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pain in the shoulders, front deltoids

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 9:29 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: pain in the shoulders, front deltoids Reply with quote

Bike Doc,

I have had pain in my shoulders/front delts for some time now. A bit about me: 6', 170lbs. My current setup is a size 18" Kona, low riser, 0 degree 90mm stem.

My pain kicks in around 5 miles or so. The trails I ride are generally pretty rocky ups and downs, some hardpack. The pain gets so intense that it forces me to stop at times. I'll stretch my arms at intervals, but it kills my tempo. I suppose I'm putting too much weight on those muscles. My hands hurt occasionally.

I have been having the problem since I started riding about 2 years ago, but it's much worse since I've upped my mileage.

My current setup incorporates my desire for a smaller cockpit, ie. the shorter stem, seat forward on the rails, etc. I have played with most settings trying to alleviate the pain but to no avail. Any ideas?

Thanks, Russ--
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The Bike Doc

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

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:01 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote


You may want to try just a taller handlebar/stem set up. The Shorter cockpit will likely help unload the upper torso. Your shoulder pain could also be due to compression of the median nerve as it goes throug the carpal tunnel. Occassionally the pain goes retrograde (backwards) up the nerve into the shoulder. That may explain why it comes on after riding. Do the bar end trick I mentioned in the other post about hand tingling. This can help the pain whether it is due to median nerve compression or shoulder muscle cramping from the handle bar being too low. Another trick is to use a more rearward sweep handle bars. Most bikes come with 3-5 degree sweep. I recently switched my set up to an 11 degree sweep with a Salsa Flat Tracker bar. This provides a much more anatomically neurtral position for my hands. This helped decrease shoulder cramping and wrist discomfort for me on long rides.

Try some of these tricks and you may get relief.

BTW, I am a tall rider 6'1" and I prefer the tighter cockpit much like you. The longer cockpits of taller frames give me low back pain.

Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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