New pain/numbness in one hand

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
mvcap
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

A couple of years ago I started a thread asking about Retul / bike fits. Was pain-free after a very basic 30min shop seyup when I bought my bike.

Fast forward 2+yrs and I am spending much more time on the bike. I have recently started getting pain on rides in my left wrist with some numbness as well (not after the ride though).

Possibly related, I also am getting some muscle tightness/pain around my left scapula, with some neck tightness (trapezius area). If I try to roll my shoulder back, it feels better, but I am not in a position to do that on the bike for some reason.

My question is, where could I experiment with setup changes to alleviate this? I have zero leg/joint issues and have never had back issues. I'm just inexperienced with modifying my setup and don't want to cause any new problems.

I try to move my hands around the bars frequently, ride on the hoods quite a bit, and am conscious of my grip/tension, fwiw.

Happy to add any other info which may be helpful. Can always go see a fitter but wondering what the DIY approach might begin with. Thanks for any input!

mvcap
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

To clarify, hand/wrist pain is in center on palm side and right where wrist and hand meet. (As in the dead center of this photo) Image

by Weenie


AJS914
Posts: 3550
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I can't help with the wrist but I solved my neck issues using the two exercises talked about in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m65q4a2cREQ

(Note the links in the notes.)

The bigger issue for me is that at 53 years old I've started to ride again at a high level and I've found that I need more and more functional fitness to ride hard.

c60rider
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

I'm a chartered physiotherapist by trade and I'm not going to diagnose anyone from a distance. It's unlikely to be carpal tunnel syndrome which can start in the hand and move up the arm. This is really common with wrist/hand issues but you would be getting symptoms from the area in your wrist and across to the thumb (thenar eminence) and index finger. If you don't have symptoms there you can rule that out. As you have shoulder girdle/ trapezius symptoms then this is almost certainly the area to target. If you can move your neck fairly freely ie up/down, turn left/right fully and tilt your head to either shoulder (don't circle the neck around) then I would more than likely consider myofascial trigger point(s) to be the cause. They can commonly refer to more distal areas ie much further away from the actual trigger point and seemingly unrelated. But provocation ie poking away at the trigger point will start to reproduce symptoms further away. And also compare the same spot on the non-affected side. Most common trigger point to consider would be (acupuncture point) GB21. If you want to explore trigger points yourself then the work by Travell and Simons and in particular upper limb referral patterns may give you some self direction on it. But that's assuming it's trigger points causing it!

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LouisN
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:44 am
Location: Canada

by LouisN

I experience the same numbness in my left hand, it's been on/off for decades.
I'm left handed and I've been a chef for more than 20 years, so I've been abusing my left side for decades.

I would recommend going at a sports doctor, someone with experience in cycling would be ideal.
If not a good physiotherapist will point out weaknesses or specificities in your body, related to your activities, that can cause pain or numbness.

I think c60 spotted some good points.
In my personnal case, my physiotherapist did some tests and it revealed poor strenght of lower trapezius and sub spine muscle. Doubled with bad spine position, and head protraction ...
Translated on the bike, during the rides, my left shoulder moves up "inside" and forward ( I notice it especially when I have the sun behind and see my shadow :oops: ) .
My theory is the incorrect position of the shoulder eventually cause numbness.
As soon as I hit efforts in Z4-5 numbness is soon there ( my physio suggests that when I'm on the rivet I adopt a more "natural" body position and the left shoulder goes back up and forward). On easy rides it can take a few hours.
I'm doing some specific reinforcment exercices to correct this.
It's a long process and involves being constantly aware of body position on the bike.

Louis :)

zefs
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

30min shop setups are not professional bike fits. If you are logging a lot of hours on the bike it's necessary to have the correct fit on all contact points and also compliment cycling with stretching/core work exercises (depending how involved you are in the sport).

The fitters evaluate your body/flexibility/asymmetries and will let you know what to improve on as well as put you in the correct position.
Usually you need to stretch the hip flexors and strengthen glutes and core.

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Leviathan
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by Leviathan

LouisN wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:47 pm
I experience the same numbness in my left hand, it's been on/off for decades.
I'm left handed and I've been a chef for more than 20 years, so I've been abusing my left side for decades.

Louis :)
As an adide we raised the countertops in out kitchens by 20cm and the chefs had significantly less back and arm issues afterwards.
Of course still didnt help with the burners but at least prep time was less painful.

mvcap
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

Thanks for the input so far. All good advice! Exercises, dr's, etc may all help.

However, my issue is on the bike, only. I am looking for position/setup mod ideas to put myself in a better position on the bike. I'd prefer to keep it simple for a starting point and not have to book appointments, deal with waiting rooms, etc.

As in my original post... My question is, where could I experiment with setup changes to alleviate this?

zefs
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

Can't say without seeing you on the bike from the side, so if possible upload a photo so we can see your position.
Hand in combination with neck pain is usually too much pressure in the hands, so you could be too far forward on the saddle (or saddle tilt down too much) or trying to keep your body weight up with your hands/neck because of the pelvis not being stable in the saddle and not enough core strength.

Here's a good bike fitting playlist to give you info about how fit works: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... LEgp6nHICp

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posaunemeister
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

by posaunemeister

On what part of the bar do you commonly rest your hands? What bars do you use? Have you had any major trauma on your left wrist within the past few years?
"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

mvcap
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

I use Specialized Expert Alloy bars, they were the stock bars 3yrs ago with my bike, have logged 4000+ mi in 2017, 5000+ in 2018, and so far 4500 this yr. No trauma to hand/wrist.

Zefs, thanks for the bike fit YouTube playlist.

Going to tilt saddle nose up just slightly and see if that helps remove some pressure from my hands as a starting point. Will report back!

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4306
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

zefs wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:56 am
Can't say without seeing you on the bike from the side, so if possible upload a photo so we can see your position.
Hand in combination with neck pain is usually too much pressure in the hands, so you could be too far forward on the saddle (or saddle tilt down too much) or trying to keep your body weight up with your hands/neck because of the pelvis not being stable in the saddle and not enough core strength.

Here's a good bike fitting playlist to give you info about how fit works: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... LEgp6nHICp

The content on this dude’s channel is very basic and verging on garbage. Doubt he has any formal training in relevant skillsets.

zefs
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

He explains fit very well and in an easy to understand way, not sure what you were expecting.

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

zefs wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:46 am
He explains fit very well and in an easy to understand way, not sure what you were expecting.

Basically I was expecting this https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr43Lg ... M00L1xJb4A

Alexandrumarian
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:34 pm
Location: Romania

by Alexandrumarian

I used to experience a pretty irritating numbness in a wrist after woodorking with a router. It seems to be gone now after covering the contact and grip points with a few layers of handlebar tape. I tried working with thick gloves but didn't work for me. No problems on the bike where I had flexy super light carbon bars. Recently I switched to an alloy bar to test a new fit and I can definitely feel more buzz and shocks from the road bumps. Curious if thatwrist will start acting up again.

by Weenie


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