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Tingly FingerZ(6 posts)

Tingly FingerZGTrider215
Jun 13, 2001 7:03 PM
Ok for about the past 3 weeks or so when i start riding ill be going then after about only about 6 miles in my right hand the tips of my fingerz will start to tingle? like it feels like they're going to sleep. then i have to raise my hand up alittle then they feel cold and it goes away and comes back a lil off and on, but after about 15 miles when im erally warmed up it doesnt come back. Also if this helps im riding a Univega Mountain bike. I just got a job so i dont have the money for my road bike, but since my hands are in a differenct posiition on the mountani bike than on a road bike could thats what be doing it? and is it normal? its not that big of a trouble it just gets on my nerves having to take my hands off the bars and wave em around a lil bit. But thank!

I'm not a doctor...Dr. Strangelove
Jun 13, 2001 7:54 PM
... but I play one on tv. Actually, I don't even do that. ;-)

Seriously though, I'll start this off for you and maybe someone with a better knowledge can pick it up from there. This is mostly background information, but it might help a little.

Which fingers tingle? There are two major nerves that run into your fingers and they run through different places in your arm. The one that seems to plague cyclists the most is the "ulnar" nerve. It passes through a spot in the inside-back of your elbow called the cubital tunnel and passes (I think) up the ouside of your forearm through the part of your palm opposite your thumb. It's the nerve that handles signals from your ring finger and pinky. I never put 2 and 2 together, but this is almost undoubtedly your "funny bone".

The other three fingers are controlled by the (someone help me with the name here) nerve that passes through an opening inside your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The nerves passing through here can be pinched by any number of things (bad wrist angle, swelling, etc.).

That's why I asked which fingers it was. Since there are (maybe surprisingly) two separate nerve paths, the problem and any posture corrections can lie on completely separate paths as well.

Carpal tunnel problems (in particular - I don't know about a cubital tunnel equivalent) can show up as numbness in your first three fingers in the AM right when you wake up. A lot of people sleep in a fetal position with the backs of their hands tucked up against their chins and this can cause the kind of pinching I described above. Most of the folks who I know who have been treated for "minor" problems in this area have been given wrist braces and strict orders to wear them and not make it "worse". Since these are repetitive stress type injuries, often enough time off and removal of the offending stimuli will "cure" the problem. One guy I know had shooting pains in his forearms that were the result of ulnar nerve problems at the cubital tunnel as well as in regions of his back. Ice and advil were biggies on his treatment list. The kind of pain that he experienced is evidently the kind of pain that folks with more advanced carpal tunnel problems have. These are folks who can no longer pick things up without excruciating pain. No fun at all.

Because these are problems that have to do with pressure on nerves, you can try things like varying your hand positions while you ride, etc. Specialized has these "Body Geometry" gloves that have extra padding around the part of your palm opposite your thumb. This supposedly helps prevent pressure on the hand in that region from reaching the ulnar nerve. That might just be hype, but I'm a cynic. :-) Because a lot of the more common nerve problems in these areas are repetitive stress problems (as opposed to acute trauma problems), avoidance and (consequently) changing your habits are big on the remedy lists.

Again, I am not a doctor... If you want to see one, I believe that a neurologist is the right one to see for this type of problem (nerve), but you may wanna start with your GP and go from there.

The thing that I REFUSE to say is that it sounds like a major/minor/critical/imaginary case. These are YOUR hands we're talking about and when/if to seek help about this and how to change your riding habits are all strictly your business.

Best of luck and I hope it's nothing. And I hope that others can provide some more useful info. :-)
Dr. S.
P.S. Stretching!!!Dr. Strangelove
Jun 13, 2001 7:58 PM
Is a big one on the preventative-measures list for my friends too. Of course, I'm not really sure what kind of stretches you should be doing, but that's because...

(you guessed it)

I am not a doctor. ;-) A real doctor (and even a more experienced cyclist) can probably give you some good ideas on stretches...

Dr. S
Fingers that tingle..GTrider215
Jun 13, 2001 8:04 PM
like u were talkign about sometimes in the morning when i wake up, my hand will somteimes be completly numb. but then when i wiggle it around the blood circulates and it gets back to normal, when im riding its usually my pointer finger, my index finger, and my ring finger..
Fingers that tingle..Dr. Strangelove
Jun 13, 2001 8:37 PM
Yup. You might wanna consider seeing your doc about that.

This @#$! browser has dropped this post about three times, so I'm gonna keep this REALLY short. You're 15 - I read another post by you and I have a good memory, so this is a precursor to the next statement. No, I'm not some psycho 'board stalker. :-)

My friend with the ulnar nerve problems got them by playing WAY too much guitar around middle and high school. The doctors (at his age 20) told him that he should have been playing with other kids and stuff rather than hanging a 10 lb hunk of wood over one shoulder for 8 hours a day. Middle and high school are delicate times, developmentally. If he'd been more moderate then, he wouldn't spend 30+ minutes per day icing his wrists... he's been doing that for 6 years now. Guitar is no longer his primary instrument and he really wishes it was.

You should probably see a doctor to tell him/her what you're up to. Maybe even see a sports medicine (or better yet, cycling) specialist and have them keep an eye on you. Doing ANYTHING in excess can lead to nasty consequences.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good luck with the job, the cycling, and the whole nerve thing.


p.s. This really was more conversational the first three times I wrote it. Don't take any of it too harshly. I mean it all with utter respect for your future. :-)
Not maybe, definitely see a doctorMaillot Rouge
Jun 14, 2001 8:55 AM
Nice posts Dr. Strangelove. One of my main responsibilities at work is dealing with people that have cumulative trauma disorder symptoms or what we call ergonomic related injuries. You have described many of the classic signs of this type of injury and you should go see a doctor as soon as possible. You also should take a look at the amount of time you spend on a computer keyboard, playing video games and any other activity that is repetitive in nature. Evalute what you do at the new job, if it's a manual repetitive task that you perform with your hands it may be contributing to the problem.

A good test to do that will tell you how bad off you are goes as follows. Press the backs of your hands together for 90 seconds. The amount of pain you feel in you hands will tell you how bad you are. This test is mainly for carpal tunnel syndrom so it will help isolate you problem. I'm not going into a full explanation of CTS but basically the sheaths around your tendons that go though your carpal tunnel swell up because of overuse and begin to press against the median nerve that's why you feel the tingling in your fingers.

Rest and recover. Identify the root cause of the problem and eliminate or fix it. If you let it go and don't do anything about it it will get worse. The surgeries for these injuries are not very effective, are very painful and leave nasty scars. Take care of the problem now.