A couple of weeks ago, our very own Dr. Klion competed in a mountain bike race. As he had increased his training mileage for the event, he had noticed that his wrist was sore, but didn’t find this unusual as almost all cyclists often experience pain in the hand, wrist, and finger region due to excessive pressure placed on the handle bars. It was only after the event that he learned he had broken a bone in his wrist.
Other symptoms that can occur from pressure and overuse include numbness and tingling. Common cycling syndromes are described below.
Ulnar neuropathy – known to cyclists as “handlebar palsy” – results from compression of the ulnar nerve, which controls sensation in your ring and little finger, as well as hand strength with gripping. Holding the lower section of drop-down handlebars can compress the ulnar nerve.
The constant pressure on the hand’s median nerve that comes when resting one’s hands on the top of the handlebars can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. In this case, typical symptoms are numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers, as well as a general weakness in the hand.
As with handlebar palsy, the most immediate and effective action is to change your hand position, use well-padded gloves and lessen the pressure by loosening your grip.
It may take months for the symptoms to resolve; rest, stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatories usually help to relieve the symptoms.
More importantly, you must adjust your equipment and habits! Proper bike fit is essential; adjusting the handlebars, seat, and pedals to your fit is the key to preventing most cycling overuse injuries, a third of which happen to the hands and wrist.
By sitting in a more upright position, you will take weight and pressure off your hands and wrists. During long rides, take rest stops, and change your hand position often. As often as possible, shift your weight from the center of your palms to the outside edge. Padded gloves and good shock-absorbent handlebar grip/tape will help protect your hands from injury.
Like any other part of your body, your hands and wrists will benefit from a short session of hand and wrist stretches before you hit the road.
In order to prevent injury, listen to the moral of Dr. Klion’s story; pay attention to any signs of physical discomfort and seek medical advice if the symptoms do not abate.
Just in time for the spring thaw, Manhattan Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group is delighted to bring you:
- a bigger, roomier waiting area;
- more comfortable, clean and airy patient exam rooms;
- heating and air conditioning!
- a digital X-ray machine to provide real time results on site for patients’ convenience;
- kiosks to help patient flow;
- online or phone appointment option;
- Spear Physical Therapy if you wish to use
All this and more awaits you at our new location at 57 West 57th Street, 15th Floor. This is the new home of Manhattan Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group, PC., a state-of-the-art medical facility in the heart of New York. Our new home is a warm and welcoming environment for our patients and friends, and a terrific opportunity for the growth and development of our staff and practice. We are also pleased to have Spear Physical Therapy at this location in order to provide continuity of care.
Manhattan Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group, PC still maintains their Queens location at 27-31 Crescent Street, Long Island City, NY 11102. Queens appointments can easily be made by calling 718-204-0548.
Please call us at 212-289-0700 or use our online form in order to schedule an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Specialists.
Come see us! We look forward to welcoming you to our new space.
Many patients experiencing back or joint pain will ask if it is caused by osteoporosis. This common question highlights just how high a profile the disease has gained in recent years. Osteoporosis itself has no symptoms, including pain, but the loss of bone density can lead to degeneration of the spine, Dowager’s hump, and fragile bones susceptible to fracture. While osteoporosis is serious, it is fortunately a treatable condition.
Orthopedic surgeons only rarely treat osteoporosis, since the disease is readily combatted by diet, exercise, supplements, and when needed, medication. Post-menopausal women should – even in the absence of bone fractures – be tested for osteoporosis, and studies show that men are also increasingly at risk for the disease.
Why have fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis reached epidemic levels among aging Americans? The two primary causes are our modern diet and sedentary lifestyle.
Like eggshells and seashells, bones are made primarily of calcium, and are thus strong but inflexible, and with a loss of density, can break just like an eggshell. Merely adding calcium to the diet is not adequate, in that calcium uptake by the body is affected by other substances; for example, despite the fact that the largely fish diet of Eskimo women provides over 2000 mg of calcium a day, and even though exercise is a regular part of their life, they are known to have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world. The excess fat and protein in their diet prevent calcium absorption.
So in addition to improving your diet, what’s way to avoid becoming a part of this “silent epidemic”? Move! Our sedentary lifestyle is our worst enemy. As you grow older, continue to walk, dance, jump rope; play tennis, basketball, and golf; do Pilates and have fun in a Zumba class. All of these weight-bearing exercises help build strong bones.
Try some yoga too. Yoga will limber you up, and keeping limber is also great prevention, as nearly 80% of fragility fractures are a result of falls.
The longer you can stay flexible, balanced, and upright, the better chance you have of avoiding the pain – not of osteoporosis, but of the debilitating breakage of bone they so often cause.
For treatment of osteoporosis, please consult your PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN, GYNECOLOGIST, or ENDOCRINOLOGIST. The orthopedic surgeons at Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, ONLY TREAT
THE UNFORTUNATE CONSEQUENCES of this treatable disease.
Stay active and avoid fractures!
Isn’t it strange that we are called “vertebrates,” and yet we rarely think about our vertebrae – i.e., our spine? Forgetting about the spine is a very old habit of ours; though anatomy theaters were filled with articulated skeletons by the late sixteenth century, most Renaissance medical and anatomical studies focused on the skull and limbs rather than the spine.
In the winter of 1510-11, Leonardo Da Vinci was at the University of Pavia near Milan, where he was able to take part in 20 autopsies that allowed him to make a host of pioneering observations of the mechanics of the body. Though they went unpublished for generations, he made the very first accurate drawing of the spinal column, capturing the delicate curve and tilt of the spine, and the snug fit of one vertebra into another.
Our sedentary modern lifestyle causes most of us to forget our spine. Since movement is literally the “backbone” of athleticism and life, and the spine is the foundation of all movement, we would do well to remember the spine. We need to change our daily habits of movement so that we restore the spine we were given at birth. Much attention has been given lately to the dangers posed by excessive sitting, both to our spine, and to our overall health as well.
Everyone desires freedom of movement, and the wisdom of the body has arranged it so that all of our multiplicity of movements ultimately depends on the most immobile part of our skeleton – the spine.
Maintaining that mobility requires us literally to re-member our spine, to both be conscious of it as an independent segment of our body needing its own exercise and care, and to integrate its health into our overall exercise and activity regime.
If you are having back pain and believe that it is an issue of your vertebral column, there are new non-invasive diagnostic techniques we can provide. Just set up an appointment with one of our orthopedists for a consultation.
Movement is what we should strive to do all the time, moving as well and as often as possible. This will allow us to have fewer injuries, live longer, and have more productive lives. Our spine truly is the backbone of our lives.
So, remember the spine!