Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch

by Clutch Pain

Hi Joshua....I love your website and have read just about every word on it...THANKS. I am currently suffering from what I "think" to be wrist tendonitis. Here's the story. I ride a motorcycle. I just started about two years ago. I've put on 40,000 miles in the two years that I've been riding, so I ride A LOT.

When I ride, a 3-400 mile day is normal for me. All was going great until all of a sudden, 3 months ago...COMPLETELY out of the blue, I pulled in the clutch with my left hand and felt a shooting pain up my wrist and arm to the elbow.

There was no prior injury, no trauma, no broke bones EVER. No indication that this was about to happen. NONE.

Anyway, after that, I took about a month off from riding. I thought that would be sufficient for healing.

It wasn't.

After the month was over, I got back on the bike and within 70 miles, I was in extrememe shooting pain up my arm.

I took a couple more weeks off. I got back on the bike and in 70 miles, there was the pain again. No Motrin, no splints, no doctor appointments.

So, here I sit....I can't ride my Harley.

I've taken the bike into the shop and had it gone over mechanically. I had the clutch re-adjusted. So, we ruled that out.

I did buy a splint for wearing while I sleep, I got that two days ago. I've taken your "ice" advice and am doing that as well, just started yesterday. Still, no Motrin, my stomach won't let me take anti-inflammatories.

I'm not certain if I have wrist tendonitis, or carpal tunnel.

I do NOT have numbness or tingling.....I only have shooting and excruciating
pain when I'm shifting gears on my bike. No other movement produces pain at all.

I also seem to be experiencing some weakness in my left thumb. I only notice that when I'm shifting on the bike. It makes it feel like my clutch is tight, but I know it's not because my right hand can pull the clutch in just fine.

I haven't been to a doctor because all they'll do is tell me to put on a splint and take some Motrin. I'm fairly certain nothing is broke because I can do every other movement BUT SHIFT THE GEARS ON MY BIKE with no pain.

What's your opinion?

Thank you very much for your time. Please understand that riding my motorcycle is MY LIFE.

I can't even begin to tell you how important this is to me that I find a way to get back on it.

You should also know that I am extremely small boned. My wrists are 5 inches in diameter.

Any help, opinions, or advice will be extremely appreciated.

Most Sincerely, Clutch Pain

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch

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Mar 12, 2009
Clutch Pain Part 2
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Hi Clutch Pain.

Sorry to hear your gear shifting wrist is hurting.

I'm glad you love the website and I'm so glad you've read through it.

I love working with motivated people.


1. You said "3 months ago...COMPLETELY out of the blue, I pulled in the clutch with my left hand and felt a shooting pain up my wrist and arm to the elbow."

Yes, it usually totally occurs that it's out of the blue.

Realistically, though, I bet you a dollar that over time you developed a Pain Causing Dynamic, a Downward Spiral of tightness and pain that your body compensated for as long as it could until it hit a threshold and then BAM! All of a sudden it says "Now it's YOUR problem."

2. You may have some Wrist Tendonitits, you may have some Carpal Tunnel dynamic, I wouldn't worry about the terms specifically.

I would start thinking about it like...you've been (not) experiencing a Downward Spiral of your muscles and connective tissue getting tighter and
tighter and now the nervous system is on high alert and keeping it extra tight and spasmy (like when you shift and feel acute pain, that's spasm,

So if you start looking at how to create an Upward Spiral, all the symptoms that have been created will go away.

Ice Dip as I describe.

Ice Massage if there are specific hot spots.

Gentle, frequent LIGHT stretching.

Also, is the pain on the palm side of the wrist, back of the hand side of the wrist, or both?

I'm guessing your forearm muscles are very tender too, if you rub them some.

Give me a more detailed description of exactly what you feel and where, if you like, and I can get a better idea of exactly what you have going on.

Let's get you riding pain free again.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Mar 13, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 3
by: Clutch Pain


I can't thank you enough for your speedy response....you have no idea how much riding means to me, and when I saw your website...I was extremely excited! You really seem to have a great handle on this, and by that I mean..."let's not just throw some Motrin at her, splint her and send her on her way"...so THANK YOU!!!

Okay, you asked for more specifics. I'm re-reading your email as I type this and am trying to be as specific as possible and address your questions and comments.

FOREARM TENDERNESS: Surprisingly, the forearm musles are NOT tender at all. Seriously.....if I'm not clutching, I'm not in pain.....period.....no matter what I do. I've tried to press or find "hot spots"....no pain.

I have applied pressure up and down my arm....no pain anywhere if I'm not actively clutching.

I HAD one slightly tender spot near my thumb, but it's gone now (I've been off the bike for 48 hours) and I found it only by pressing extrememly hard right after getting off the bike. It was probably gone within 24 hours (just a guess on that time frame).

I can also move my arm, hand, wrist, and fingers in any direction with no pain at all. It's like it never happened at all.

EXACT PAIN AND LOCATION: ONLY when I have ridden (active shifting) for about 70 miles, do I begin to experience a shooting pain sensation on the palm side of my hand, starting near my thumb and going up the inside part of my arm. It only comes when I pull in the clutch...if I'm HOLDING the clutch in (as in sitting at a red light) there is no pain. There is no numbing sensation EVER....just a shooting pain as I'm pulling in or releasing the clutch.

I did notice that there is some "weakness" though.

And I noticed that when I got on my bike to ride Saturday morning.....IMMEDIATELY, I mean, I was still in my driveway when I noticed that I had some weakness (no pain at that point).

The longer I shifted, the worse the pain got. It started out very slight at 70 miles, but by the end of my last ride on Saturday (250 miles), the pain was just excruciating.

It shoots up the middle, inside of my wrist and I'd say it feels like a rubber band that is being pulled till it's about to burst. The pain stops before it gets to my elbow. Here's the freaky part....when I got off the bike, it was like nothing had ever happened and right now, sitting here typing this email, there is no pain at all, anywhere.....but I went out to attempt to ride the bike today, pulled in the clutch as an experiment before I took off....and there was the "beginning" of the pain again.

