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Rumblefish
06-27-2007, 12:11 PM
Went for a ride last night and pushed it a little more so than usual. My BF and I rode about 24 miles at a decent clip (well for me it was decent, I averaged 15.6 mph...one of my fastest! :) ).

At the end of the ride right near the parking lot where his car was there's this big hill, monstrous in my opinion :eek: It's about 3/10 of a mile long and moderately steep. I don't know the grade of the hill unfortunately. He's been egging me on to try going up it for a few weeks now and I've been declining until last night. I figured why not it can only make me stronger, right? and it will help me get ready for a metric century we're planning to do in September in Lancaster, PA (I just hope their idea of "rolling hills" as it was described are A LOT smaller than this thing I attempted last night! :o )

About 2/3 of the way up I couldn't go any further and had to stop. So close!! I pulled off to the side and got myself off the road and just plopped down in the grass. As I was catching my breath I started to feel this tingling sensation in my arms, below the elbows primarily, a lot like pins and needles when your limbs 'fall asleep' but more intense. It almost felt like an allergic skin reaction. It was kinda scary for me cause it's never happened before. My BF assured me that it was alright and that it was just adrenaline causing the tingling. Has this happened to anyone else before and was he right, or was he just attempting to calm me down, which only worked marginally :rolleyes:

(I tried searching past threads, but I didn't see anything....but my searching skills might be kinda poor! :o )

RoadRaven
06-27-2007, 12:26 PM
I get pins and needles in my hands after racing or during a long (1-2 hours) training ride)

Mine is caused by either;

- gripping the bars tight with no change in position (trying to chase down a break or in a TT where I only move at the turn-around)

- forgetting to shift my arms/hands for a long period of time (a flat training ride)

Usually I can fix it by shaking my hands out (like shaking water off my hand) but if i leave it too long, the sensation crawls up my arms and i can't really "shake" it til I stop riding...

I'm not too concerned by my "symptoms" - I know what causes it, and how to fix it.

There is something called handle-bar palsy and it might be worth doing a search here and in google for that - there is an easy-to-read article in the latest Bicycling Australia mag on handlebar palsy...

Rumblefish
06-27-2007, 01:29 PM
Thanks RoadRaven :) ...I just finished some reading on handlebar palsey...seems like it could be a possibility. I have a dr's appointment tomorrow for a general check up, I'll bring this up with my doc and see what he thinks/suggests as well. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't nuts before I start getting all paranoid and asking the doc a bazillion questions....but isn't that what they are there for?? :rolleyes:

Torrilin
06-27-2007, 02:32 PM
At the end of the ride right near the parking lot where his car was there's this big hill, monstrous in my opinion :eek: It's about 3/10 of a mile long and moderately steep. I don't know the grade of the hill unfortunately. He's been egging me on to try going up it for a few weeks now and I've been declining until last night. I figured why not it can only make me stronger, right? and it will help me get ready for a metric century we're planning to do in September in Lancaster, PA (I just hope their idea of "rolling hills" as it was described are A LOT smaller than this thing I attempted last night! :o

Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/) has a searchable interface to the US Geologic Survey's topographic maps. Warning: for the Pennsylvania maps, the elevation lines do not appear to be standardized. I discovered that on the Dauphin county maps, at least some of them have 18 foot distances between elevations. Look for 2 elevation lines with height specified and use 'em to figure out what distance the map is using.

Most of Lancaster County is pretty flat farmland. I don't think you're likely to hit a lot of grades past 10%, but you can check the century route and see.

I'm using a flat bar bike, so I don't have a ton of different hand positions. My hands get numb if I'm grabbing the bar too hard or don't wriggle them around. I've found a few positions which are comfy for long periods, so I swap 'em around frequently. Don't want to aggravate the chances of carpel tunnel (or develop other new and exciting problems). If you've got drop bars, you'll have more options.

KnottedYet
06-27-2007, 09:05 PM
You can also get pins and needles in the distal ends of extremities when your blood becomes alkaline from blowing off too much carbon dioxide. (lactic acid produced from exertion acts to help balance out the acidity/alkalinity of the blood, but when you stop the exertion there may be a lag before your breathing rate readjusts)

Heavy breathing could be the culprit (it often is for me) but certainly bringing it up to your doc is a very good idea.

