About Carpal Tunnel Bike Handlebars
Not all bikes look alike. There are mountain bikes, urban bikes, and racing bikes, among others. And within each category, there are thousands of variables we can find.
Some of them are esthetic, others for comfort, and we can also find bikes that are designed for users with underlying medical conditions. This latter group includes carpal tunnel handlebars.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is a syndrome that impacts the median nerve, located throughout your arm, ending in your hand. If enough pressure is applied to this nerve, several symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning, and lack of strength may appear. It is mainly caused by repetitive wrist movements.
Those with other medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, are prone to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome as well.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is treatable by different means that range from changing lifestyle routines and exercise to medication and surgery. The whole idea is to ease the pressure inflicted in the carpal tunnel.
What Type of Handlebars is Suitable If You Have the Condition?
Before we ride into handlebars, let’s set one thing clear. It is never advisable to feel pain as you ride. Cycling is not a “no pain, no gain” activity when it comes to your nerves or any other medical condition. You can push yourself through heat, cold, or fatigue, but only it is within a healthy limit.
Always remember that downplaying a medical condition may bring worse consequences in time.
For those with carpal tunnel syndrome, or even the occasional wrist pain while biking, getting comfortable, ergonomic bike handlebars would make a big difference. These handlebars are designed with a larger sweep, meaning they are bent to the back, hence ensuring your wrists do not get overstretched.Handlebars with 12-degree backsweep are great for those who ride upright (such as in downhill biking), while those with a 16-degree backsweep are suitable for marathon or long-distance biking.
How Else Can Bikers Cope with Carpal Tunnel
There are a few lifestyle routines that need to be changed for bikers who suffer from the syndrome.
Firstly, your body posture is critical to avoiding pressure on your median nerve. Bent elbows, straight wrists, and lessened tension in your muscles help absorb pressure and road shock in a better way.
Next, there are some purpose-built ergonomic grips you can acquire that will relieve tension and shock, thus protecting your wrists. They resemble your hand’s palm so that the grip feels as “normal” as possible. They also have a protective layer that captures most of the shock caused by road biking.
With easy installation and an affordable price range, these grips come across as a good option to alleviate the consequences of the condition. Check this video on ergonomic grips (credits to Planet Izzy):
In addition to the different ways of coping with carpal tunnel stated above, there are other methods that may alleviate its symptoms. Padded gloves are a good option that will help absorb shock while strengthening your grip.
Correcting your neck and back posture will relieve pressure received by your wrists.
If you suffer from this condition, make sure your lifestyle off your bike is also ergonomic and favors both posture and effort. Bear in mind that biking is part of your life, along with many other activities that may also be affecting you.
Last but not least, ensure that you get checked regularly by a qualified medical practitioner.
Note: This post has not been evaluated by a medical specialist. Readers are advised to seek professional help when in doubt.