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From: Dave Blake <>
Subject: Re: Weird...numb hands
Date: 22 Sep 2001 16:51:05 GMT

Tim McNamara <> scribed:

>  Why would the numbness happen only when he wears his gloves
>  if he case causing some sort of cervical compression either
>  of the cord or the peripheral nerve roots?  The gloves
>  wouldn't affect his overall body position, which is why I
>  suggested leaving the wrist strap undone to see if that was
>  the cause.

It is almost certainly compression of the median or ulnar nerve
near the wrist on the palmar side of the hand.

If it is the median nerve, the numbness would be on the palmar
side and include the thumb, and the next three digits (only
half of the ring finger, on average).

If it is the ulnar nerve, the numbness would be the pinky
finger on the palmar side and half of the ring finger.

So, first, identify which nerve it is. Then, you can easily
find the compression point. The ulnar nerve compression almost
always occurs under the hypothenar eminence. This is the pad
near the wrist on the palm and pinky (or ulnar) side of the palm.

The median nerve runs sort of between the two large palmar pads
near the wrist, in the carpal tunnel.

Once you find the nerve, and you find the point of compression,
change in your cycling so you do not compress there anymore.
Often this involves raising the handlebars, or moving them
closer to the saddle (shorter stem). If you are lucky you can
just buy a different pair of gloves and/or leave the velcro

If the numbness lasts for more than a few hours after you stop
riding, you should go see a neurologist for diagnosis, because
that would be indicative of a more substantial problem than
physical compression.

Dave Blake

From: Dave Blake <>
Subject: Re: Weird...numb hands
Date: 22 Sep 2001 22:42:02 GMT

Hyeong-Min Kim <> scribed:

> my new gel gloves (plus some possible unidentified
>  factors) caused the ulnar nerve compression. Wow, I never
>  ever thought that the use of particular gloves would have any
>  impact on my health. We cannot conclude that it was indeed my
>  new gloves that made my hands numb, but I rode my bike about
>  2 hours today, wearing my old leather gloves, and my hands
>  were OK. I might want to wear my new gloves tomorrow to see
>  what happens....but I really don't want to have numb hands
>  again (it felt so weird).

You can go ahead and wear the gel gloves. Once you know you are
looking for compression of the hypothenar eminence, it becomes
rather easy to try different hand positions to see if they get
rid of the numbness.

And there is no reason to think any the worse of it as long as
the numbness fades when the pressure is removed.

> Thanks for the great information!

I knew it would be useful to someone someday :)

Dave Blake

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