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more Carpal Tunnel Syndrome question/dx

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:27 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: more Carpal Tunnel Syndrome question/dx Reply with quote

alrighty doc, i've just recently picked up trials riding. a couple weeks ago, i did a longer ride. since then my right hand has been giving me hell. it feels like the pain is radiating from the area between my thumb and index finger. after as little as 5 mins on the bike, it's hard to turn a door knob. i've shortened my stem, tweaked the bars, changed brake lever position, wrapped bar tape around my grip (ODI Ruffian), and have read a few posts on here. it seems the symptoms are consistent with that of CTS.

my mtb, rigid with ODI Ruffians as well, doesn't cause any pain, though.

my concern:
i'm riding in Texas 4000 this summer. 4500mi in 2 months. being that we're in the midst of heavy training, i can't afford time off a bike.

help? is CTS a result of repeated shock? is carbon something i should look into for this summer (i actually haven't seen any suspension stems, but being that we're gonna be in the middle of nowhere, i'd like to just stick with no frills stuff, you know?)? gel bartape?
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The Bike Doc

Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1371
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:22 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote


As you have read the previous posts on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I won't go over it in great detail as I have already done. Instead I will get to your specific questions.

"Is CTS a result of repeated shock?" Yes, it can be. The rigid fork you ride can be a significant factor. For off road riding, I recommend a suspension fork tuned to isolate your hands from the high frequency low impact vibrations such as riding on a gravel road. For road riding, a suspension stem such as the "Soft Ride" stem, the old Girvin (now K2) "Flex Stem" or comparable modle from Zoom or Trek. You may want to consider a road fork with suspension. These will not have as much travel but they will help isolate your hands from high frequency, low impact vibrations from rough road surfaces. A carbon for can help but may not be enough.

Now, if your ride is going to be on pavement, look very seriously at a recumbent bike. I was seriously afflicted with CTS and was looking at surgery. I was putting in alot of road mile commuting to work on a conventional road bike pluss weekend rides. Before I went to the surgeon, I switched to a recumbent bike; low and behold my CTS went I away and instead of helping put a surgeon's kid through college, I helped my local bike shop pay some more bills. Check out and for more info on recumbents. However, if your ride is going to be off road, then stick with your mountain bike and get front suspension. There are several good reliable suspension forks out there that you can depend upon for your 4,500 mile expedition.

If you find that even off the biike your symptoms persist, then you should seek a medical evaluation.

Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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