I didn't ride.

(continued in PART 4)

Mar 13, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 4
by: Clutch Pain

ORIGINAL ONSET OF PAIN: I give you my word of honor that I felt NOTHING until that "one day" that I described in my first email. We were riding in the Ozarks in Arkansas on some really good twisty roads (lots of shifting).

It was raining and cold. However, we had just got back from a cross country trip (6,000 miles) the month before (if that has anything to do with anything).

I'd almost say it "snapped". I was riding and everything was great, then it wasn't....seriously. No forewarning at all...at least that I can remember. No trauma, I don't remember any specific injury.....just BOOM, pain.
I'm doing the icing.

I don't have "hot spots", so I'm not doing the dixie cup thing you suggested. I'm icing about 3-4 times a day, started yesterday.

I hear what you are saying about "the body is on high alert and spasming".

That makes total sense.

Joshua, why don't I have any pain other than when I am shifting? Why no tenderness anywhere...in other words....no shifting, no pain? Carpal or tendonitis?

I lean towards tendonitis because I'm not having problems at night with numbness, nor am I having any tingling sensations...just simply the pain I described...and only while shifting.

WHAT I'M DOING: I went to the motorcycle store today and bought what is called a "cramp buster" or "throttle assist".

I can rest my hand on it for a more "ergonomic" position while riding. It's made for the throttle hand, but I've put one on my left hand to rest my wrist while I'm riding.

I do tend to bend my wrists down after a few miles, it's my relaxed riding position. I also have a sort of "Jessie James" riding position which probably puts more pressure on my wrists. It's a "slouched" riding position, that's the best way I can describe it.

Anyway, to help compensate for that, today I re-adjusted the clutch on my bike so that my hand and wrist is in a more natural, straight position while shifting...and of course, added the cramp buster to keep the wrist straight. I haven't had a chance to test ride it. I'm giving the wrist a few days to rest.

Is there anything I've missed? I tried to get it all in!!! :) Is there anything else I can do?

Thanks so much for your advice.....going for the ice bucket!!!


Mar 13, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 5
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Hi Clutch Pain.

It's not as cut and dry as I would like it to be -and- I love figuring this kind of thing out.

Added challenge rating over email as opposed to in person:)

Do this tonight/tomorrow, depending on your schedule and availability:

For 20 minutes, massage your hand, wrist, forearm.

I want you to
A. Warm up the tissue and get lots of new blood in there, squeezing the sponge to get old out and new in and make it all mobile and warm.
B. Pay attention to what you feel.

I don't care how you massage it....rub it, pound it, grind with knuckle(s), have a friend do it, put your opposite elbow into it, I don't care.

Don't hurt yourself, but do give it a good, thourough squeezing for 10 minutes, with focus on hand/thumb muscles and palm-side forearm. (It's possible back of hand forearm muscles are at play, but that's not for this experiment)

And pay attention. There's a lot to learn, and layer upon layer.

It's possible your forearm muscles aren't tender. They could be 'tight' without being tender.

Or you could be one of those gals with a really high pain threshold so you literally don't feel it as pain.

Or it's possible that you're just really out of touch with how and what your body feels. For instance, the nervous system can stop sending you information that your conscious mind can interpret.

I can't tell over email, and from what you're described, I think it unlikely that your forearm muscles aren't way too tight.

While of course it's possible that your forearms are find and there's something wrist and/or thumb related causing all the pain....it usually doesn't work that way.

So I want you to pay attention to the self massage just to see what you feel, and see if anything changes with the extra attention.

And then after 20 minutes of warming your tissue up, wait ten minutes or so, and go for a ride.

Just like you have been, pay attention to when you first get on, how things feel, what happens after 5-10-50 clutch pulls. See if anything is different after the massage.

I'm guessing you have a carpal tunnel groove irritation, kind of like Tenosynovitis (which has come up a lot today, I need to do a page on the website for it).

That would explain the pain on clutching, but not at other times. Kind of just works that way....until it gets worse, then it can hurt
hurt hurt. Let's not get to that point.

On the ride, stop if it starts hurting past a certain point. See what it takes to irritate if after the massage, whether it's way better, or just as quick to irritate.

All that will give me good information.

And you are welcome. It sucks that Doctors don't know how to deal with it but keep going back to the same set of useless tools.

Which makes sense that they don't enjoy it or think it's fun like I do:)

Go for a rub and ride, and I'll talk with you soon.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Mar 15, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 6
by: Clutch Pain

I got it Joshua.....rub, rub, rub for 20 minutes....wait a few minutes, go for a ride and PAY ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate with me riding tomorrow. If not, I'll at least sit on it in the garage and "play shift". I'll email you the results of the experiment tomorrow evening.

I do have a high threshold for pain...always have. And it's very possible I'm "out of touch" with what signals the body is sending my brain.

Riding is a HUGE part of my life and anything that threatens it is probably viewed by my brain as "OH NO YOU DIDN'T".....hehehe.

Appreciate the help,
Clutch Pain

Mar 15, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 7
by: Clutch Pain


OKAY....I know I said I'd get to the experiment tonight, but couldn't wait, so I did it this morning....

I have insurance and I can go to the doctor....I just hate doctors and I KNOW they are going to want to splint me for a month before they do anything!!!

Anyway, just so you have the "results from the experiment" to add to the list of information I've already sent you....

1) I massaged the inside of the arm for about 10 plus minutes. That's all I could do before the right arm started to give out...I figured it was good enough...it's all I had! I noticed no pain while doing the massage.

I did notice that after a few minutes, I got some tingling in my thumb and fingers, but that may be because I was massaging aggressively and I cut off the circulation in my hand!! BUT NO PAIN ANYWHERE AT ALL.

