Carpal Tunnel Problems

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Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby laufmaschine » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:34 pm

Hi All,

I have recently been looking at road bikes with a view to buying one to get more road miles under the belt. Until now I have been riding a Hybrid.
For the last few weeks I have had numbness in my left hand and the Neurologist has confirmed I have Carpal Tunnel syndrome which I think was caused by weight training - even though I would get
occassional numbness when riding in the past. . I am now waiting on my doctor to receive the Neurologist report before taking the next step in the process (Gotta love how slow the medical profession moves).
The next step may involve cortisone injection into the wrist to provide relief to the symptoms.

Due to this issue I have put my road bike on hold for now - pity as I had decided what I wanted.

Anyway.... my questions are:

1) Does anyone have experience with Carpal Tunnel and what impact it has had on your riding?
2) Has anyone had the cortisone injections and did that fix things?
3) I a thinking the road bike gives more options for holding the bars so may be helpful with the carpal tunnel issue - any comments?

Cheers
Ken
Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein
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by BNA » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:53 pm

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby nutsack » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:53 pm

I get carpal tunnel symptoms frequently when riding. For me it is related to the bike fit and bars (roadie).

My Racemaster which I had full expensive bike fit gave me carpal tunnel symptoms in both hands, I was using a 44cm width road bar with compact drops and flat top bar, and gel padding under the bar tape. I never got around to going back for a review of the fit.

This weekend I did a 120km ride using an alloy frame bmc with hastely put together components (long story short but I have broken my 2nd frame in 3 months... not my fault though) and no bike fit, 42cm wide bars with compact drops and round top bar, no gel cheapo bar tape, and no carpal tunnel at all for the entire ride (bad bad sore back though).

The point I'm trying to make is you should be able to fix carpal tunnel like symptoms with a decent fit and selection of handle bar/hood position (unless of course your carpal tunnel is unrelated to cycling and a preexisting complaint, in which case you need definitive treatment).

To answer your other question steroid injections in my experience provide only temporary improvement and not a cure, unless its related to a "temporary" condition like pregnancy, untreated thyroid disease, obesity.
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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby scotto » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:09 pm

ok, got to the chemist and get a wrist splint that velcros around your wrist and has a metal/platic bar the keeps the wrist from bending.
wear it day and night for a week, then only at night for 3 weeks. this may help to let things settle down. this should be a starting point for anyone with carpel tunnel symptoms.
however if that doesnt work, have some surgery. if the nuerologist confirms CTS via nerve conduction tests, then generally speaking you need something less conservative done. its day surgery and a week or so in bandages/splint.
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Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby Comedian » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:21 pm

I do get a little of this and I find that with the right gloves the roadbike is better for me than the hybrid. Seat position is a factor.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby elantra » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:32 pm

Agree with previous posts.

I strongly suspect that riding with hands on correctly positioned brake-blocks on a drop-bar bike is your best option.

On longer rides i feel much less fatigue in the hands/arms when using the drop-bars, compared to when i used to ride a flat-bar bike.

But obviously, varying your hand positions as you ride is going to help.

You will probably prefer to avoid surgery for Carpal Tunnel if possible, because it will cost you money and time off the bike etc.
"Technology gives us much more information but Education is never be able to give us the skill to evaluate it"
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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby Mustang » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:42 pm

Comedian wrote:I do get a little of this and I find that with the right gloves the roadbike is better for me than the hybrid. Seat position is a factor.

I started (as you do) with el cheapo gloves, moved to gel pads, greatly improved the numbness, also keep changing positions "before" you start to numb.
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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby nayfen » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Would a road bike with a less agressive frame geometery help? My understanging is a race geometery puts the rider in a more aerodynamic position with alittle more weight on the shoulders arms and wrists while arguably in a stronger stroking position with eyes focused more on the road in front. The trade-off is comfort. A relaxed road geometery or tourer gives a slacker seat tube angle traditionally. This positions the rider more on the sit bones and takes weight off the wrists, arms and neckhead angle for a more upright position, a little less busy in the steering department. The more upright position means a little more weight bias gets transferred to the butt, which may be more comfortable in the wrist region as well.
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Re: Carpal Tunnel Problems

Postby Comedian » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:11 pm

nayfen wrote:Would a road bike with a less agressive frame geometery help? My understanging is a race geometery puts the rider in a more aerodynamic position with alittle more weight on the shoulders arms and wrists while arguably in a stronger stroking position with eyes focused more on the road in front. The trade-off is comfort. A relaxed road geometery or tourer gives a slacker seat tube angle traditionally. This positions the rider more on the sit bones and takes weight off the wrists, arms and neckhead angle for a more upright position, a little less busy in the steering department. The more upright position means a little more weight bias gets transferred to the butt, which may be more comfortable in the wrist region as well.


My bike is a defy which is classified as an "endurance" or compact frame and as I've said it's very comfortable. I don't think the speed is that much difference unless you're averaging probably in the high 30's.

Strangely I was having some problems and I changed from PI elite gloves to Assos gloves and I'm all good. The art of padding positioning appears to be quite subtle.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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