years. Have yet to speak to a doctor about it. I think its time.
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