In recognition of American Society of Hand Therapists “ Hand Therapy Week”, we would like to help you recognize some common issues that bicyclists occur while riding. Now that we are in cycling season, many cyclists endure injuries that come with their passion. Although hand injuries tend to be less frequent than knee or lower back pain when cycling, they do occur. Below are common hand and wrist conditions and tips on how to prevent them:
- Handlebar Palsy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Pain
- Hand Numbness
Having any form of these symptoms can have a huge your ability to get out and enjoy riding. Below are some tips on keeping your hands healthy.
Proper Bike Fitting- This step is most commonly missed by cyclists but is an important one. There are 5 contact points on a bike; right hand, left hand, butt, left leg, and right leg. Not all cyclist have the same body type and therefore proper bike fitting is a necessity. Having a professional to assess your weight and height and properly fit your bike can be crucial to injury prevention.
Get a (Proper) Grip- This is key to 2 out of 5 of the contact points mentioned above. Improper grip support can create a very uncomfortable ride while a good grip support should allow freedom of movement. Most cyclists tend to use grips that were already provided on their bike and not spend the extra money. Talk to your cyclist professional to have them recommend the proper grip.
Get Those Hands Moving – Keep your hands moving by constantly changing hand position along with shaking out your hands once in awhile will help with hand numbness.
If you still are having symptoms in your hands, it may be best to consult with one of our Upper Extremity Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates. Our specialist can properly diagnose your condition and coordinate a treatment plan with one of our Hand Therapy Team members.