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  1. #1
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    Chronic hand pain

    I seem to be getting chronic hand pain{sharp} in my 3rd finger knuckle on both hands, I get the usual hand stuck in the closed position but the pain in the knuckles is really getting to me, I think its vibration but not sure. If it is do carbon handlebars make a fair bit of difference?

    or is there another way of getting rid of the pain, the real rough tracks were causing me a lot of pain today at the bike park

    cheers
    Lee

  2. #2
    Big Test Icycles
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    This is a common issue with holding on too tight. I had this problem and spoke to a roadie about it. In a nutshell he told me to loosen my grip on the bar and practice better ride/breathing techniques. They also recomended a better glove with more padding on the heal of the palm. I tried this and it works. I sometimes catch myself in the death grip on the bar, bad habit I guess.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangtime
    This is a common issue with holding on too tight. I had this problem and spoke to a roadie about it. In a nutshell he told me to loosen my grip on the bar and practice better ride/breathing techniques. They also recomended a better glove with more padding on the heal of the palm. I tried this and it works. I sometimes catch myself in the death grip on the bar, bad habit I guess.

    great advice just to relax...I would add getting a bigger, more padded grip like a ODI rogue or oury

    also might want to get your small bump sensitivity on your fork adjusted. make it faster or even get a complete rebuilt on fork
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  4. #4
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    as the others have said, try minor adjustment on you suspension.
    also differant grips, are your grips thin if so try a fatter grip if they are thick then try a thinner grip.
    could also be worth looking into them ergon grips, from what i have read and heard these are designed to fit the shape of the hand and prevent the type of pain you are describing.
    http://www.ergon-bike.com/gb/en/home

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a pucker issue. Your squezing with your hands, rather than puckering, in the gnar sections. One of your buddies could be sabatoging you the night before. Make sure to always sleep on your back, and not face down, or spoon position.

    Seriously though, loosen your grip. Get used to riding at higher speed and brake less. It'll lessen as you progress through the season, as you regain/gain more confidence.
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  6. #6
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    I got this BADLY too, I would have to stop rides because of the pain.

    Ergons helped, but did not remove. No idea on carbon bars, might help.

    The thing that fixed the issue was a suspension fork upgrade.
    I got a pair of White Brothers Fluid forks, so so plush that whatever I rode over the pain was just gone.

    I have since then moved to a Dorado, even better.

    This was not due to squeezing too hard, I even had my hands loose on the bars, that actually made it worse.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  7. #7
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    Sounds like you need to find a new girl friend or wife...
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  8. #8
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    no really,

    *maybe try different grips...
    *different gloves (might be too tight)...
    *maybe a handle bar or stem with more rise...
    *maybe slightly longer reach.
    or as the others said -- relax your grip a little.
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  9. #9
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    Are you 1 or 2 finger braking?
    What brakes are you using?

    If you can set up your brakes so you can 1 finger brake and run the contact point of the pads so the levers come in close to the bars at full lock up, you'll should useless pressure on the other fingers for holding on to the bar.

  10. #10
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    I'm curious to know if you're using gloves that have a one piece knuckle protector on the top of the glove. I had a pair of 661 Cedrics that had those protective plates and they would start hurting my hands in the EXACT same place after about 3-4 runs down the mountain. I'm positive those knuckle plates were preventing my knuckles from flexing/moving naturally.
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  11. #11
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    i too have noticed this, with gloves that have carbon knuckle protector. (2 pairs dakine and fox) both caused like a bruise type pain in my knuckle.
    also as mentioned, could be worth changing your brake lever reach pad contact ect and maybe gear shifters. also the angle of the brake lever to.

  12. #12
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    Loosen the grip, get bigger grips (my hands were seriously swolen after riding on the ruffians) and maybe add a bit more damping to both rebound and compression. A bit more controled ride somehow always seems to help my arms and hands.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    I even had my hands loose on the bars, that actually made it worse.
    me too, this caused agony, I have just swapped the grips with my xc ones which are slightly thicker,softer

    1 finger braking with new saints,adjusted as far in as poss so not reaching for the levers

    I have vannilla rc2's on the front which admittedly I set everything in the middle and found I didn't even notice the fork, it felt great so didn't adjust anything

    so if I reduce rebound and increase small bump sensitivety is that going the right way?

    thanks for the input so far

  14. #14
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    You probably need a girlfriend
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  15. #15
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    Go see a hand surgeon/specialist to rule out medical problems.

