Friday, August 14, 2009

numb hands

Yikes! Saturday we went on a long ride, it was 60 miles, the longest Tammy and I have ever gone and it was not easy. There was at least 15 miles that was climbing, though it was not steep it was a tough climb or "slog" as we call it up the road. About 7 miles of it was a tar and gravel mixture, which made it tough to look around and tough to do anything other than look at the road and avoid pot holes and whatever else might cause injury.

My collar bone/shoulder was screaming in pain! I was hurting so bad I took Advil and I have not done that in two years. It hurt bad and a couple of other people we ride with regularly had some old aches to surface again. This ride seemed to bump a lot to the surface and look at some ergonomic changes.

One thing that did surface again was Tammy's hand going numb. It was a problem more on the mountain bikes and really had not been a problem on the road bikes. So we thought it was in the past, until Saturday when her last two fingers went almost completely numb. Eeek!

Here is what happened. There is a nerve, well there are many in your hand, but one nerve that runs between the two padded areas on your hand. This nerve is the nerve most commonly linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. There are a series of stretches and other things that you can do to help prevent this, find a good sports medicine person, Qigong instructor or physical therapist for these actions. Because the only other treatment is slicing that nerve and well, you really do not want nerves sliced through unless it is the last resort.

There are a few things that caused this and Saturdays tough ride probably aggravated the situation. Riding with a constant pressure on your hands can cause the nerve to be pressed so long that it stops sending signals to the fingers. Having gloves or handlebars with to much padding can cause this problem, oddly just as much as not having gloves and padding can cause the same problem. It is all about finding the balance that works best for you. It is that whole thing that what works for one person may not work for another person. So keep at it until you find what keeps you most comfortable on the saddle, even for the long and bumpy rides.

By the way! There are 600 spots left for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!!! and you have a little over one week to raise your minimum. I know you can do it!!! Come ride with me next week, the deadline to register is August 20th and the ride is the 23. If you cannot ride this year, then please donate, we're all fighting cancer

Come along and join the fun!

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