Hand numbness while on a motorcycle is annoying and worrying. I’ve been there… riding down the highway and feeling that familiar feeling of numbness creeping down through my wrists, into my hands and fingers. It is more common on long rides, and, although not dangerous in and of itself, it can lead to delays in reaction time that can be lead to a motorcycle crash.
Why Does Hand Numbness Occur?
Doctors report that hand numbness can occur when using a vibrating tool for an extended period of time (in this case, your motorcycle is the tool). This, combined with a prolonged bending of the wrist, can compress the nerves in the wrist and arms, causing that familiar numbness we all know. With any medical condition, it is always appropriate to visit your physician for a thorough medical assessment.
In addition to medical treatments, which often consist of physical therapy or exercises, there are a number of adjustments you can make to your bike or riding style to try and alleviate the problem. Keep in mind, we are all different and what works for one biker’s hand numbness will not work for everyone.
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How Can I Fix Hand Numbness?
Bar Ends– a cheap, easy fix. Check out a few different weight bar ends to try and dampen the level of vibration transmitted through your hands and arms.
Throttle Lock – this was the fix for me. If you find that numbness occurs after long stretches on the highway, a throttle lock cruise control might make the difference for you.
Grips – both neoprene and rubber, in numerous sizes. These are inexpensive and may eliminate a lot of the vibrations traveling through your arms.
Ergonomics – are you putting too much weight on your hands? Sometimes a quick adjustment of your frame can alleviate this problem. Also, remember to shake out your hands regularly when you are stopped. This will get the blood flowing and also allow those compressed nerves some relief.
Gloves – are the cuffs secured too tight around your wrists? If they are Velcro closure, loosen them. If not, try to snip a bit of the elastic through the underside of the gloves. Wrist compression is a surefire way to add to hand numbness.
Lifestyle – what do you do for a living? Are you frequently subjected to repetitive movements like typing, or do you regularly use vibrating mechanical instruments, like a jackhammer? These things can lead to a disorder called carpal tunnel, which can increase the likelihood of hand and wrist numbness. If you believe you might have carpal tunnel, see your physician. Hand braces and physical therapy can sometimes solve the problem. In more advanced cases, a (minor) surgery might be needed.
Of course, the quick fix when your hands become numb is to pull over and stretch out your arms and wrists. Remember to stretch and wiggle your fingers and hands, as well. Remember that without treating the problem, it will likely recur with more frequency in the future.
When you speak to a motorcycle crash lawyer at Kass & Moses, you are talking personally to a biker. We know the lingo, we understand what you go through, and we work hard to get you what you deserve because we ARE bikers. Whether you are troubled by numb hands or recovery after a motorcycle crash, know that we understand your needs!