Rumblefish
06-28-2007, 01:42 PM
Had that dr's appointment today and brought up the pins and needles sensation. It was my first appointment with this guy because I'm switching dr's, turns out this new one is a cyclist as well. Bicycle bonding! :D He said he didn't have a reasonable explanation for the sensation, but he's not overly concerned about it especially since the sensation didn't occur until after I got off the bike. Suggested that it was most likely from over exertion and I should just be aware of when/if it happens again and if it recurs we'll worry about it then.

I do need to be more conscious of changing my hand position around on the bars while riding and hopefully that will help.

I do plan on being on the watch for those evil pins and needles from now on though. Perhaps I should take it a little easy with that hill and not push myself so hard. We'll see!

THanks for all your input, Ladies! I love this place...you guys are so helpful! :D

RC @ HSP
06-29-2007, 02:14 PM
"Handlebar palsy" is usually attributed to nerve compression through the Tunnel of Guyan. This can be attributed to poor posture on the bike, riding technique (which can be faulty with fatigue), bike fitting, clothing/gloves, bar tape, anatomical variables such as adverse neural tension, etc. One thing about your symptoms is that you weren't specific on location. Palsy from a compression on a carpal bone will only lead to numbness in the hands, not up toward the elbow. So perhaps, neurologically, a compression at the elbow or cervical spine is worth evaluating. Or, it could be a vascular issue due to flow. It's hard to say with limited information or a physical evaluation. See a health care professional, preferably one familiar with cycling. Best of luck!

RC @ Herriott Sports Performance

KnottedYet
06-29-2007, 07:23 PM
Dude, she got the "pins and needles" after she got OFF the bike and was supine.

Doesn't involve the Tunnel of Guyon. Doesn't involve compression.

And like she just said, she just saw her new doc and he's a cyclist!

And please, for those of us sensitive to spelling errors within technical terms (and we ladies call ourselves the Grammar Grinches) get friendly with your copy of Hoppenfeld.

Dianyla
06-29-2007, 07:53 PM
You can also get pins and needles in the distal ends of extremities when your blood becomes alkaline from blowing off too much carbon dioxide. (lactic acid produced from exertion acts to help balance out the acidity/alkalinity of the blood, but when you stop the exertion there may be a lag before your breathing rate readjusts)

Heavy breathing could be the culprit (it often is for me) but certainly bringing it up to your doc is a very good idea.
This is really interesting. As soon as I saw this thread title my first thought was of diamox (acetazolamide) which I took for a few weeks in Peru while trekking at high (15K+) altitude. This drug causes major tingling and pins-n-needles at the extremities (hands, feet, face) which can be very annoying as you are constantly pawing at your face to get the spiderwebs off. Eesh. :eek:

Most of the discomfort of mild altitude sickness (nausea, headaches, etc) are due to the blood becoming more alkaline as people tend to hyperventilate due to hypoxia in the thin air. This drug inhibits carbonic anhydrase and acidifies the blood, which relieves these symptoms. So... is the tingling caused by acidity or alkalinity? Or, maybe going too far in either direction on the pH scale can cause this? Hmmm... :confused:

KnottedYet
06-30-2007, 05:24 PM
Y'know, I wonder if it could go both ways, depending on how your body reacts.

I had one neurologist tell me I wasn't breathing deeply enough, so when I got the pins and needles to breathe MORE. (too acid)

Oooh, that backfired *badly*.

Neurologist #2 told me it was the other way around, that I was breathing too much and when I got pins and needles to breathe LESS. (too alkaline) He pieced it together from clues about how this didn't happen when running or biking or racing, but when I was resting. (lactic acid when I'm active makes me able to blow off all the CO2 I want, my blood doesn't get too alkaline cuz the lactic acid is my friend.)

That one worked.

Maybe it just depends on what symptoms you get when your blood gasses are out of whack? Some folks go one way, some folks the other?