  16. #16
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    1) see a doctor first, check there is no major problem
    2) get some Specialized gloves, they have the palm pad in the right place, unlike 90% of gloves
    3) try riding with less / no weight on your hands, it will feel weird to begin with but you should be able to after some practice, if you get this right you will probably start riding faster too as your body weight will be more centered on the bike
    4) work on chest, shoulder and core strength, you'll be able to support yourself better without relying on your hands

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zodiac
    1) see a doctor first, check there is no major problem
    2) get some Specialized gloves, they have the palm pad in the right place, unlike 90% of gloves
    3) try riding with less / no weight on your hands, it will feel weird to begin with but you should be able to after some practice, if you get this right you will probably start riding faster too as your body weight will be more centered on the bike
    4) work on chest, shoulder and core strength, you'll be able to support yourself better without relying on your hands
    1, begining to agree
    2, have some as I had the nerve thing pretty bad a while ago, this is different though
    3,I lean back a lot when downhilling, its probably more like I'm pullig back on the bars than leaning on them
    4,I think I need to do this anyway as I'm a strong back weak front person with shoulders of bone and skin

    as a relative newbie to bike parks and uplifts a lot maybe technique, I'm thinking experiment with the suspension on the front as I'm a bit put it in the middle it will do tbh, I posted on the low/high speed compression post to maybe get some tips, I'm hoping a few little changes may at least make it a bit more bearable

    thanks again everyone

  18. #18
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    same thing happened to me. it's the death grip...the loose, more relaxed grip poses no problems.

  19. #19
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    its either your death grip or tendon infections

  20. #20
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    What angle do you have your brake levers set? I notice this kind of thing when I have to reach up for my brakes. I have mine set really low now and it helps. Loosen off the lever clamps a bit. Sit on the bike the way you normally do when you ride, with your hands in a natural position. Now extend your index (braking) finger so that it is straight (you are likely pointing at the ground a meter or so from the front of your bike). Adjust the brake lever angle and reach so that the leverage point matches your finger position. That should help TONS.

    And don't death grip.
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  21. #21
    Mojo0115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techfreak
    What angle do you have your brake levers set? I notice this kind of thing when I have to reach up for my brakes. I have mine set really low now and it helps. Loosen off the lever clamps a bit. Sit on the bike the way you normally do when you ride, with your hands in a natural position. Now extend your index (braking) finger so that it is straight (you are likely pointing at the ground a meter or so from the front of your bike). Adjust the brake lever angle and reach so that the leverage point matches your finger position. That should help TONS.

    And don't death grip.
    Brake lever angle is what I have seen help as well.

    Grip size is another. I don't have hand problems riding DH, but I tried switching the the TLD ODI grips for angle fire and after one run I really sore hands so I went back to my ODI Rogues and my hands felt normal again.

    I have a friend who races and she has been having a lot of hand problems as well that seem to be much better after we switched her brake levers to be more vertical. She used to run her levers almost horizontal to the ground (not quite, but you get the direction better when I describe it that way). Now she runs them much steeper. she also tapes her trigger finger and that is helping a lot. When she forgets to tape she feels it immediately.

  22. #22
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    I get this too and noticed loosening my grip helps some. Not sure what results I'll get, but I added forearm exercises in at the gym recently hoping to help with this. Holding a curlbar with palms up, I'll lower the bar extending down so I'm just barely holding onto the bar with my fingers, then curl it back up starting with my fingers, then hands and forearms. I definitely feel it the next day. And as a previous poster mentioned, core strength is important and often overlooked.