2) I am unable to ride the bike today...it's raining and sleeting. So, I sat on the bike and attempted to pull in the clutch.

I wouldn't have been able to ride anywhere anyway because it was painful performing that movement. It was not AS painful as when I was riding, but it was definitely telling me "don't you DARE do this".

On a pain scale....while I was riding on Saturday the pain was a 10, meaning I can't continue. This morning I'd rate the pain a 3, but keep in mind I'd only pulled the clutch in a dozen times or so.

It was also WEAK. The weakness seems to be coming from the thumb area (base of the wrist like where you'd check your pulse).

That is the same area where the pain begins. Here's something for you.....this was all new, meaning that in the past, I can ride one day....rest that night....ride again the next day for the 70 or so miles before it getting painful.

It's 3 days since I've ridden and I'm still feeling the pain???? New experience.

3) QUESTION: My husband rides a bike as well. His bike is more of a cruiser and he sits in a position that is very ergonomically correct.

He has a back rest...his handlebars are pulled back to where he doesn't have to "hang like a monkey" to ride. I got on his bike this morning after playing around with my clutch.......I pulled in his clutch and felt no pain.

I felt some weakness, probably left over from my experiment...BUT NO WRIST PAIN. I probably wouldn't have wanted to ride for 200 miles because I'm feeling the weakness and I'm feeling the body say "don't, don't", but it was pain free.

I can't ride his bike because I'm too small....so riding his bike to see what it would make my wrist feel like is not an option. I just wanted to add this information to the list.

I guess my question is this: Do you think that my posture and handlebar position are causing this pain......if so, will it resolve itself if I got a different set of handlebars?

Is it possible that the 40,000 miles I've ridden in a "bad posture" has done this to me and it just finally "caught up with me"????

Thank you,
Clutch Pain

Mar 16, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 8
by: Clutch Pain and The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua....had to send you this information...

Was just out in the garage messing around and looked over at my bike......got this "wild urge" to just reach over and pull the clutch in, I couldn't resist so I did it...BUT IT DIDN'T HURT.

This is hours after this mornings experiment with the vigorous massage and then "faking" a ride.....Still have the weakness, but NO PAIN this time....no massage beforehand, no icing, no nothing. This is what I'm used to. I ride, get sore, rest a day....ride the next day until I'm in pain.

Thought it might be pertinent.
Thanks again,
Clutch Pain

Joshua says:

Ok. Good info.

I bet you if I were to work on you I would feel the muscles of your forearms VERY tight and bound up, and after a bit of work, your body's defense mechanism would fail and you'd be feeling it when I press in.

Could be wrong, but I bet you bet you bet you.

Evidence is how fast the other hand tired out massaging, and massaging causing numbness/tingling.

So, muscles are tight and either the tight muscles are, or inflammation is, causing some swelling that is stepping on the hose of the nerve to give you numbness. Probably the muscles are too tight option, likely some of both.

I'm leaning towards wrist tendonitis there on the thumb side, with acute inflammation.

Weakness is because A. the muscles are so tight they don't have much contraction potential left and B. There is so much pain enhancing chemical in there, when you start to fire a muscle the nervous system feels so much pain it basically refuses to fire it's full potential to keep itself from hurting itself even more.

Possibly weakness because the hose of the nerve is being stepped on my tight muscles. Nothing to worry about.

Also, yes, that's exactly how the Downward Spiral looks. Feels something, it goes away. Feel some pain, it goes away. It comes back, lasts a little longer, is a little worse, goes away. Repeat.

One day BAM! you're in pain that won't go away. If you're not there now, you're getting there. Just the way it works.

Yes, it finally caught up with you.

Regardless of what movement we do, if we do it exactly the same over and over, sooner or later the body the body ends up in the exact same place...which is exactly where you are at.

Changing your set up will definitely help.

Changing your set up every time you change your oil is even better. Click New Ergonomics and read up for more about that.

(Continued in next comment, Part 9)

Mar 16, 2009
Wrist Pain from Clutching PART 9
by: The Tendonitis Expert

(Response continued from Part 8)


Probably wrist tendonitis there at the base of the thumb, with super tight muscles in thumb pad and forearms.

Could be and/or have elements of Tenosynovitis, which means where the tendon is sliding with wrist and finger movement, is VERY inflamed and aggravated.

Critically so, but where tendonitis kind of always hurts, Tenosynovitis generally only hurts with movement.

It can get to a point where the tiniest little movement HURTS.

It is behaving more like Tenosynovitis, but also has the physical characteristics of wrist tendonitis.

What do you do about that?

1. Ice Dip like crazy.

2. Ice Massage like crazy. The area around the wrist, the area the tendon slides through (feel around, move your wrist and fingers, follow the muscle from your forearm to tendon to that spot on the wrist. There will be a hot spot.)

I say like crazy, because you want to get on your bike and go. And you can, if you ICE like crazy.


I would take a couple days off and hit it like..well...crazy.

Then continue to ice like crazy, and limit your self to short rides, on different handle bars or angle.

If you continue to ice like crazy while it gets better, and you ride which will make it worse, balance it all out and control it with....yep...icing like crazy.

Massage your forearm and thumb pad as often as you can, at least 2x/day for 5-10 minutes. More really is better.

Tell your husband I said he has to do it once a day for 10 minutes. :)

I'd tell you to do more, but realistically people will only do 1-2 things for self care.

Once you get yourself out of pain, check back in and I'll give you more to keep you moving on the Upward Spiral.

Keep me posted as regularly as you like, ask any questions, etc.

I'm happy to help those who help themselves (by doing what I tell them to do;)

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Mar 23, 2009
Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch PART 10
by: Clutch Pain

Hi Joshua....

I wanted to give you an update because it's been quite interesting!!! And I want to make sure I'm still on track.

After I got the last message from you I massaged and iced until I went to bed.

I still could not feel any hotspots.

