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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 17 Mar 2008
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loss of hand strength

I am experiencing loss of hand strength after three days of touring. experienced some after the first. Gravel roads, with a honda xr.250. I have had previous wrist injuries... I'm concerned it is related to that. difficulty undoing helmet, or holding pen. Still there the next morning. seems like it may be something other than the common numbing people refer to. No previous experience touring on a motorcycle. Is this common?
thanks
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  #2  
Old 17 Mar 2008
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good vibrations

sounds to me like it is vibration-related. lots of sources of vibration, inc. roads, tyres, motor etc. and xr 250s are a bit prone to that, as are many singles. don't know what you mean about common numbing tho.
just as many possible solutions as potential causes of course.
cheers,
andy
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Old 17 Mar 2008
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Humm better or worse after the nights reast? Mine got worse. Straping the wrist to the fore arm when I slept helps a lot. You could have the beging of 'Carpal Tunnel Syndrome' ... you need to get it checked out. Look at how you r wrist is when riding the bike .. ideally should be a straight line fore arm to wist/plam ...
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  #4  
Old 17 Mar 2008
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After 25 years of using a computer too much (and knitting), I get a lot of pain in my wrists and hands. I use two products to help ease the problem - one is a Cramp Buster fitted to the throttle grip - The Crampbuster, Scottoiler Solutions and the other is using a Powerball for rehabilitation - NSD Powerball Gyroscope for sports and fitness, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, tendonitis, wrist pain and grip strength. Logic would tell you that using a gyroscope would make RSI or CTS worse, but when it gets bad for me, after using one for a couple of days the pain is almost gone.
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  #5  
Old 17 Mar 2008
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Exclamation General info on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as a possible cause

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Warner View Post
Humm better or worse after the nights reast? Mine got worse. Straping the wrist to the fore arm when I slept helps a lot. You could have the beging of 'Carpal Tunnel Syndrome' ... you need to get it checked out. Look at how you r wrist is when riding the bike .. ideally should be a straight line fore arm to wist/plam ...
Please note
Although I am a doctor (and bike rider!) and am happy to comment on carpal tunnel syndrome because it is common in bike riders - it would be very difficult and dangerous for me to try and diagnose any individual's problem over the internet. So feel free to take the info for what it is worth but it cannot substitute for seeing a doctor personally. Just thought I ought to put that in!

Carpal tunnel syndrome, as Frank says, is definitely right up there. It is very common in general and riding bikes is a fairly common cause, as is any repetitive action at the wrist. As a junior doctor I used to see it a lot in people who de-boned chickens in a nearby factory!

Weakness is not generally the first symptom - numbness is, and as Frank says people often notice it at night when they wake up with a numb hand (especially the first 2 fingers and thumb, which respond to "shaking out"). However weakness can be the first sign, as can be coldness or tingling.

The thumb, pointer finger and middle finger are the areas usually affected as these are the areas supplied by the median nerve which gets compressed by swelling within the 'carpal tunnel' as it passes through it at the wrist. This can be difficult to tell for some people though. The swelling is caused by repitive use (which could include repetitive vibration).

Treatment can include stopping the activity causing it (though this may not be an acceptable option!), splints, steroid injections and/or surgery.

One test you can do yourself is to put your hands into a "praying position" in front of your chest, with your wrists bent at 90 degrees, elbows out to the sides. Hold it for a couple of minutes and see if that causes the same symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common cause of this type of problem. However as I said above, without knowing your medical history or even age etc other causes cannot be ruled out.

Good luck.

Damien Daniel
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  #6  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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Isn't it great, this internet thingy! Not only do you get advice on how to fix a dodgie bike, you can get a doctor chiming in with expert advice on your own ailings and failings! Thanks mate.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ
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Old 22 Mar 2008
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Which hand? Right, left or both?
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  #8  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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I've suffered from similar problems and I found that I was gripping the bars too tight. When I was really on it in the twisties I was concentrating that hard that I had a death grip on the bars. You may find you're doing a similar thing when your concentrating hard off road. You have to make a consious effort to remember to relax and loosen your grip. Off road this will also let the front wheel do it's thing and as a gnarly old GS rider in Sweden told me
"just let the front wheel dance" he also told me to double my speed! Life was so much easier on gravel at 80kph with the front wheel "dancing".
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
I've suffered from similar problems and I found that I was gripping the bars too tight. When I was really on it in the twisties I was concentrating that hard that I had a death grip on the bars. You may find you're doing a similar thing when your concentrating hard off road. You have to make a consious effort to remember to relax and loosen your grip. Off road this will also let the front wheel do it's thing and as a gnarly old GS rider in Sweden told me
"just let the front wheel dance" he also told me to double my speed! Life was so much easier on gravel at 80kph with the front wheel "dancing".
I fully agree with "Flying" here...gripping too tight. So loosen up, easier said than done!!!
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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Thumbs up Soft surface, soft hands

Flyingdoctor is on the money too. Sometimes tension causes this problem, and the worse the road surface, usually the more people hang on tight.

My mantra: "Soft road surface, Soft grip". Weight back, some power on, let the front find it's own way (within reason).

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ

P.S. I'm having a celebration this year. I just counted up and I have been riding off road for 40 years! I'm sure that calls for a party... or a ride.... or a ride to a party...
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  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Both great ideas. Cramp Buster can help,

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:35.
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  #12  
Old 28 Mar 2008
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Hand weakness (oh-er missus).

Hey.
Used to get this after several motorcross races, me and several riders would be sitting in the paddock with wet towels on their forearms. Ha.
If you are getting weak hands (and are not surfing grown up web sites lol) have a look at your hand position on the bars.
As mentioned in other replies, no angles between arm and hand and also not to sort of rest on your heel of the hand on the bar.
As your fingers are worked by the muscles in your forearm via tendons, maybe loosening your grip or trying to occasionally flex the old pinkies now and again might help.
I have seen folks with a lever angle that makes them bend their hand to work them so maybe an adjustment here might help.
I'm a bugger for leaving my fingers on the levers and have to tell myself to flex em on long rides to stop aches.
I hope it sorts itself though, have a good one chap.
Dave.
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  #13  
Old 31 Mar 2008
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I had a friend back in the 70s who had the exact opposite - increased strength in his right hand - mind you it only came to light after being on an all male crew in Antartica for a year
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Old 5 Sep 2008
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I found this thread again to ask if anyone had used a powerball for building up arm/wrist strength and having re-read mollydogs post it seems I missed his mention of it first time around.

Anyway, I've been using my powerball for only a week, about 5 minutes a day and it's really helped. It's not just a toy that's for sure. I can see that over even a short period of weeks it is going to help build up some muscle in my weedy arms and wrists. It's fun too which helps keep me interested.

So any of you out there with carpal tunnel syndrome or similar wrist problems check out a powerball. They're pretty cheap too at £15.

Aid Rehabillitation with a Powerball
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