Cycling and Arthritis

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redelson
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/25/2006 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
All:
 
I have developed RA - primarily in my hands and feet. Does anyone have any recommendations about how to remove pressure points in my hands, as I often develop pain in my hands as the result of pressure on my handlebars?
 
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks
 
redelson 

Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 2/25/2006 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey redelson, welcome to healing well! What type of cycling do you do? I occasionaly mountain bike as does another member we have here... I know for me, I got some bar ends that help with my wrists... I also have some gloves that have wrist supports in them... let us know how you are doing... Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


redelson
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/26/2006 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm a roadie and a clydesdale - so I use cycling to help me keep myself healthy and my weight in check. I started off with palandromic rheumatism early last year, which lead to RA. My difficulty is that my favorite exercise is cycling - I like the freedom I have to get on the bike, the ability to go where I want under my own power. I enjoy cycling a great deal, and pain in my hands generated by the arthritis affects me in a number of ways - both on and off the bike.

I've got a Bianchi hybrid that was originally designed as a touring bike. Bianchi replaced the drop handlebars with a flat bar which dramatically limited the number of hand positions I have available. Plus, it put me in a more upright position that actually increased the pressure points in my hands.

I've got my bike in the shop replacing the flat bar with drops and adding brakes/shifters on the bar and in the drops. In addition, they're going to apply additional padding to the handlebars which should help the pressure to my hands. Hopefully, this will provide me with a number of combinations that I can use while still being able to get to the brakes quickly.

Thanks for following up - we'll see how the new bars work.

redelson


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 2/27/2006 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
ooh man we need our Craig for this one!  he's a great cylcist and athlete.  i bet he would have some suggestions.
my boyfriend is very into training for marathons and on off days he bikes...i'll see what he has up his sleeve in regards to pressure (he's in the medical field as well).
 
biking is great though...keep it up as long as possible.  will help immenseley to keep your range of motion.
 
if you were to raise the handle bars, thus sitting up a little straighter, would that perhaps lessen the stress from the weight going on your hands? that's weird that it caused you even more pressure, i'de think the opposite...but then again i'm not too familiar.
 
i went on the bike over the summer & my wrists and elbows afterwards went out.  throbbed for days.
 
i wish you well! and Welcome to HW!
keep in touch.
sincerely,
erin
Active, Severe RA. Crohns Disease. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. AS. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg every 4 days; pred; Pentasa; Imuran; dilaudid; diazepam; Avinza 30mg; MiraLax & too many others.


cbrossman
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 3/2/2006 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry, I was not paying attention. I'm always lurking!

Redelson, numb hands are often caused by improper fitting on your bike. The position between weight on your hands and weight on your butt is a compromise at best, too much in front ... numb hands, too much in the rear ... numb rear. Low level vibrations, like the kind you get on your road bike, also contribute.

A couple of things come to mind. Are you running a carbon fork? Typically, these damp a lot of the vibration, more than steel forks.
With your new bars, you can get gel pads inserted under the tape, makes the bars bigger, but adds comfort.
What about raising the front end a little. There are adjustable stems available which you can change the stem angle anytime you like. This will get more weight on your butt and should ease the pressure on your hands. Don't worry that your are in more upright position, less racey like, you probably aren't racing anyway.
There are also gloves available with more padding for exactly your issues.

A good LBS should help you swap around stuff until you find the right combination. But don't give up the bike! Maybe it is time to take up mountain biking?

... 2006 training starts today ... Craig

Jbrat
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/17/2006 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not sure I am doing this correctly. So, if I'm not, please let me know.  I have osteroarthritis, along with other ailments.  I had a totla knee replacement in Nov. 2005. I have done great from that anad the one 5 years prior. My husband and I are trying to ride bikes, to help lose wieght. But, I can't seem to maintain my balance on my bike. NOTE: my bike is over 43 years. I got it for my 10th birthday and it is in great shape.  Anway, I am looking to find an adult tricycle. I just flat out cannot afford a new one at over $200--300.00.
 
But for the time being I am having a sever flare ups. I ended up in the ER Friday night. With new pains, my left foot and right hip. Try walking with those two flared up.  I am back to having to use a walker and the cane.  I now I did too much lifting is probably what called this most recent flare up. But someimtes You just fell like you MUST do daily things.
 
I also have GERD, Addisons disease, COPD/asthma, depression, chronditis (Sp).
 
My having to use steroids for over 4 years has not helped my body at all. Now my adrenal glands don't work, so I must stay on the steroids for the rest of my life.  I am using lidoderm pain patches and lorcet 10 5 pills a day. along with so many other meds.  I am not having a good week because of all the pain. It seems I just get one thing livable and then BAM here we go again. 
 
I appreciate any feedback I can get.  Thankyou in advance Jbrat :-)

cbrossman
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 4/17/2006 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Jbrat,
If you are having balance issues, and adult tricycle is a good idea. I know a few locals with similar issues who ride those and love them. If you can do it, I would think that getting to the point of riding the traditional 2-wheeler would be best, it offers more flexibilty and keeping your balance has physical benefits itself.
Either way, I have found bicycling to be great for my body, and I ride upwards of 150 miles/week. OTOH, walking or hiking even a few miles can leave me limping for sevaral days.

Another suggestion would be go go to the local gym and start "training" on a spin bike. It is similar to a real bike, but will allow you to build strength and endurance without having to worry about your balance, you just can't fall over. At some point, your strength will increase sufficiently that you may find you can balance the 2 wheeled bike.

Good luck and stay tough ... Craig

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 4/18/2006 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome Jbrat to HealingWell,

You're under a good wing with Craig! He knows his stuff.

I was thinking, isn't there a bicycle w/ 3 wheels yet you sit down reclined? Like the recumbant bike @ the gym? (or recline bike? I forget what the term used)  I've seen people using them, some are even hands-free too.

So sorry to here about the flare ups and the ER. Landed there many times myself, so I know the feeling. But, there are times where it is necessary. Wish it could be avoided.

I've been a lot tougher!!!! Last year I was getting upset when I was good for a day...then it gets swept away as fast as it came. Very disapointing...but I live for those "good days" knowing that they will come again. So now? I do go overboard when a good day comes! And it's worth it.

You have a lot of issues to deal with everyday...and you seem like you do the best you can. Never STOP CYCLING!!!! As long as you can do it...do it!

How are you feeling today?

Sincerely,

Erin


Active, Severe RA. Crohns Disease. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. AS. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg every 4 days; pred; Pentasa; Imuran; dilaudid; diazepam; Avinza 30mg; MiraLax & too many others.


Jbrat
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/19/2006 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Eric and Craig: Thank both of you for your help. I do have an exercise bike here, I just haven't felt like getting on it. I went to my reg. doctor yesterday and he put a steroid shot in my hip. That has helped my hip, but my other foot is still keeping me down. ALso my ribs and back. Some days you just can't seem to win for losing.

I do agree with doing things and suffering the effects later. I have tired to explain to people that sometimes the physical pain is well worth it to have the mental gain of doing things that you usually can't get done.

I feel fortunate to have found this website. I even sent it to my mother in Ohio. She is going through a terrible time with a back flare up also.
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