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Loss Of Strength In Hand

There was a topic on the previous board regarding loss of strength/use of hand. Don’t remember the poster who started the thread. I have a similar issue, and was wondering whether the person ever found a diagnosis or corrective remedy.

In my case the right hand began loosing strength in August.  No pain, no numbness, no tingling.  Just continuing loss of use and atrophy.  I have been to a neurologist, had 3 MRI’s, and an EMG.  Diagnosis – injured nerve(s). Treatment – nothing.  Prognosis – might get better, might not.

Any similar experiences?

Thanks for any response.

11 Replies

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jwsknk, December 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

I had issues with numbness starting from the little finger working in. There were also bumps on both the top and bottom of the wrists. Each time was treatedas out patient, have avoided surgery and no problems for several years now. Each time they went in through the side, first a local, then a larger bore needle to drain fluids off, then another needle to put stuff back. Well, the stuff they took out wasn’t really fluid, more like jello.


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#12399

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Bricky14, December 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

This happened to me late in the week and following RAGBRAI 2009. I am right-handed and it was in my right forearm so it was a pain to deal with. It got to the point where I could not squeeze my water bottle enough to get a drink. It lasted for a month or a more but went away on its own. Didn’t have any problems in 2010.


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#12400

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Davy Sprocket, December 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

Bricky14 said: This happened to me late in the week and following RAGBRAI 2009. I am right-handed and it was in my right forearm so it was a pain to deal with. It got to the point where I could not squeeze my water bottle enough to get a drink. It lasted for a month or a more but went away on its own. Didn’t have any problems in 2010.

My wife and I had a similar experience in 2005.  Neither of us could grip a fork to eat or a glass to drink.  Like Bricky, our issues went away without treatment.  It was very frustrating and entertaining.


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#12401

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tjdale, December 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Seems to me if you had an EMG the location of the nerve injury should have been discovered.  Most likely that was at the wrist or palm and is related to cycling.  If so padding the bars and adjusting your fit so you have less weight on the hands can help.  How fast, how well, or even if this will heal depends on the severity of the injury, the length of time the injury was occurring, your general health, and the avoidance of further injury.  Of course you could always go the recumbent route and avoid upper body injury all together.


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#12402

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Sandaltan, December 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

That was my thought also tjdale, why endure discomfort, pain and even surgery when there is a solution???  I made the switch after RAGBRAI 1998.

RIDE RIGHT


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#12403

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Numbers, December 23, 2010 at 8:38 am

I started having a numb little finger right after buying and riding my new bike. I got the fit on the bike checked and fixed and went to a chiropractor just to move nerves around a bit and the feeling came back. The fit check took some pressure off the hands and put it on the seat and feet.

Also, a lot of the vibration absorbed by the hands and arms can be eliminated by using wider tires at a bit lower pressure (in addition to padding the bars well and using good gloves). Jan Heine and the Bicycle Quartlery (used to be the Vinatge Bicycle Quarterly, also has started contributing to the Adventure Cyclist mag) has done a lot of research on this topic and has shown that speeds are not greatly reduced by the wider, softer tire. Vibration, however, is significantly reduced and that’s good news for your hands.

Hope this helps, oh and nerve damage is just slow to heal, and sometimes doesn’t heal at all if damaged too badly. So, fix sooner rather than later!


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#12404

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mclousing, December 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

This is somewhat on topic so I will throw it out there.  I have the same issues with numbness and how to mitigate it.  One thing that I found is relevant for resolving the issue was that I learned if the numbness starts on the thumb or index finger it is most likely your carpel tunnel nerve being pinched in your wrist.  If it is on any of the other fingers it is from your ulna nerve being pinched in your elbow.  I have had serious issues with numbness to the point I could use it as a timer (without fail 15 minutes after I started riding my pinky would go numb).  I could not figure it out for years, I always thought it was my wrist or my gloves pinching my wrist awkwardly.  After I had a proper bike fitting where I explained my issue the numbness has almost completely gone away.

Just a pearl of wisdom that helped me.


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#12405

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provideweb, December 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Just continuing loss of use and atrophy.  I have been to a neurologist, had 3 MRI’s, and an EMG. If it is on any of the other fingers it is from your ulna nerve being pinched in your elbow. Like Bricky, our issues went away without treatment.  It was very frustrating and entertaining.
————————————————————————————
http://www.vibramshoestore.com


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#12406

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jwsknk, December 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

if it is elbow relaterd, are you locking your elbows when you ride? a rider/racer who worked in a LBS told me a long time ago, use your back to hold you up, take the pressure off your hands, elbows and shoulders. No death grip on the bars and don’t lock your elbows out straight.


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#12407

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Davy Sprocket, December 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

jwsknk said: if it is elbow relaterd, are you locking your elbows when you ride? a rider/racer who worked in a LBS told me a long time ago, use your back to hold you up, take the pressure off your hands, elbows and shoulders. No death grip on the bars and don’t lock your elbows out straight.

That is very good advice skunk.  I second that information.


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#12408

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dmursch, January 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I believe I started that old thread.  I had ulnar nerve damage to wrist and elbow.  I have not had surgery, taking the wait and see approach.  Still have not ridden bike…..hand still funky; weak and atrophied.  MRIs cost about $700 each, but they will show the problem.  As someone above noted, get pro bike fit and watch your cycling position.  I thought my hand would be better by now, but no joy.  I may have to face the knife anyway.  Dammit.


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