Nerve damage from long distance cycling.

Nerve damage for sure. It’s over two weeks since completing the LEL. Still got numb and tingling hands. Electric Hands. Hands pumped full of fizz. Pins and needles. Not great. Makes typing and writing a bit cumbersome. I do a lot of both for work. Gets worse as the day goes by. They feel the worst by the time it comes to go to bed. 

Cyclist palsy involves compression and subsequent inflammation  of the ulnar nerve as it passes through Guyon’s Canal close to the bony prominence on the inside of the wrist (palm facing up).The ulnar nerve provides sensation to the little finger, the half of the ring finger closest to the little finger and the section of the palm beneath these two areas down to the wrist. 

electric hands

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves the compression and subsequent inflammation of the median nerve as it passes through the Carpal Tunnel close to the bony prominence towards the center / outside of the wrist (palm facing up). The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, palm and fingers (parts of the hand which are not wired to the ulnar nerve).


median nerveSo it seems I have symptoms of Guyon’s Canal Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Treatment options vary but all advise refraining from doing the thing that caused it. That’s easy. I’m not planning on cycling from London to Edinburgh and back again for at least another four years. Makes sense to stay off the bike for the time being lest it delays recovery.

I am not too reassured by the medical model approach. Normal pain killers and NSAIDs (Ibrufen and the like) don’t do a lot to ease symptoms. NSAID’s may help to reduce inflammation. I have taken Diclofenac for the last ten days. It seems to ease things off a bit though barely perceptible. If things don’t improve or get worse there is a possibility of surgery. Not always effective and prolongs / complicates recovery. Much too soon to be thinking about that. 

 A choice range of supplements will hopefully speed things along a bit – vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (nerve healing and regeneration); Bromelain extract and Tumeric (anti inflammatory); magnesium (blood vessel and muscle relaxant); and Ginkgo biloba (enhances circulation).

A bit of home based physio – tractioning out the wrist and use of wrist splints at night.  A chiropractor may also be able to manipulate the wrist bones to ease off the pressure. I may well give that a go too.