Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cyclist Palsy

I've signed myself up to do a 100 mile road ride this fall, so naturally my thoughts on these long training rides center on what can go wrong with the human machine while training for this endeavour.

Cyclist Palsy is essentially a numbness that occurs in the ring and pinky fingers. Most of the time it comes from cocking the wrist and putting pressure on the ulnar nerve. If you get numbness in the index and middle finger that is true carpal tunnel and your putting pressure on the median nerve. On a road bike this occurs when you cock your wrist and angle it towards the pinky. The pinky numbness and ulnar irritation will come when cock your wrist and bend toward the thumb.

To keep this from happening a few easy things should be done. Make sure your bar tap isn't old. Wear gloves. Change your hand position every few minutes, even standing up every now and then to vary pressure on your hands. Another very important thing to check is your saddle position. Make sure your seat isn't pointed down, as this will transfer your body weight forward allowing more pressure to come through your hands.

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