  23. #23
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    3rd finger pain is caused by having your fingers on the brake levers too much. When you have a finger or two on the brake lever, your ring and pinkie fingers have to do all the gripping. Teach yourself to only put your fingers on the brake levers when you are actually braking, and keep all fingers on the grips the rest of the time. Also when braking, try not to squeeze the grip so hard with the ring and pinkie finger.

    I also recommend against padded gloves, as they usually make hand pain worse. All motocross gloves have unpadded palms (I highly recommend Thor Cores). I've had a season pass at Whistler since 2003 and usually ride the park 3-10 days in a row, and I ride mtb/mx 3-5 days/week, so I've learned a lot about how to prevent finger/hand/wrist/arm pain.

  24. #24
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    1. Stop being a Vagina
    2. This happens when you go from riding two or three times a week, to riding all day consecutive days at a bike park.
    3. It will get better as the season progresses. Your hands/wrists will get stronger and more used to working harder as you do it more often. In fact, I bet it won't be as bad after next week.
    4. When you get "the claw" take a break for a few runs. Eat a sandwich, drink a beer. you'll be fine.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccspecialized
    1. Stop being a Vagina
    2. This happens when you go from riding two or three times a week, to riding all day consecutive days at a bike park.
    3. It will get better as the season progresses. Your hands/wrists will get stronger and more used to working harder as you do it more often. In fact, I bet it won't be as bad after next week.
    4. When you get "the claw" take a break for a few runs. Eat a sandwich, drink a beer. you'll be fine.
    That is cheaper than buying a new fork, but I prefer my method.

    If you want to strengthen your wrists there are two good options

    www.powerball.com
    www.ftvgirls.com

    If you get the powerball there is a rival manufacturer call steelball, much much better device, but you will pay for it.
    If you take the second methid remember to change hands
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermoccasin
    3rd finger pain is caused by having your fingers on the brake levers too much. When you have a finger or two on the brake lever, your ring and pinkie fingers have to do all the gripping. Teach yourself to only put your fingers on the brake levers when you are actually braking, and keep all fingers on the grips the rest of the time. Also when braking, try not to squeeze the grip so hard with the ring and pinkie finger.
    dingdingding, you sir are correct. I ride Whistler about 10 days a year and fight the dreaded 'ring finger' pain every year. I have been to a doctor who prescribed Naproxin (Alleve) which helps right before, during, and after the trip. In my case there wasn't anything seriously wrong but if you feel like there is, insist on seeing a specialist. It's unlikely your primary care doc has specific experience in DHerHandCramp.

    It isn't the death grip I don't think, though if you're gripping hard try not to. If you're riding generally 'loose' in the upper half your hands are probably fine too..

    The problem is hanging onto the bar while feathering the brake on high-speed access roads like Freight Train and A-Line. I pay attention to using minimal hand power but remember your index and middle fingers are WAY stronger and better at gripping. If you're braking and chattering, the poor ring fingers are doing all the clutching. I'm quite comfortable on the techy trails and even mid-day they don't hurt the hands. I actually take breaks by hitting the slower, tougher trails.

    If your weight is back while flying the problem will be exaggerated.

    I've gone to a monster 2.7" DH Nevegal on the front and a DH carbon bar, both of which dull the sharpness of the chatter. I like the control better with these too, win/win.

    And, your friends will tease you, but if you're doing multiple, consecutive days, ice the sore spots. It'll buy you riding hours on the mountain.
    Last edited by miklorsmith; 06-16-2010 at 09:43 AM.
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  27. #27
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    I'm glad some others have experienced the same thing and some of the advice I have got is great so thanks to everyone, I was beginning to worry that I had arthritis or something. I changed my grips over and will concentrate on staying off the brakes more, and when the missus back is turned I'll sneak some carbon bars in the basket, I'll take some ibruprofen on our trip in a week or so just in case
    to be fair we went to Kickinghorse which is steep and long, the first half of the mountain we had to do on the fire road which meant on the brakes the whole way as the top half was still snowbound

    cheers
    Lee

  28. #28
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    O yea, two other things - guys in our group have gone against thicker, padded grips. It's not chatter 'on the palm', it's the other way and bigger grips don't allow the fingers to close as much. Also, everyone in the group has adjusted lever throw to almost hit the grips before lockup. This puts your hand in a much more natural position for gripping and riding generally. It feels weird at first and every one of us was skeptical, but every one of us now runs this on all our bikes.
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  29. #29
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    I had a major issue with this also a few years ago. I even went to the doc to get an X-ray because at one point I thought I may have cracked a finger bone.

