We have seen cyclists from London this week complaining of wrist pain while riding. Although it's the start of the outdoor season, your wrist should not be sore while riding your road, mountain or fixed gear bike.. Likewise, you should not experience tingling in your arm or hand while you ride your bike. If you do, we would suggest that you see a clinician such as a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor to determine why this is happening and develop a plan to recover. Here are some tips to keep your wrists at their best this season!

1. Wear padded cycling gloves

The pads are designed to protect the palms of your hands from the vibration and pressure of the handlebars, thus reducing the pressure on your ulnar and median nerves.

2. Your wrists should be straight, not flexed

If viewed from the side, there should be a straight line from your knuckles to your elbows when you’re gripping the handlebars. If you’re struggling to keep your wrists in line with your arms, consider investing in a new pair of ergonomic handlebar grips with platforms to support your wrists. They’ll keep your wrists straight, as well as disperse the pressure of the handlebar over a wider area of your palm. If this isn't possible, your Physiotherapist or Chiropractor can help rehabilitate your arm and hand to help make this happen!

3. Bend your elbows

Your elbows act as a spring, absorbing the vibration of the road before it gets to your shoulders. If you ride with your elbows straight, this vibration transfers to your upper body, which can cause unnecessary shoulder and neck pain. Try to ride with your elbows as bent as they are during a handshake.

4. Loosen up

It’s easy to feel tense in traffic, but a death grip on the handlebars and stiffening your shoulders is inefficient and may cause muscle strain. As often as you can, remind yourself to relax. Rest your hands gently on the handlebars and allow your abdominal muscles to support your upper body instead. An added bonus of engaging your core muscles is that you’ll be putting more pressure on your pedals in order to stay upright, thus increasing the power in your pedal stroke.

5. Train your body to be efficient when you ride

While a lot of patients think that their wrist is the main cause of the pain, it is often the victim of reduced muscle endurance in the arm, shoulder, neck and torso. Cycling is an activity that involves endurance in these regions of your body and if you have muscle imbalances, abnormal nerve tension, and reduced range of motion, your body is going to have to compensate. Getting an assessment by a registered physiotherapist or chiropractor will determine what your body needs to ride for many years (and decades) to come.

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