HOWEVER....when I woke up yesterday morning, I started massaging and found TWO tendons that were on fire! Did I say ON FIRE???? Because I mean ON FIRE.

Funny thing about this is that neither of the hot tendons ran all the way down into my wrist, they stop midway between elbow and wrist.

FIRST TENDON: If I lay my arm on a table, palm up, the first extremely painful tendon runs across the outside of my arm OVER THE ELBOW and into my upper arm.

I can follow the pain from midway of my inside wrist, over the outside elbow and into the underside of my arm (the area where women like to complain that it gets flabby when they get old).

And the elbow area was INSANELY painful and was just excruciating by the end of the day yesterday.

SECOND TENDON: The other tendon that hurts runs on the other side (inside) of the elbow....I can trace the pain to halfway to my wrist and it stops. That one is no where near as bad as the elbow tendon, but still painful to touch.

I totally devoted the entire day yesterday to massaging and icing. I mean, I did it every two hours at least...if not more.

By the time dinner rolled around last night......I couldn't barely touch tendon one (elbow) and it was swollen and red hot to touch. So, at that point, I eased up on the massage and focused on icing (didn't have much of a choice, it was excruciating).

I went back to your website and read about the tennis elbow and it sounds exactly like what I'm feeling.

The advice said...ice, ice, ice....so I figured I was on the right track.

I woke up this morning and although the elbow tendon is still very tender....the area extending around it that was painful has decreased some. I can touch it without screaming!!! :)

I can still feel the pain running under my arm and up towards my armpit....pain has not decresed in that specific area, but it wasn't that bad THERE to begin with. Tendon 2 is still tender but has decreased in pain.

Okay.....so I found the hotspots. I'm assuming that's good because I think it means I massaged my arm enough to where the muscles relaxed enough so I could "find" the hotspots. I'm still icing and massaging.......

I have not been on the bike, or touched the bike. I won't today either because I'm still in pain and I don't "think" I should try it if I can palpate the tendon pain....Let me know if I'm wrong on that.

Does this all sound like I'm on the right track?

Hope you're having a great day!!!
Clutch Pain

PS. I also read the ergonomics part of your website.....fascinating. Makes total sense.

Mar 24, 2009
PART 11 Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Thanks for the update.


I'm going to say this once...."Ignorance is Bliss".

Good news/bad news, you are now forever out of the bubble of ignorance about your arms/wrists.

So now that you are actually paying attention to what is happening in your arms, your nervous system is now again telling you what is happening.

You know that 'FIRE'? That's been there for months and months and probably years. Your nervous system just stopped telling you about it and was dealing with it all on it's own.

It's not that you're hurting more now than you were the other day, it's just that you are now more accurately -feeling- what your body has been dealing with for a good long time but not telling you about.

Good job on exploring the muscles and tendons! Basically, everything involved in hanging onto your handle bars and clutching will be tight and unhappy to some degree.

Probably your other arm has it's own fire going on from holding on and working the throttle.

Thus you might as well ice dip both arms if you aren't all ready.

1.Lighten up on the massage, and less frequently. It sounds like you are really dialed in, and are listening to your body, and stopping so as not to irritate it.

2.Switch to Ice Massaging those deep on fire areas.

Gently, but firmly.

Imagine that everywhere you feel pain and FIRE is PACKED FULL OF pain enhancing chemical. Push it out with Ice Massage and Ice Dipping, and squeeze-the-sponge type massage.

Might as well take 2 more days off riding and work on tuning up the machine that rides the motorcycle.

You -could- right now, but will just increase the time and effort required to get yourself out of pain.

I'm a fan of the belief that it's worth it to take up to a week off from one's hobby or passion, to do the required work that will get you out of pain, heal your body, and allow you to ongoingly follow your hobby/passion without pain, or at least with easily managed symptoms that can show up from continually doing activities the body has to deal with, withstand, and respond to.

Then throw in New Ergonomics, and you can manage with even less time and effort, if any.

Good job! I am very pleased with how willing your are to play the game and do the work of 'getting better'.

Check in again in a day or two.

If you keep exploring and icing like crazy I predict that in another day or two your pain will be down 70%ish percent.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Mar 25, 2009
PART 12 Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch
by: Clutch Pain

Thanks Joshua....sounds good.

I'll lay off some of the massage and continue to ice.

A lot of the pain is gone already, but I'd probably rate it a 6...as opposed to the 9 I was feeling last night!

It did occur to me that I may be having problems with the right arm/hand.

Last summer, after the HUGE cross country trip we took, I had to go to a massage therapist and have the KNOTS rubbed out of my shoulder blade on the right side...and to be totally honest...the knots aren't gone...so Lord only knows what's going on over there!!!

I'm scared!!! As soon as I get the left arm healed, I'm going to do the same thing to the right arm.

I'll keep you posted in a couple of days. I won't be riding for a few days due to weather....so more time to heal. It maybe even be next week before I can get back out again. IS IT SPRING YET!!!!!

Thanks again, I'll keep up the icing, and I'll talk to you soon!

Clutch Pain

Mar 28, 2009
PART 13 Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch
by: Clutch Pain

Hi Joshua...

Well, it's been several days since we spoke and progress has moved along at a good pace.

I did as instructed....I've been icing like crazy.

The pain is about 70% gone as you said it would be.

I've still got some pain around the outside elbow area, but all the other pain is gone, and that pain (elbow, where it was the worst) is getting better by the day.

You'd think that I'd be extremely happy......BUT.....I have no strength in my left hand.

The weakness appears to be getting WORSE. I can pull my clutch in, but after a few tries, I can tell that taking the bike for a ride would not be a good idea because with each pull in of the clutch, I can feel the weakness increase. I have not rode the bike. I have only sat on it and pulled in the clutch a dozen times or so.

I am sooooo disheartened...I know that it took more than a week for me to get in this shape and that it will take more than a week for me to get out....but right now....when I can barely even pull my clutch in....I'm surely not seeing sunshine and roses.

