Finger numbness?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by BamaJason, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. BamaJason

    BamaJason New Member

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    I hope someone can help me out with this one....

    I completed a 102-mile ride this past weekend. Somewhere around the 50 mile mark, I noticed that my right index finger was going numb. I tried to shake it out and relax my hand by my side when not climbing, but it kept feeling tingly all afternoon. Now, two days later, it is still numb. The weird thing is that it is only numb on the side that faces my thumb. The side that faces my middle finger is fine. I can feel anything on the middle finger side, but nothing on the thumb side. The finger is no more warm or cold than the other fingers and is not discolored, so I know it is getting blood circulation.

    For some background info, I ride a road bike with gloves and keep my hands in the usual position against the brake hoods 90% of the time. The only thing different as far as my usual riding is that the gloves I wore on this ride were brand new and had only been worn once or twice before this ride. I ride about 120-150 miles per week and usually have at least one 40-50 mile ride each weekend, with no similar experience.

    I'm just baffled by this. Has anyone ever experienced this kind of numbness and for this long of a period?
     
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  2. iDash

    iDash New Member

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    I have had some numbness on around a 15 mile mark, but I've always been able to shake it out in a couple minutes. I do not know what could cause permanent numbness with circulation.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    It may be have been something that you were about to experience on most of your rides but you just never got to that point.

    It's most likely that you're compressing something that shouldn't be compressed - be it a nerve or blood vessel. Instead of riding on the hoods all the time, try resting on the area of the bar just behind the hoods or even just on the tops for a while. If you're comfy riding on the drops then that'd be an alternative too.

    Try riding in your old gloves for 60 miles or even going without the gloves.

    It may be that you're just putting too much weight on your hands due to positional issues. Without seeing pics it's hard to say but it could be a combination of bars too high and close and a saddle that's too far forward.
     
  4. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    Yes. I had exactly the same thing happen last season. One ride in particular, I was kinda tense because I was dealing with a lot of crazy pedestrian traffic on a MUP. When I got home I noticed the same kind of numbness that you are describing. It actually took a very long time for it to resolve itself (6 months or so), and I had come to think that the numbness was permanent.

    I also changed gloves after that because I noticed that my old PIs were pinching my fingers. Bough a pair of Giro gloves, and LOVE them - no pinching. So I think my problem was a combination of gripping the bars a little too tight, having too much weight on my hands, and wearing bad gloves.

    I've been on the bike 15hrs/week this season with no recurrence of the problem.
     
  5. BamaJason

    BamaJason New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I have used a variety of positions in the 40 or so miles I have ridden since Satruday's long ride, but have continued to wear the same gloves. I will give the gloves a rest and continue changing up my hand position and see where that leads.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the advice above, pay attention to what you're doing with your wrists, particularly when you're riding the bar tops. Try not to 'drop' your wrists creating a sharp angle between your forearms and the back of your hands. A lot of riders do this without thinking about it while riding the tops which can lead to pinched nerves and numb fingers.

    Try to ride with a your hands in a relaxed but relatively straight line from your forearms regardless of what bar positions you're riding. IOW, avoid this:
     
  7. The Blackadder

    The Blackadder New Member

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    Hi BamaJason, well so far I think you have been given some great info on how to correct this problem that you have but I have a little bit of info to give you that might just help. I too was suffering from the same problem as you and I thought it might actually be the bike? I had gone from riding a Cervelo RS with a more relaxed riding position to a Cervelo S3 that has a more aggressive riding position however it turned out that it was not the bike at all. I spoke to a specialist about my numbness as this is always a worry for me due to being diabetic, and this is what they told me.
    I was suffering from something called Carpal tunnel syndrome it is something that
    cyclists have the possibility of suffering from, it is hand and finger numbness, and is referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to time under pressure in one position, together with shock and vibration, which can also cause hand and wrist pain.
    I was advised by my specialist to invest in a set of gloves that
    actually deal with the problem rather than sell on a name and because it is cool and flash to have the latest set of gore gloves.
    The gloves I got WORK and also look awesome they are called Ringers deep gel cycling cloves, they are expensive but guess what I don't suffer any more, good luck fella I hope you work it out.

    The Blackadder
    .;)
     
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