Aching left Arm

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Aching left Arm

Postby mearlski » 8 Aug 2016, 2:19pm

Hi there. I've been reading up a bit about arm ache due to cycling as my left arm is aching. Mostly the bicep, tricep and wrist.

A lot of what I read is about reaching too far and not relaxing arms etc but it all relates to both arms aching.

I have just started commuting to work (3 times a week) and doing 11 miles each way. Now if it was bike setup surley both arms would ache?!?

Could it just be my weaker arm adjusting to the increased cycling?

Anyone had any experience with just one arm aching?

Im on a hybrid bike so straight handlebars all the way?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby rualexander » 8 Aug 2016, 2:23pm

Heart ok?

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby mearlski » 8 Aug 2016, 2:26pm

Well I hope so. Im mostly far as I am aware.

No issues with it before

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby Stevek76 » 10 Aug 2016, 1:59pm

mearlski wrote:I have just started commuting to work (3 times a week) and doing 11 miles each way. Now if it was bike setup surley both arms would ache?!?

Not necessarily, I managed to give myself a fairly nasty case of golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis) in the right arm only from doing a series of longer rides on my old hybrid (flat bars). There may well have been contributing causes but it was the rides that really set it off.

You (presumably) don't use your arms evenly in the rest of your life and so there can easily be weaknesses present in one arm that aren't in the other. The cycling could then simply exposing this weakness. It may be setup that's wrong, it may just be getting used to it or you might have to identify and strengthen whatever weakness is the issue.

The latter can be particularly tricky as the source of the issue can be anywhere in the limb. Eg a weak grip/forearm can cause a variety of problems in the rest of the arm because the default for the body is to attempt to compensate with the stronger muscles, this then simply exacerbates the problem.

If it's continued for more than a couple of weeks and/or getting worse that would suggest it's not the getting used to so it's either setup or exposing some issue. For the former it's initially worth checking some guides on setups just to check there's nothing obviously wrong.

For the latter it might be worth seeing a physio. There's an increasing number of NHS trusts and gp surgeries allowing self referral to physio which takes much of the faff of having to book and wait for a gp appointment first.

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby cyclop » 12 Aug 2016, 6:12am

I,ve been having an aching left shoulder for some time so decided to change the setup on my four bikes,raising the bars to saddle height and this has largely sorted the issue.I have three drop bar road bikes,one straight bar mtb .My position is now such that upper body weight can be distributed between hand and forearm which rests on the fore and aft part of the bars which I,ve put additional padding on(drop bars).Long rides,75mls+,can now be achieved in relative comfort.My elbows are permanently bent from an old injury and,on starting cycling in the early 80,s,used to give me a lot of pain,particularly in the triceps.This gradually subsided as they became conditioned/stronger.I believe straight bars are,nt necessarily more comfy.I did the Fred Whitton ride on straights once but never again as you,re stuck in one position.Hope my experience is of some help.

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby galaxy1 » 14 Aug 2016, 3:35am

Try doing some core exercises, strengthen you middle, it often helps to take weight of your arms.

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby nosmarbaj » 14 Aug 2016, 10:17am

Have you tried bar ends? 11 miles is going to be the best part of an hour with your hands and arms in basically one position on flat bars. Bar ends allow at least one different position/orientation which may help.

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Aug 2016, 12:52pm

147 miles on Friday, 10 hours on the bike...................right arm hurts, still feel it now, nothing else hurts as bad.
99% on the drops, if not then standing whilst climbing on hoods, not surprising that my arm hurts.
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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby Mick F » 14 Aug 2016, 1:03pm

My left arm often aches. Usually at about 20miles into the ride. Sometimes, I can find it aching, and look down at my mileage and it's spot on 20miles. :shock:

Dunno what it is, but it's been like that for as long as I can remember. I have to take my hand off the 'bars, and let my arm dangle for a second or two, and that sort of resets it. Maybe 10miles later, I have to repeat.

Same as in the car when driving. I can't hold the steering wheel at Ten to Two for very long, and have to resort to Twenty-five to Two instead.

I reckon it's to do with my physiology and the way my nerves are wired, but I have no real biological knowledge on this.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby Chris Ince » 4 Aug 2019, 11:29am

Just seen this, my symptoms similar to Mick F; LEJOG was a real pain. But yes, 20 miles in to a ride bingo-left arm pain. None of us are symmetrical and I know my left arm is slightly longer. I also threw the javelin at a senior club level thirty years ago and did sustain several injuries to left arm which resulted In hydrocortisone injections. But, hey no, did. 100 miles yesterday, must remember to take iboprofen before setting off!

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby cotterpins » 4 Aug 2019, 7:11pm

Wouldn't hurt to get your blood pressure and sugar readings checked out, just to be on the safe side!!

PS.-mearlski - Just seen the date of your original post! I would think you know the answer by now? Sorry about that!
Last edited by cotterpins on 4 Aug 2019, 10:06pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby landsurfer » 4 Aug 2019, 7:28pm

rualexander wrote:Heart ok?

++1 ..... :roll:
It's not about the bike .. It's about the journey .....
The Road Goes On Forever ........................

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby Chris Ince » 4 Aug 2019, 9:40pm

All ok in that regard I have an annual MoT

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby softlips » 5 Aug 2019, 9:26am

Left arm ache on exercise is a classic symptom of cardiac ischaemia (particularly in men) and should be treated as such until proven otherwise. ECG should be performed as an absolute minimum plus treadmill mill test or cardiac ct.

I’ve seen two consultant cardiologists both ignore this symptom for months until they went on to have full blown heart attacks and another who died of his heart attack whose wife reported he’d mentioned such symptoms.

Get the symptoms checked properly!!!

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Re: Aching left Arm

Postby Audax67 » 5 Aug 2019, 1:50pm


A medical gent of my acquaintance is fond of saying that there are only two kinds of people, those who are ill and those who don't know it yet.

Ask your GP about getting a stress ECG. This would show up any narrowing of the coronary arteries, which can usually be fixed quite easily these days. I did some of my best long-distance rides with a stent.
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