I guess I thought when the pain was all gone, I'd be able to ride. The pain is now mostly gone....but I can barely pull in my clutch, and going for a ride is out of the question.

Can you tell me SOMETHING that will give me some hope????

Thank you,
Clutch Pain


Joshua Answers:



Remember, it's an Upward Spiral.

Your body is working it's way back to being happy. Continue to help it.

Ice Dip. Ice Massage the hot spot/areas. Massage the muscles.

Unless you have something unlikely going on, the weakness is just because the muscles are still SO tight they don't have much potential left.

And, even as the pain goes away, there is still other stuff happening as a shift from a DOWNWARD SPIRAL to an Upward one happens.

First the pain enhancing chemical needs to get out. Then the nervous system can start calming down, and calming the muscles down.

Humans, and the human body, is pretty funny.

Sometimes as things get better, humans/human bodies make things worse for a little bit before
letting go.

Often, like with colds, flus, other sicknesses, and injury, the body gets worse just before it gets better.

You're almost better.

Keep at it.

(Icing and soft, gentle, easy massage to help the muscles and connective tissue soften and lengthen.)

P.S. Did that do the job? Did that give you hope?


Just think how it would be if all you knew to do was do what the doctor suggests, which would sooner or later be surgery for you.

Surgery that wouldn't fix the Downward Spiral.


Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Apr 01, 2009
PART 14 Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch
by: Clutch Pain and Tendonitis Expert

MAN, I WAS PRAYING YOU WOULD SAY THAT!!!!! Thanks.....and yes, it gave me hope!!! :)

I went today for a "professional massage". I had her work my arm really good. She said that the muscles in there AND the tendons were tight. The first thing she asked me was "have you gone to a doctor".....hahahahaha.

Anyway, she worked me over pretty good and I'm telling you....when I left, the pain had decreased significantly. I can only palpate one very small spot near the elbow right now. And that's a smaller spot than this morning.

I'll keep massaging, and keep icing.....I'll keep you posted in a few more days!!

Thank you very much and I'm sorry for the tears on the computer screen!!! They probably smudged my writing and made it hard for you to read....hahahahaha.

Clutch Pain


Joshua Answers:

Isn't it great to get what you pray for!?!

There were no smudges, but I'm concerned you were going to short circuit out your computer, crying on it like that....:)

Well of course the tendons are tight...if the muscles they are connected to are super tight and putting constant tension on them.

That is one of the big keys to Tendonitis and Tennis Elbow, muscles get tighter and tighter, putting more and more tension on the tendons, which helps tendons fray, so to speak.

Keep going.

Keep me updated.

You are doing EVERYTHING right.

Good for you.

You'll put another 40,000 miles on your motorcycle in no time.


Apr 29, 2009
PART 15 - Wrist Pain From Motorcycle Riding and pulling on the Clutch
by: Clutch Pain

Good morning Joshua!!

Well, it's been a week since I last checked in and I am happy to report that I do NOT need a waterproof keyboard or monitor, there are no tears here....YEAH!

I have good news to report. The pain is for the most part all gone. I continued icing and massaging for the week, but still have one small spot near my elbow that just WILL NOT go away. It's not bad though.....I'd rate it a 2. I was talking with Dave (hubby) and he started feeling around on his elbow and has the same small pain in the same area. He seems to think we're just pressing too hard on a nerve (???). Anyway.....

I still have not been able to get out for a ride on the bike. We had a freak snow storm blow in, and since I live near Memphis, Tennessee....well, the whole darn place has shut down! I don't anticipate being able to get out for a few more days. I figure that's not all bad...more time to rest the arm after all the "pain fluid" has moved on out, the muscles are relaxing, etc, etc. It's finally getting the time it needs to heal properly. So, I'm not stressing about it.

BUT....I will say that I am pretty sure the strength has come back! I can pull in the clutch....several times with no problem. It "feels" normal. I can't SAY for sure that it's normal until I get out on the road for a good 70 mile ride or so.

I sure hope we're done with this. I've been to the Harley store and purchased a new set of levers for my bike that are supposed to be "for small hands".....they say the reach will be reduced and this should help.

Do you have any other words of advice or wisdom to impart upon me?

I want very much to say how much I appreciate your help so far. You did more for me than any doctor would have. I am VERY MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO THE EMAIL I SEND TO YOU THAT SAYS I HAVE GONE FOR A LONG RIDE AND I AM PAIN FREE!!!!!

That will be the next email you receive from me!!!

Very Sincerely, and with much thanks...
Clutch Pain

Nov 26, 2009
Me too...
by: Anonymous

...It started about a month ago. Not so much the wrist but the outside of my elbow. Also looking for a remedy.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Read through this whole thread/conversation, that will give you a lot of insight about what to do to reduce your pain.

Mar 22, 2010
There's Hope!
by: Dandy D

I just read through this full thread and will be starting this therapy immediately! I have the exact same problem as 'clutch pain' as a matter of fact I can play ice hockey and take slap shots and wrist shots with absolutely no pain but pulling the clutch is crippling. I too was very disheartened thinking I'm going to have to give up riding but after reading this - not yet!

My pain doesn't seem to cover as large an area as CP which I hope means that the 'damage' is not as extensive.

Its odd that this started to happen to me near the end of the riding season last year but I attributed it to a sticky clutch lever and cable.

This spring I made sure the clutch was moving very freely and went for my 1st ride of the season just yesterday. The pain was back and just like CP I didn't get very far, about 50kms before I had to take a break and stretch my wrist. The odd thing is, this pain just started up right where it left off last fall. Even after 5 months of no riding because of winter the problem was still lurking there. I never had any of that pain during the winter at all.

I will be icing and massaging regularly. It was a very nice surprise to find this webpage - one of those oh well I'll just do a search and see what I find - thanks.


Joshua Comments:

Well, I'm glad I'm doing pretty well on Google searches!

