Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome aggravated by the vibration of riding? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome aggravated by the vibration of riding?

Well I obviously screwed up this week and aggravated my right wrist (I do this about once a decade) at the computer. Now I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with carpal tunnel and riding. Does the vibration aggravate the condition?
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by iamsmiling View Post
Well I obviously screwed up this week and aggravated my right wrist (I do this about once a decade) at the computer. Now I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with carpal tunnel and riding. Does the vibration aggravate the condition?
I have the syndrome (work at a computer all day) but I still ride. I'm not sure about the vibrations, but I did take some precautions to alleviate the pressure on my wrists.
- Higher bars with less bend.
- Crampbuster and go-cruiser to avoid death-gripping when I'm on straight and boring roads.
- Consciously keeping my grip and arms relaxed at all times.

Those things have really helped me controlling -or at least stop aggravating- my pain when I ride.

Proper motorcycle training is like wearing a helmet. You can ride for 30 years without one and make a case that you've never needed it. Until you do but then it's too late to make that decision.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 05:01 PM
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Anything that vibrates in the hands will have some impact on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Such as Power Tools, Motorcycles and others.

Chase Ergonomics have a line of gloves that started out for professional / occupational protection for folks who handle power tools such as jack hammers and saws. They have a motorcycle variant which I have tried, the result was very good at reducing vibration and irritation, but I found the gloves to be a little small for my hands. Walmart used to carry these so you may be able to find them for trying out size. If you order from an online source, I found the sizing runs small, so order a size up from what you normally wear.

http://www.chaseergo.com/LEVEL%205%2...484-street.pdf
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 05:03 PM
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Keeping a loose grip is generally a good thing. I'm no Carpal Tunnel expert but I'm pretty sure it's a repetitive stress injury. I don't see motorcycle vibration adding to that as there is little pressure but I can see a tight grip or body weight on the bars possibly being a problem. I'm happy I have cruise control and soft, large diameter grips.

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 05:15 PM
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Coach Stroud, a professional rider/instructor, explained to a class I attended to keep your wrists straight or bent with hands down never up as this leads to numbness and pain and at the time I was having another bout with wrist pain and applied it on my ride home 1600 mi. and no more wrist pain since.
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Well, looks like I'm in the cage for commuting next week then. Rather than use one of those Velcro wrist braces, I typically tape my wrist rigid - this seems to make it heal faster but twisting a throttle with a fixed wrist might be problematic.

Riding with a friend Sunday, we'll see how it goes.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 06:29 PM
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Many riders report numbness, or finger tingle.. this is because the median nerve has pressure applied to it.. Irritation can occur and inflammation which can lead to Carpal Tunnel symptoms.



This may help explain it..

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body's peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition - the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; overactivity of the pituitary gland; hypothyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause; or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. In some cases no cause can be identified.

There is little clinical data to prove whether repetitive and forceful movements of the hand and wrist during work or leisure activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Other disorders such as bursitis and tendonitis have been associated with repeated motions performed in the course of normal work or other activities.. Writer's cramp may also be brought on by repetitive activity.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-21-2014, 07:22 PM
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12 years ago, I couldn't get near a motorcycle for over a year without screaming in pain and kept telling everyone that I thought I had CTS (I'm no doctor) but when I finally went to one, it turned out to be de quervain's tenosynovitis. Completely different.

A simple outpatient surgery and the pain was gone never to return.

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post #9 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 01:47 AM
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I have trigger finger. Mixed with some RSI pain.
There is a very narrow range of bar and lever postion where I am comfortable.
And it's trial and error o get the right postion. My pain is not on the inside of my wrists but the outside.

I have found that a higher flat dirtbike style bar. With a Medium thickness grip, pro grip ralley is my grip of choice.
My levers are adjusted so a line from my elbow to finger tips can be drawn when I am covering the levers.

When the pain flares up. I stop ridding and wear braces as much as I can stand during the day and sleep with them on.

But get yourself checked out. It could be something thats an easy fix.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-22-2014, 09:04 AM
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I looked after all the occupational health claims at work and anyone with carpel tunnel or suspected was forbidden to use anything that vibrated. Apparently repeated vibration was a major contribution to or aggravation of CP.
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