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Tingling in my left hand?

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Tingling in my left hand?

Old 08-31-05, 11:09 AM
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soni_guin
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Tingling in my left hand?

I went for a long (to me) ride last night (31 miles)... When I got home, my left hand was tingling... It's been like that ever since, and it has been about 14 hours... It did the same thing after Friday's 31 mile ride, but not after Saturday's 17 mile ride...

My bike is an old Trek 400, 52cm top tube with a new bar wrap... I'm 5'6... I was fitted for a 52cm Trek 1200, and it fit perfectly... I wear gloves, and it helps a little...

(my left leg is not tingling, or having any loss of sensation, for those wondering if it's an imminent heart attack..LOL)

Any ideas and/or suggestions?
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Old 08-31-05, 11:21 AM
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There is a nerve in the palm of your hand than when pressured for a certain period of time can/will cause a numbness/tingling sensation in the fingers.
I have found this to happen more often as I've gotten older. Don't know if this is and age related thing with you or if possibly you need a different, better padded set of gloves, or possibly that it's something else.
How old are you? I had a silent heart attack many years ago, and they told me that riding the bike and developing collateral arteries from riding actually saved my life.

Len
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Old 08-31-05, 11:25 AM
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be careful with that. i seem to have a problem with my left hand that won't go away. i noticed after some rides it was painful to squeeze my thumb and pointer finger together (there would be pain along the side of my hand). it became more common as i rode more, and now it's pretty constant. even after being off the bike for 3 weeks, it's still a problem.
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Old 08-31-05, 11:38 AM
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Get it checked. If it is isolated to the thumb and first 2 or 3 fingers, it is
likely median nerve compression in your wrist. That's "carpal tunnel syndrome"
for those of us in the cheap seats.
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Old 08-31-05, 11:49 AM
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Responses to the above question intrigue me because I experienced a numbness/tingling in my left hand and left foot on Sat. after a 20+ mile ride.

Yesterday morning I felt the same feeling in my left hand alone and figured I was putting to much pressure on my wrist so I made an effort to switch my hand positions this morning and the feeling in the hand is gone but my toes were tingling again.

Any ideas as to why I'm getting the tingling in the toes? I have clipless pedals and I'm 26 in very good health.
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Old 08-31-05, 12:05 PM
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Do a search for ulnar nerve, there was a recent thread on this with some good advice/suggestions.
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Old 08-31-05, 01:09 PM
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I'm 40.

It doesn't happen when I'm on the upper part of the handlebar (tops?), just when I'm riding the hoods.

I'll do the ulnar search when I get home
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Old 08-31-05, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by soni_guin
I'm 40.

It doesn't happen when I'm on the upper part of the handlebar (tops?), just when I'm riding the hoods.

I'll do the ulnar search when I get home
Happens to me as well. Try getting a bigger pair of gloves. Sometimes if your gloves are too small they can pinch hard in the skin area between your thumb and finger. This stretches the area and causes the tingling.
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Old 08-31-05, 02:39 PM
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Pinched nerve at the neck is a possibility. I developed one at age 36 which initially produced tingling and numbness in both hands. If you're getting it more on the hoods than the tops due to having more neck bend, then you might want to bring it up with a doc.
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Old 08-31-05, 02:48 PM
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I was having some hand numbness. If you can put the bike on a trainer, or get someone to hold you up, try this. Get into your on the hoods position but don't actually grab the hood one one side. Just have your hand floating fairly relaxed next to it. Look at the angle that hour hand is hanging. Adjust your hood to be more like that angle. Do the same for the other side. Most bikes have the hoods pointing straight forward. The way most hands hang naturally points inward.

I adjusted mine to point inward just a slight bit. It helped a lot.
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Old 08-31-05, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by soni_guin
I went for a long (to me) ride last night (31 miles)... When I got home, my left hand was tingling... It's been like that ever since, and it has been about 14 hours... It did the same thing after Friday's 31 mile ride, but not after Saturday's 17 mile ride...

My bike is an old Trek 400, 52cm top tube with a new bar wrap... I'm 5'6... I was fitted for a 52cm Trek 1200, and it fit perfectly... I wear gloves, and it helps a little...

(my left leg is not tingling, or having any loss of sensation, for those wondering if it's an imminent heart attack..LOL)

Any ideas and/or suggestions?
I have EXACTLY the same problem - left hand slightly numb and tingley after rides of 25+ miles, older bike, wear gloves, although my tingle is completely gone within a few hours of the end of the ride. Here's what I noticed on a recent ride:

My left hand was in a slightly different position than my right - a difference of maybe 2 or 3 mm. I wondered why this was, because my hand position felt completely natural. I continued to ride while examining my position, and I noticed that my front wheel is slightly out of dish (that is, the spokes on one side of the wheel are slightly tighter than the other side, which pulls the rim to one side). I must have done this the last time I trued my wheel about a month ago, and didn't pay enough attention. The result of an out-of-dish wheel is that the bike pulls to one side - in my case, to the right, which is probably putting unequal pressure on my hands. This also explains the uneven hand positions, because one arm has to provide more leverage than the other to maintain the direction of the front wheel. I'm planning to redishing my wheel before my weekend ride, so I will know if this fixes the problem.

If you're not much of a mechanic, you could have your LBS take a look at your wheels. You can test whether your bike pulls to one side by riding without hands and seeing if it's easy to go straight.