There is definitely a myth about muscle pain/repetitive strain pain, which is, as you commented on, that we just expect problems to go away after months and months of being pain free.

Unfortunately, that's not how Tendonitis and the body work.

But yes, it's good news that the painful area is smaller than Clutch Pain's. It really does mean that there is less affected area.

Having said that, you may or may not have any 'damage'. You probably just have a stuck spot, where muscle is way too tight, and connective tissue is shrunk wrapped down and STUCK, constantly pulling on and irritating the surrounding area.

Plus, of course, the Pain Causing Dynamic that comes along with that.

Keep me updated. What's on this thread should do it for you if you are diligent and get at it.

If not, I'd recommend my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook, for a bit more indepth and varied direction on this.

Again, keep me updated, and feel free to ask any quesitons.

Mar 26, 2010
Hope continues...
by: Dandy D

Well this had been interesting. I have been doing the ice dipping and the massage for the past 4 days.

Just like CP, I had serious tenderness aka PAIN, in my forearm for the first 2 days with red hot swelling over the tendon area starting at my watch strap location extending for about 4-5 inches towards my elbow. I have been through physio before for ITB and know that even though it hurts to manipulate the area and massage it, you have to keep at it.

So I have been doing so and the swelling has gone and the tenderness has practically disappeared today. I have noticed that my arm actually feels more relaxed - hard to describe that sensation.

I have not been riding through all of this (the weather turn bad anyway - snow!!) but I did just try pulling the clutch a couple of time to see how it felt - not bad at all. There was no pain but I didn't keep doing it much - didn't want to aggravate it. So I will continue the massage and ice dipping for a couple more days before riding again.

That could be this weekend...:) I'll update my status after that.

Getting very hopeful,
Dandy D


Joshua Comments:

You're Welcome!

COld to decrease inflammation, massage to open up shrunkwrapped down tissue.

Easy! It just takes patience, diligence, focus, curiousity, etc. :)

May 05, 2011
more moto pain in the wrist
by: David

I just started riding- like I am in my first 30 miles. I injured my wrist last week- probably doing yoga or push ups.

Pain in the carpals on back side of hand which are acute when weight bearing. Before riding, it was only when bearing weight. Now after clutching a bunch on a new bike (Stiff clutch) the pain has gotten worse.

Now even putting lotion on is enough pressure to cause pain. No pain when riding, but wondering what I can do to avoid the whole thing my harley-sister is dealing with.


Joshua Comments:

Hey David.

You do all the stuff I told her to do, basically.

Ice dip as described on the Process of Inflammation.

Understand Magnesium and Tendonitis.

Wouldn't hurt (pun intended) to get a complete plan with my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program.

Essentially, the muscles and connective tissue of your forearm (that extend across your wrist and into your hand) are TOO TIGHT.

So the bony pain on the back of the hand is (likely) from A. Compression and B. Tissue getting yanked on and C. Muscles firing WAY to hard.

And then you get a huge increase in the Pain Causing Dynamic.

And, every time you pull on the clutch (or equivalent) your too tight muscles/connective tissue, which are already tired and fatigued because they're working too hard 24/7, contract even more. And they don't like it. And they tell your brain. And if your brain thinks you're in danger, it will shut you down.

So when you do something like a push up position, your wrist gets compressed, and connective tissue etc is getting PULLED apart, which isn't that bad except it tells your brain that there's DANGER!

Right now it just hurts.

Don't let it get debilitating.

There's more to a Wrist Tendonitis dynamic of course, but Magnesium and getting the pain enhancing chemical out with Ice Dipping is a strong start.

May 12, 2011
Same problem from a 100km motorcycle ride
by: Andrei

I only started riding for 2 months now and yesterday i took a trip for about 100 km and came back home. I woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my arms,more acute in my left arm.

Feels like my bone hurts it doesn't feel like muscle pain.The pain lasts even in the morning in my left arm.

Could it be from the socks during riding? I tried massaging the arms but no effect. Can i keep riding or should i take a brake? Thank you very much.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Andrei.

Is sounds like you gave yourself some Tenosynovitis.

Inflammed the tendon sheaths.

Yes, I'd take a break. Tenosynovitis is a special kind of pain, and a very irritable dynamic.

Tendonitis is bad enough, I venture to say Tenosynovitis (Tendonitis dynamic -and- tendon sheath irritation) is worse. Tenosynovitis can shut you down it hurts to bad.

Read the tenosynovitis page, then get back with any other thoughts/questions.

May 29, 2011
43 years of riding and the clutch hand suffers
by: Steve

I've been riding motorcycles as my main means of transportation most of my adult life. On average I will put 24,000 miles on the bike per year. In the past few months the top of my left hand has started to pain up. And that very pain will go away if I drive the truck for a couple of days. Yesterday I had a very lazy day at home and by the end of the day extreme pain developed on the top of my hand. My grip is very weak. My pain starts at the edge of the wrist to the base of my knuckles. And it's not going away as of 14 hours later. Thank you for this website and I will apply the ice/massage treatment this morning.


Joshua Comments:

Hey Steve.

Ice Dip heavily, and some ice massage too, for at least a couple days, and let me know what happens.

May 31, 2011
The pain is subsiding
by: Anonymous

I did what you suggested with the icing and massaging while in the ice/water. It was nearly immediate relief. As of right now the pain is very mild just after a very busy 55 mile commute.
Thanks, Steve


Joshua Comments:

Rock on!

Jun 19, 2011
Wrist, Carpal tunnel, both, in clutch hand?
by: Melissa

I started having tingling, numbness, and pain at night in my left hand, to the point I could only sleep in a reclining position. In a reclining position, my hand does not become numb or painful.

I did not know what was going on until the weather was so crummy for about a week that I could not ride my new bike. The pain and numbness went away during that week.

The weather cleared, so I finally took my bike to work on a beautiful sunny warm day. Traffic was heavy and I noticed my left hand hurt, particularly when I was holding the clutch in sitting at stop lights.

