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4 Tips to Prevent Hand Numbness with Cycling

Hand numbness with cycling is a common complaint with cyclists. Getting a bike fitting will often correct this problem, but sometimes it is not enough. If you have been fitted and still are experiencing symptoms, consider these interventions:

Activate your core

While cycling, try to activate your core by engaging your abdominal muscles. Brace your abdominals by compressing & lowering your ribcage, while lifting your pubic bone slightly. When your abdominals are braced, you should be able to unweight your hands removing excessive pressure to the wrists & hands.

Adjust your arm posture

Don't lock out your elbows. Keep your wrists in neutral with your forearm, meaning do not bend your wrists back. Don't over grip the handle bars. Keep hands light. Gloves can help prevent compression at the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Check out this great article for suggestions on the best gloves:

Nerve glides- flosses

There are two nerves that can be effected with cycling, the ulnar and the median nerves. The median nerve innervates the three middle fingers and the ulnar the 4th and 5th fingers. Using nerve glides that target the correct nerve, can keep treat the numbness when it does flair up, but also help prevent future flair ups. One median nerve floss can be done by placing hands in front of your chest with hands in a prayer posture & then while holding this, move elbows side to side. A simple ulnar glide can be done by placing your palm up over your head and drawing an imaginary halo over your head in both directions.


Stretching tight forearm muscles can help to prevent compression to the nerves. Hold you arm out in front of you with your palm up, stretch your wrist down by placing your opposite hand holding this position for 30 seconds and repeating 3 x's. Then place your arm out in front of you with your palm down, stretching the opposite direction for 30 seconds, and again repeat 3 x's.

If you try these interventions and are still struggling with hand numbness, consider making an appointment for an evaluation. Treatments like manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization and dry needling can help alleviate symptoms and enhance recovery. Check out our services on .


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