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Sore Wrists and Cycling

12 January 2022

Sore wrists cycling


Wrist pain during cycling can be extremely common during long days in the saddle gripping onto the bars. It has the potential to really quickly ruin a perfectly good ride - but it isn’t something you just have to put up with! Why does this happen?

This is often a pressure related issue, as your hands/wrists are one of your three contact points with the bicycle. It could be a bike fitting red flag that your weight is too far forward in the bike, which is putting too much pressure through the wrist and associated structures. Commonly the median and ulnar nerves.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain
  • Pins and Needles
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Reduced blood supply
 
What do I do about it?

As we have mentioned this isn’t something that you just have to accept, but you might ask what you should do about it. We mentioned it could be a bike fit related issue, potentially with your weight too far into the front of the bike. A quick test could be using a turbo trainer, begin to pedal and then take your hands off the handlebars. If you feel yourself sliding forwards on the saddle, or find you collapse in the middle then this is a clue it could be your bike fit. This could include saddle position, excessive reach (distance between saddle contact point, and hands contact point), shifter/handlebar position, and handlebar width. A Guru bikefit from our friends at Apus Peak is a sure fire way to dial in your position on the bike and reduce any musculoskeletal issues.

What else?

If you suspect your balance on the bike is not an issue, it might be worth looking at strength and flexibility – but not just of your wrists. Strengthening the posterior chain can help support you in the position cycling requires, offloading those nerves within the wrist. Nerve or ‘neural’ flexibility might be contributing to your discomfort. Specific flossing or gliding exercises can be useful for this. Why not book for a specialist assessment in our Knutsford clinic to help us to make sure you are more comfortable on the bike.

Contact us now for a consultation