That night, the pain and numbness were back with a vengence. That's when I made the connection to the new bike. I went out to the garage and pulled the clutch on my husband's bike, on my old bike, and on my new bike.

The clutch on my new bike was 5 times more difficult to pull and only my first two fingers even reached it. I've only had the bike a month, so I think I unknowingly injured myself. I found this site, so I laid myself off for 5 days, I am ice dipping, and I have since changed the clutch assembly and adjusted the clutch so it's easier to pull. I also changed the rotation of the clutch - I was reaching up for it.

The ice dipping eliminated the pain and numbness at night after only two days. What a relief! I still continued to ice dip.

Yesterday, I ventured out after my 5 day layoff anxious to try out the new clutch assembly and new rotation. Clutching was much easier and I didn't have pain while riding. However, the pain and numbness were back last night - not as bad - but it was back. And my hand is weak today. The wrist pain seems to be more on the pinky side, but the numbness is in the thumb and first two fingers.

The hand pain comes when the numbness starts wearing off. I don't seem to have hot spots. I seem to have a general stiffness in both hands and forearms. I'm continuing to ice dip and laying myself off riding. I'm not sure which tendonitis I have.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Melissa.

What you describe is a good sign. The icing helped immensely, but using the hands had you feel what you felt.

Ice Dipping removes that overall pain and sensitivity, and now you add in some deeper work.

I guarantee you I could find hot spots in your forearms in 10 seconds.

Basically, your forearms are so tight, I could press anywhere and it would hurt.

Press a little harder and see what happens.

Start massaging your forearms. How doesn't matter as much as actually doing it. They're 'weak' because the muscles are so tight they don't have much contraction potential left.

Loosen the connective tissue, loosen the muscle tone.

Then we'll see what the numbness is doing and fine tune if necessary.

I wouldn't label yourself as injured at this point. You're just TOO TIGHT.

Jun 21, 2011
Clutch pull - tight forearms
by: Melissa

Thank you for the quick response,Joshua!

I have a really good deep tissue massage therapist. She usually works on my back because I get tight from swimming every day. It keeps me loose. Sound familiar? I'll go in and have her work on my arms and find those hot spots so I can do something about it.

I'll continue to ice dip, massage my arms and hands, and stretch them. What do you think about pressure point therapy? Would that help?

Also, how long do you think I should lay myself off before I even try getting back on my bike?


Joshua Comments:

Hey Melissa.

I'm a fan of any therapy that works. If working pressure points works for you, great!

How long should you lay off? I'm not a fan of rest, but I am a fan of reducing new irritation to the dynamic while you do the self care to make the ecology happy.

So there's no easy answer. In general, I suggest taking 1-2 weeks totally off and putting all your time and effort in to self care.

So you're not riding, you're PREPARING to ride again. Like I tell athletes. "You're not going to run for a week, but you're going to work out hard! On your self care."

Jun 22, 2011
Tight forearms - tendonitis from clutch pull
by: Melissa

Hi Joshua-

Thank you so much for this site. I can't tell you how much your advice has helped me.

I did find knots on the palm/thumb side about halfway up in my forearms. The knot is more pronounced and sore on the left. I also have a weird little hot spot under the wrist bone that sticks out on the top/pinky side. I massaged and stretched both hands, arms and forearms frequently throughout yesterday. The knots are pretty much laid down and the tightness is already significantly improved.

I also took a closer look at my bike ergonomics compared to my old bike (which I still have and never had problems with). I'm going to do a couple of things to improve the ergonomics on my new bike.

I'm going to work very hard at this therapy. Again, I can't thank you enough. Before I found this site, I was actually writing off this summer's riding - not so anymore.

I am going to direct anyone to this site who tells me they have tendonitis.


Joshua Comments:

Rock on!

You do the work, you get the benefits!

Aug 30, 2011
by: Stuey

I'm a new rider and suffering from the same issue. Read the whole thread and will make a start today. Thanks very much.


Joshua Comments:

You're very welcome!

Let me know how it goes.

Nov 12, 2012
Inner Forearm pains
by: Josh, London

Hi all,

I am also a new rider and am experience the same pain in my foreman. I had already started stretching the affected area but just iced and massaged my forearm thoroughly.

Really hope this works as I love my new bike and I wanna be pain free. I also have small wrists and am not the strongest so I will look at my clutch lever setup to see if it can be altered for me comfort.

Cheers, J

May 27, 2013
Having same issues.....
by: Frustrated in SC

I've had tingling fingers on my left hand for over a year now. Saw a neurologist and had CT scan of neck and back and EMG. Diagnosis was pinched nerve in C5 region of neck. Went to chiro weekly and did neck traction at home as wells as traction at chiro weekly. After 5 or 6 months still no remedy.

Quit chiro...no patience I guess. Haven't lifted any free weights in gym for almost 9 months! Got off eliptical and just run on treadmill. Sit at a desk for work and type a lot!

Started having persistent wrist pain and hand numbnees so returned to family Dr. who said thinks is carpal tunnel. Had ultraound injection of cortisone, but no definitive relief.

Started having severe wrist pain near thumb while riding (clutching). Wear a brace on wrist at night and use "Solanpos"...get some temporary relief.

Will start the icing to see if that helps. Also gonna look at clutch lever angle and adjust if possible.


Joshua Comments:

Hey Frustrated.

How'd the ice dipping go? If the tingling is from the neck, dipping isn't likely to help that specifically, but depending on what you have going on, it very well might. The wrist pain is a good candidate for ice dipping.

If you neck muscles are chronically too tight (they are) and you don't have enough of the right nutrition to help them relax (almost certainly don't), then chiropractic and traction aren't likely to help.

'Pinched nerves' are a function of too tight muscles and connective tissue creating compressive forces. That causes all sorts of problems locally and down the arm.

One has to open up the too tight tissue, get the body enough of the right nutrition, and counter any inflammation process.