Good luck!
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Old 08-31-05, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Avalanche325
I was having some hand numbness. If you can put the bike on a trainer, or get someone to hold you up, try this. Get into your on the hoods position but don't actually grab the hood one one side. Just have your hand floating fairly relaxed next to it. Look at the angle that hour hand is hanging. Adjust your hood to be more like that angle. Do the same for the other side. Most bikes have the hoods pointing straight forward. The way most hands hang naturally points inward.

I adjusted mine to point inward just a slight bit. It helped a lot.
Not sure I quite follow. Got a pic?
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Old 08-31-05, 05:05 PM
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Like this. Looking down from the top. Please excuse my pathetin Paint diagram. The right has the hoods (in red) pointed slightly inward.
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Old 08-31-05, 05:09 PM
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soni - you mentioned you have new bar wrap. Is it the normal thin cork, or or a gel wrap? I replaced the thin Bontrager wrap on my Madone SL 5.2 with some thicker gel wrap from Supergo (the Cinelli or Specialized wrap would also work), and my hands aren't tingling anymore. You could also try the Specialized Phat wrap if you really want some cushioning. Of course, your position on the bike is something else to look at.
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Old 08-31-05, 07:59 PM
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it's a cork wrap... the LBS didn't have a gel type wrap...

My hand doesn't go numb when I ride the tops, only when riding the hoods.

I think I'll try new hood covers, too- the ones that are on them now seem like they're just beeswax melted over the brakes. Do they come with gel inserts, or do I get to invent something?
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Old 08-31-05, 08:10 PM
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oh... and... the bars are 40cm bars... maybe i need a 46cm bar.

I'll get one next week when my funds become available...
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Old 08-31-05, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Avalanche325
Like this. Looking down from the top. Please excuse my pathetin Paint diagram. The right has the hoods (in red) pointed slightly inward.
Gotcha. Thanks. I actually just upgraded the down-tube shifters on my Eros to Sora brifters and did just what you indicate. Just rotated the hoods inward a touch to get a more neutral wrist posture. I still got some hand numbness on a longer ride so it's not the only contributor. I think it did help, though.
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Old 08-31-05, 08:47 PM
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My index and middle finger on my right hand went numb a few weeks ago. I saw a doctor and he thought it would take 3-4 weeks to get better and to see about riding different distances. I haven't ridden in two days because of the weather, but my hand is still numb. I have some swelling on top between the two fingers and also the spread between the two fingers is noticeably less than before or the other hand.

one more week and I go to a neurologist to see if its carpal tunnel, which I had 17 years ago!
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Old 08-31-05, 11:08 PM
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Suggestion for tingling numbness:Try to put more weight on your seat and less on your hands. You might have to adjust your seat.
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Old 09-01-05, 08:05 AM
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I did adjust the seat and also my stem and bars. I don't want to stop riding, but that might have to be the answer.
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Old 09-01-05, 08:57 AM
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I had the same problem. Both index fingers would go numb EVERYTIME I rode. I'd try to shake 'em out, tried alternating between hoods/drops as often as I could...

...nothing. And the nubness would stick around, too. Days, weeks....

BLAH!!

You know what worked for me (and I hate to keep plugging this... you all are going to think I work for these guys), but seriously, the Bontranger Bzzkills got rid of it.

It completely got rid of my numbness. Gone.

Here's the thread I started, and then posted at the end my results:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=131001

Give 'em a shot, soni guin. I was so impressed... SO IMPRESSED.

You'll feell better in no time.
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Old 09-01-05, 09:45 AM
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I didn't have any numbness or tingling, but I was getting a bit of what I think was nerve compression in my hands from time to time (felt like a bruise in my palm). A few observations:

- I became much more aware of where I was placing my hands on the bars. I was putting them in the
"corners" of the bars, and this put pressure between the two "bumps" on my wrist where the nerve is.
- I bought some Dr Scholl's gel pads and cut out a piece that I put in my gloves, since I notices that
the gloves have padding on either side, but not in the middle
- went to the LBS and got a shorter stem which took a little more pressure off my hands (really helped
with keeping my sit bones on the saddle as well)
- Last weekend I did a century with no [hand] problems. I am very conscious of hand position now, and
trying to stay relaxed. Also going to try and increase my core strength to keep still less pressure off
the hands.
- Sheldon Brown suggests that the hands are analogous to the butt (two bumps!) and that like squishy
seats, sometimes padded gloves can succumb to the "less is more" rule
- my conclusion so far is that the position that you place your hands in is probably more important than
how much weight you place on them, although both can compress the nerve.
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Old 09-01-05, 10:25 AM
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Jazzy is right. If you're aware of how much pressure you're putting on your hands, you can alieviate alot of issues. Make sure you're placing more weight on your butt than your hands. Change hand positions over long rides. (on long, level straightaways, hold the bars as lightly as possible). All of that should help. But definitely see a doctor for persistant problems/pain.
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Old 09-01-05, 11:53 AM
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I had this same problem until I did three things:

I got a new bike (2004 Trek 5200) with the 31.88 dia handlebar size. My old bike had the smaller diameter handle bars. This made a huge difference right away. I think the larger (fatter) diameter bars disperse the weight on the hand better than the smaller ones did. Next, my new bike is fitted to me and just naturally feels more balanced even though my riding position is lower and more aggressive/race like than on my older bike. And I got Bontrager Gel cork wrap installed on the new bike. After these things, no more numbness in either of my hands. Even after 75 mile rides.
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Old 09-27-05, 10:48 AM
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Do you wear a watch? If so maybe its to tight on your wrist
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