Author Topic: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand  (Read 7591 times)

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Offline dbbcpa

Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« on: May 29, 2012, 08:44:19 pm »
Since someone brought a medical question, I thought I would bring up mine. I am going on the ACA Ride the Divide trip in July and have been doing some training. The last two weekends I have done overnight bikepacking trips on my loaded mountain bike. The first trip was only 26 miles one way and last weekend was 42 miles one way. I went out on Saturday afternoon and came back Sunday morning. I had about 30 pounds of gear including my camelback with water on both trips. I had no issues after the first trip, but after the second trip, I could not turn the key to start my truck with my right hand. Both hands were tingling as well as my lower leggs. I had lost strength in my right hand which is starting to come back now. It takes effort to eat with a fork or write with a pen.

I regularly ride on my road bike anywhere from 40 - 55 miles on each Saturday with no issues. The one thing I did different between the rides was raise my seat a little bit. I can only assume this put more pressure on my wrists. I have since raised my handlebars about the same amount. Has anyone else had this issue before? What did you do to avoid having it again.

I would appreciate any comments on this issue.

dbbcpa

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 09:05:41 pm »
http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/Uncomfortably_Numb_-_Tips_for_Healthy_Hands.htm Here's a good introduction to this common problem. Although limited to racing bikes, it fits well with my general knowledge as a retired neurophysiologist.

Straight bars have fewer hand positions than road bars, which is part of it. Try adding bar ends for more positions and pay attention to changing position. Get well-padded gloves if you do not have them already.

The lower leg neuropathy is less common, which might be due to a similar compression of the sciatic nerve. Is your mountain saddle narrower or less fitted than your road saddle? Maybe it is too soft. You could try your road saddle on the mountain bike.

As you found, the compressed nerves do recover slowly. Let them recover rather than pressing on, which could lead to permanent damage. No doubt more ideas will follow soon.

Fred

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 01:25:12 am »
Get a professional bike fit from someone who is locally recommended.  I would not bike with such symptons until I got fit.  You couold do long-lasting damage.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline bogiesan

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 08:45:53 am »
Get a recumbent bike; changes almost everything.

YYour symptoms suggest to me, based only on reading and comparing dozens of such descriptions,  your bike is aggravating another, possibly more serious, condition. Get that diagnosed.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline dbbcpa

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 06:41:30 pm »
Everyone, thanks for the suggestions. I went to my Chiropractor for treatment including Ultrasound massage. Things are just about back to normal. I took this week off from riding. I have been road riding distances of 35 - 55 mile rides on a weekly basis for about a year with no issues. I will take everyone's reccomendations and get by mountain bike fit for me by my local shop.

Thanks Again!

Offline valygrl

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 06:50:01 pm »
Ulnar nerve compression.  Flat bars are the problem.  I switched to drops for touring and never looked back.

Offline csykes

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 03:12:21 pm »
I would not want to tour with a Camelback if I had any neck, back, arm, or hand issues.  I would rather carry a few more water bottles on the bike.  Also avoid the locked-elbow death grip on the handlebars, staying relaxed has helped me a lot.

Offline pmac

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 09:45:39 am »
Getting a bike fit is a good idea.  I had the same problem until I installed Ergon GS3 grips.  They really made a difference for me.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 12:29:40 pm »
Your saddle may have a light downward pitch, forcing more pressure on your hands.  Saddles should be close to level.
Danno

Offline windrath

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 06:19:24 pm »
Alot of times, riders with numbness focus on their hands as the problem when it can be another source - such as the responder who suggested riding without locking your elbows.  For me, the numbness often comes from being too stretched out from shoulder to handlebars which results in compression of the nerves that cross the back of the shoulder on the way to the hands.

This is where bike geometry and getting a bike fit, as suggested in an earlier reply, is a good idea.

Good Luck

Offline bogiesan

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 11:53:36 pm »
Everyone, thanks for the suggestions. I went to my Chiropractor for treatment including Ultrasound massage.

Yeesh. Save your money. But that's just me.
You'll want a physical therapist who specializes in bicycling and running if it returns.
At least go sit on a recumbent. I've got 46,000 miles between my two bikes and I ride pain free all the time.

Weirdly coincidentally, friend of mine awoke with  what is essentially a left arm that's dead from the elbow down.  No strength, very little feeling, almost no motor control. Three days of tests and finally arrived at a "type of palsy." Temporary but takes 2-8 months to clear up. Absolutley nothing to be done about it except learn to live with it for a while.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline dbbcpa

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 11:52:08 pm »
Went to my LBS to discuss the situation. I purchased some ego grips and some Cane Creek Bar Ends. I also realized that I may have been locking out my arms instead of leaning more forward, using my back and taking stress off of my hands. I have been focussing on my technique on my road and mountain bike rides. The changes have really helped. Thanks again fellow cyclists.

Offline schoolboy2

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 05:27:34 pm »
I had similar a problem when I first started riding. Initially, I was convinced that I needed better gloves. However, what I eventually learned (and this took several months) was that I had a "death grip" on my bars. Once I relaxed my grip the problem pretty much disappeared.

Offline Mia23

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2012, 08:45:49 am »
Get a professional bike fit from someone who is locally recommended.  I would not bike with such symptons until I got fit.  You couold do long-lasting damage.

Absolutley great link!

B2T: I think riding bike with more than 30 pounds of load.... is basically not really good for the whole body.
Didn't you thought about getting a solid rear or front carrier , for your bike?

Mia / starbike

Offline litespeed

Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2012, 02:03:54 pm »
I have congenital, chronic carpal tunnel syndrome and large hands. I use the widest drop bars I can find - 44-46cm -with a nice straight section on the front of the drops. I change hand positions all the time and try to keep my arms and hands as relaxed as possible. I'm not in top shape right now but I have less arm and hand pain when my arms are strong and well exercised. Pain in my forearms is about the worst thing I have to deal with when I'm touring.

I have also found that loose, comfortable clothing, including shoes, is big help in every way.