    Thicker grips helped. But the big thing was better compression settings. I just started riding DH this season (busy at work) and the pain is back. I changed the oil/seals on my 40 over the winter and I don't think I have the right compression settings now.

    I've found good HS compression does wonders.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  30. #30
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    ok, I've plenty of trips and the pain wasn't going away at all, I got yet another set of grips, sort of medium ones and unpadded gloves and the pain went away instantly, I was absolutely amazed, so thanks everyone and hopefully I'm done with the pain so many happy trails everyone

  31. #31
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    Ok, sorry to bump an ancient thread, but it looks like some good advice in here so i want this for later and maybe see if anyone has advice how they resolved it.

    I believe I know the reason I developed this again (had it last summer start of season too also due to brakes) is I let my brakes go too long before doing maintenance on them. I've got the brakes set up great now, but the problem is still taking too long to go away since I am still riding. the pain i have is definitely a chronic issue that can be felt on off days too. It is hard to get this to go away without taking a long break off the bike..

    It seems like there was a lot of conflicting advice on grips in here...is there any better consensus now? I'm on odi ruffians, which are the thinner kind, so wondering if thicker is better on this...i have some pretty thin standard 661 gloves with no armor

    I had wondered about the full hand grip, only take index finger off bar to brake technique, but wasnt sure if I would feel comfortable doing that/learning that...do a lot of good DHers do this?

    OP you still around? if so what happened?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    only take index finger off bar to brake technique, but wasnt sure if I would feel comfortable doing that/learning that...do a lot of good DHers do this?

    OP you still around? if so what happened?
    I only single finger brake. Even on XC.

    *Oh and I meant to say I always have that one figure off the bar.
    Last edited by Ithnu; 05-27-2013 at 09:19 AM.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  33. #33
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    Re: Chronic hand pain

    Great info in this thread, glad i found it.. I've been dealing with the pinched ulnar nerve, tight, curling ring finger, and weakness from straining the tendons, for a few weeks now..

    I am going to adjust my brakes first thing in the morning. After todays ride,i had a feeling a lot of thus Pain was due to bad braking technique. I also work construction, so i do deal with over use on my hands already but I'm quilty of keeping my finger on the brake to much, the throw of the lever is way to long and the brakes are almost horizontal.. Oh yeah and i feather the brakes way to often, like constantly..

    Thanks everyone for the info.

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  34. #34
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    Get some Chronic, deal with the pain

  35. #35
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    Re: Chronic hand pain

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    Get some Chronic, deal with the pain
    Word!

    My problem wasn't Pain though.. It is weakness and motor skills.. I was having a hard time tying my own shoes, couldn't control my ring/pinky finger like normal.

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  36. #36
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    Try these...
    https://www.serfas.com/products/view...grips%7Cpage:2

    I even put one on the left hand grip on my Honda CRF450R. I just cut the end off so they don't hook anything and make me crash. No hand pain at all. Still get some arm pump, but that's just hangin' on too tight.

  37. #37
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    I am pretty sure for me that my brakes setup started it. Now I fixed my brakes and its going away slowly.

    I think the thing that is preventing me from healing faster is strength training which I do on Tuesdays, basically right after weekend biking. I'm gonna lay off the pull ups and dead lifts for a few weeks

    But I think the biggest take aways in this thread are brake setup and that you actually can death grip a lot less by simply thinking about not death gripping while riding

    I also suspect that hanging off the back and plowing makes us more prone to death grip and finger pain. I hang off the back when I'm tired more so than really needing to because of terrain.

    When weight is centered on bike its almost like you're pushing down on the bars with palms, but when hanging off the back the front end is unweighted and jumping around more

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