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Handlebar Palsy

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is called handlebar palsy and the problem is particularly a concern in mountain bikers. Here’s the problem: when a biker grips the handle bars, the repeated shocks that occur bouncing over rocky terrain can lead to the palsy.
The name accurately describes the problem. Handlebar palsy has several symptoms: numbness, tingling, pain in the arms and wrist, even the little finger.

Prevention is the key.

Take the following steps.

First, make sure your bike is the right fit for your size, wear padded gloves and pad your handlebars. Sit in a more upright position. The goal is to put less weight and pressure on your hands and wrists.

Two other suggestions: Take rests on long bike trips. Change your hand position on the handlebars frequently.

More from Dr. Brian McDonough
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