Author Topic: Hand and wrist pain.  (Read 831 times)

Gochenour

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Hand and wrist pain.
« on: August 17, 2013, 10:46:32 AM »
Lately my hands have been in a lot of pain the day after I ride. Usually they stop hurting when I'm riding except for the numbness that happens in my pinky or thumb some times. Days after a ride they continue to hurt, all around my knuckles and my wrist a little bit. I'm assuming it might have something to do with the position of my breaks and shifters. I wear a decent pair of gloves every time I ride. I was thinking of going with fingerless since half way through my rides my fingers push as far into the fingers of the gloves possible and might be what's causing some of the numbness.

I've rode almost all spring/summer without too much pain but the last week or so it seems to be sticking around and not going anywhere. Any one else experience this when you first started riding?
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Draggon

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 11:21:15 AM »
Disclaimer - I'm not an expert, just had some experience with this issue...  :)

Five tips to offer:

Try to ride with a firm, but relaxed grip.  The firmness may well vary based on the difficulty of what you're riding, but try to make a conscious effort to relax your grip periodically on the trail where you deem it safe to do so.

We often ride with a finger or two on the brake lever depending on sight lines, downhilling, etc.  I've found that 1-finger braking is much more comfortable for me than 2-finger (which I did for the first few riding years).

When you ride, your hand and forearm should be in alignment - in other words, the wrist should not be noticeably bent up or down as it puts a good deal of stress on the muscles in the lower arm and wrist.  I was doing this for awhile a few years ago and I started getting ongoing wrist/forearm pain.

Try to evaluate whether you're "reaching" too far on your bike.  This can be tough without an experienced eye helping out, but if the stem is too long, the seat is too far back, or the bars are too low, you could be putting an inordinate amount of your body weight on your hands.

Lastly, if none of the above works, try to borrow a (or buy a cheap used) pair of ergonomic grips like the Ergons (http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/home).  I find them to be very comfortable (providing you get the wrist angle set correctly - see above) and am contemplating replacing the grips on my brand-new bike with a pair.

Good luck!

Gochenour

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 12:06:45 PM »
Thanks for the tips. I would have to say that it really isn't so much wrist pain as it is in my knuckles and proximal phalange area. The pain is mostly all in my upper and lower knuckles area. I do need to invest in some better grips. ;) I have some basic ergo grips that came on the bike that twist around while riding. Hair spray didn't keep them in place. That might be a little bit of the problem, but that only happens about 50% of the time.

I probably do need to loosen up on my deathgrip. I wonder how much a cheap fork contributes to the pain I'm having.
"How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."
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Dan71

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 12:23:13 PM »
My guess if your grips are spinning you are having to grip tighter.  New clamp on grips would possibly help.  I do not think Your fork is not causing problem

JasonS

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 01:17:03 PM »

Also, not an expert.  But I have also had problems the more I'm out of shape.

My hands swell and go numb if I get lazy, lock my elbows and lean too much on the bar as a crutch for poor leg strength.  To combat hand problems, [size=78%]I try to carry most my body weight on the pedals, then seat, and as light as I can on the bar.  Keep elbows unlocked and one finger, or none, on brakes(I have hydraulic disc, though and do not require more than that to panic stop).


I also got the ergo grips, they're awesome.[/size]

gt ss

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 02:52:41 PM »
I've tried Ergons and Nashbar gel grips and while they were good temporarily, I'm back to the thin grips that came on my Giant. If my hands get tingly or numb I shake them out, smack my hip and LOOSEN MY GRIP! I've found that when things get intense I tighten up and forget to loosen back up again.

The tip about keeping your wrists straight is spot on too. Bent wrist angles and a death grip puts too much pressure on the Ulnar (?) nerve.

Keep trying different things until you find the key and whatever you do, keep on riding  :)

Paul Gilson

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 06:58:10 PM »
I agree with Ric - first step is loosen your grip. Second step is figure out where else you are tense and relax that body part. One of the first things I noticed when I started riding with faster riders is how easy they make it look.   


I went to a mtb class and the first exercise we did was to make a tight fist and flex our forearm, then tried to rotate our wrist. It turns out you can't really do it very well, but when you relax your grip you gain control of your wrists.  Same applies to the rest of your body.


If you still have wrist pain, I would try ergon grips. They resolved some wrist pain i had last year [size=78%]within a week.  This all assumes you have a properly sized and fitted bike. [/size]

Raleighguy29

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 08:43:24 PM »
Disclaimer not a expert. I have crarpul tunnel syndrome. So my hands tend to go numb as I ride no matter what. I have a stumpy with a air fork and a Raleigh with cheap suntour fork. When I ride the Raleigh my hands go numb very fast,but when I ride the stumpy I barely ever have numbness. So I think the better fork does help aleaviate it some. Relaxing your grip is spot on. You will find that you don't need a death grip. To keep a hold of the bars. Relax the grip and ive heard great things about the ergo grips and bolt on grips is the only way to go.
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Ed Strobel

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 09:46:34 PM »
What angle are your shift and brake levers, since you mentioned them?

Indiana Dave

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 09:52:11 AM »
I was getting the same thing, and switched my flat old school bars out for some wider riser bars with a slight weep. Numbness has never come back. I found my wrists were constantly bent with my old bars, and now they're nice and straight.
I tried out thin grips with padded gloves on my new bike, but it wasn't for me. I went back to the thicker foam grips with thin gloves.
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gt ss

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 12:12:48 PM »
grips, gloves and saddles are all very personal things. Hopefully you can find what works for you without spending a fortune trying to figure it out.

Mahk

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2013, 11:24:40 AM »
I had problems with my right wrist, and I realized it bent a lot more than my left.  I tried to keep it straight but sometimes over-compensated and would have to look down to see if it looked like my left wrist. 
 
Then I pretended that I was pulling up on the handle bars without actually doing so and that helped  a lot--it straightened my wrists, relaxed my grip, and took weight off of my hands. 

DeepVI

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2013, 01:28:54 PM »
All good advice.  Especially about the "death grip". 

Here's a good video on Pink Bike about cockpit set-up.
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/technical-tuesday-bar-setup-2010.html

Another with nifty visuals.
http://www.bicycling.com/mountainbikecom/featured-stories/when-old-school-isnt-cool
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Gochenour

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Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2013, 03:08:51 PM »
Thanks! Lately the pain has been entirely in my thumbs. They feel sore and jammed. I watched both of the videos. I'll have to play with my brakes lever adjustments, maybe that will help a little bit. If that fails, I'm going to switch to a non contour handlegrip. I just bought a brand new set of Specialized BG contour grips, they are nice but I'm not sure if they are a part of the culprit yet.

The death grip advice always helps! I always have to remind myself to loosen up on my grips. ;)
"How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

 

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