Excruciating hand pain after week long trip- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Excruciating hand pain after week long trip

    About 3 weeks ago, we went on a week long biking trip up through west NC.

    The last two days were spent at Beech mountain, where I did about a day and a half worth of runs on the lift assisted DH park there. This was my first time there and I'm a novice, probably more beginner given that of the 7 months I've been riding, 5 1/2 were in a pretty weak area of FL.

    Anyway, after riding the park, my left hand hurt really bad, as if it was sore, but with a little more pain. I didn't think much of it, rode the next day, then came home. Being my first day at a park, I assumed that I had a death grip on the bars (I did), which was causing the pain in my left hand (no clue why right didn't have it).

    Over the course of the next few weeks (I ride ~5 times a week), the pain seemed to get worse. Now, if I grip anything tightly or even close my hands in a certain way, I get a shooting pain in my hand. At times, it's lasted a minute or so before going away and been so painful I couldn't do anything else. I feel it sometimes doing rather benign activities (e.g. washing my hands, squeezing tires to sense pressure, tightly gripping fruit).

    The pain seems to only exist when my hands are gripped a certain way, very close together.

    Any advice on what this could be?

    I realize going to a doc is the best option and I would, except that my insurance expired today and doesn't pick back up for a month. I can still go, but I'll have to sign up for COBRA which is $$$$.

  2. #2
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    You didn't mention it was associated with crashing at all, so that rules out a lot of things. I'm wondering if its carpal tunnel related? But best to see a doctor as you say.

    When you ride your bike next, make sure the LSC is wound right down, or preferably OFF. LSC will definitely make it worse.

  3. #3
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    Op, you didn't give any specific hand location. That probably doesn't really matter because it could be just about anything...torn tendon or muscle, hairline fracture, wrist impingement, etc. I have some arthritis in some joints in my hand that results in some strange, unanticipated pains.

    Since it's getting worse, you should probably rest it and use some anti-inflammatory, and go see a doctor.
    Anthem Advanced
    ECR

  4. #4
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    Haha I know why your right hand was stronger
    I bet you have a filthy search history

  5. #5
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    Umm.. don't ride if it hurts? Give yourself a week or two of recovery, and see how the hand fares after that.

    After a few days of downhilling in a row, I had some pretty bad hand pain. Switched to some thicker foam grips (came from odi lock-ons), and that seemed to help quite a bit. Big fan of the ESI Chunky style grips as a result. But you still need to give it a rest for a while.

  6. #6
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    I wanted to offer an update on this, I forgot about this thread.

    I swapped to some thicker grips and it helped, but not a lot. I went about a month and a half with the pain and it eventually got so bad that I was stopping on long descents to give my hands rest, it was extremely painful and felt like my hands were tearing apart.

    In late August, I went to Mulberry Gap and met Steffi from A Perfect Bike Fit in FL. I brought up my issue in casual conversation and she spent a few minutes with me tweaking the position of my bars, which I had never adjusted before. I had them rotated fairly far backwards and the angle of my wrists against the bars was really dramatic.

    She helped me get the angle correct, so my wrists were square on with the bars and not bent or out of position. I then went and did the same ride I did the day before (and had to stop due to wrist pain), but the issue vanished completely. I've since never had the issue reoccur.

    TL;DR: The angle of my bars was way off causing my wrists to be at very odd angles while riding, causing pain. Fixing this made the pain go away.

  7. #7
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    if you have any pics of your bar setup before and after it would be great to share to help others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I wanted to offer an update on this, I forgot about this thread.

    I swapped to some thicker grips and it helped, but not a lot. I went about a month and a half with the pain and it eventually got so bad that I was stopping on long descents to give my hands rest, it was extremely painful and felt like my hands were tearing apart.

    In late August, I went to Mulberry Gap and met Steffi from A Perfect Bike Fit in FL. I brought up my issue in casual conversation and she spent a few minutes with me tweaking the position of my bars, which I had never adjusted before. I had them rotated fairly far backwards and the angle of my wrists against the bars was really dramatic.

    She helped me get the angle correct, so my wrists were square on with the bars and not bent or out of position. I then went and did the same ride I did the day before (and had to stop due to wrist pain), but the issue vanished completely. I've since never had the issue reoccur.

    TL;DR: The angle of my bars was way off causing my wrists to be at very odd angles while riding, causing pain. Fixing this made the pain go away.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucifuge View Post
    if you have any pics of your bar setup before and after it would be great to share to help others.
    I can reconstruct it and have my wife take some pictures. I'll do so once I get a chance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I can reconstruct it and have my wife take some pictures. I'll do so once I get a chance.

    Best money you can spend on your bike is a 3d fit with someone who knows what they're doing. An hour with a goniometer, a plumb bob, a ruler, and a well trained tech, on a trainer so you are warmed up, in a shop where they can swap out parts until you get it perfect can save you big in the long run.

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