1. Do you have a history of neck trauma like whiplash, boxing, falling down the stairs, etc?

2. Describe the wrist pain in greater detail.

3. Is the tingling constant, comes and goes, or?

Jun 24, 2013
Frustrated in SC
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the reply...

1. Do you have a history of neck trauma like whiplash, boxing, falling down the stairs, etc?

> No history - no incident or accident. Initially started as numbness in legs! Progressed to finger tips then to left hand mainly. As mentioned spent alot of time / $ with neurologist. Speculated that some signs of deterioration in C5. recommended at home tracton / phys therapy.

2. Describe the wrist pain in greater detail.

> Until recently just numbness especially at night...then during some recent riding extreme sharp shooting pain in wrist joint below thumb.

3. Is the tingling constant, comes and goes, or?

> Tingling / numbness comes and goes. Have it daily just varying levels. Hands feel "fat" / puffy. My knuckles will pop like a fiend sometimes? I wear brace on left wrist every night and take OTC pain meds occasionally.

I really want to take my annual road trip with my buds the week of July 4th but am concerned I won't be able to complete the trip!

Thank in advance for your response,


Joshua Comments:

Hey Frustrated.

Well, it's certainly interesting that you also had numbness in legs. But not anymore?

Did something actually help that or did it just go away and now you feel it in you wrist area?

It can/may be caused by disc issue. If you have disc issue, then you have compressive forces (too tight muscle and connective tissue)pulling the vertebrae together.

So you gotto loosen up the structures in the neck area. Reversing Whipash Tendonitis describes how to do that.

If your wrist numbness etc is JUST from the forearms (it's not just from the wrist), then it's a matter of too tight muscle/connective tissue constricting nerve and blood flow. That's where The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works comes in.

Chiro isn't going to fix either of those situations, in my experience. Nor PT.

Why? For two reasons.

1. You have to open up the too tight tissue. If you don't, the structural mechanics of the situation isn't likely to change. Tight muscles pull vertebrae back where they were, and 'stretching' only lengthens the mobile tissue, not the immobile tissue.

2. Lack of nutrition. If you don't have enough of the correct nutrition, the body can't work optimally. Not enough magnesium, and muscles literally can't relax.

Not enough other nutrition, and the body has a hard time dialing down the inflammation process.

Not enough other nutrition, and nerve can't function optimally/properly.

Since you had numbness in your legs too, and since you got no benefit from the chiro and traction etc, then I'd definitely put some focus on the nutrition side of things.

Have you seen the Magnesium For Tendonitis page? There's a link or two in the thread here.

Jun 29, 2013
Frustrated in SC
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the reply. I'll look into tbe magnesium and nutrition portion for potential improvments. Thanks again!

May 07, 2014
What is going on, numbness when riding motorcycle for 20-30 minutes
by: Hand hurting

Hello The Tendonitis Expert, I recently purchased a motorcycle and after riding for about 20-30 min my thumb index finger and middle finger go to sleep, or should I say they go numb, until I get to a light or traffic where I can shake my hand and the feeling comes back. This sensation is happening on both my right and left hands.

Now After I get rest for the night in the morning to simply close either my hands it hurts. If I wait around 5-10 min they close with some pain they seem to snap into a closed position and snap into an open position. now if I get a small rectangular object, such as the base of a stapler, and place it on the first line below your finger and grip it tightly it hurts, but after a few seconds it goes away. By doing this the snapping goes away for about 30 to an hour.

A little history I have noticed this if I use my hands too much such as using pliers, wrenches and riding a street bike. On a street bike my fingers go numb there is no snapping the next day.

Also it feels as if my hands are slightly swollen or at least they feel tight to close.

Could you please help me :-)


Joshua Comments:

Hi HandHurting.

It sounds like you have a couple things happening.

Numbness: The nerve is getting compressed at either or both of the wrist/forearm and/or the neck/front of shoulder.

Reaching up and forward to the handlebars would indicate the neck. Is that the only time you have numbness? If you reach up towards the ceiling for a minute, do you get numbness?

Or using your hands could tighten up already tight forearm structures and cause numbness.

So you need to for sure open up the forearms, and likely the neck too.

The 'snapping' also points to way too tight forearm structures (they control the fingers).

Read through this thread. Follow the 'inflammation' link, the 'pain causing dynamic' link, etc. That's important stuff to know and will save me a lot of typing.

Follow the 'how to reduce inflammation' link and start ice dipping intensively for several to 7 days.

Then give me an update.

Jul 26, 2014
clutch pain made me stop four times in 50 miles
by: Coma

This page really helped me today.

I have been a biker on and off, ever since I was 14 (I am 40 now) and I eventually got my A1 licence back in 2011.

But ever since then I have had this pain similar to tendonitis. If you was to have your palms facing you its the right side tendons that have been giving me aggravation ever since getting my A1, my buddies say its tendonitis but I don't think it's as severe.

I was off the road last winter and literally bought myself a new bike yesterday (fz6) and while the road home was around 50 miles, I had to stop around 4 times due to the pain in my wrist to the point if becoming unbearable as I got to the end of that 50 mile trip home (damn traffic ha).

So last night I did some web browsing over this same issue and stumbled across this page, I then start to massage and after around 5 minutes, the burning sensation set in so I dipped my arm in the freezer and rested my tendons where the pain was on some frozen bread (I don't have a bucket or anything to use for ice water), after the pain went away and was just aching, I carried on massaging.

Today I had an appointment that I couldn't miss which was 60 miles away (120 mile round trip). the journey was blissful, it wasn't pain free as it's still aching but I didn't have to stop for the pain, I was able to decide when to stop for a smoke and a drink as opposed to being made to stop with the pain.

So I am here basically saying, thank you for making this public and I am wondering where to go from here and instinct is telling me to do what I have been doing ?

Sorry for my grammer, I fail terribly at it lol


Joshua Comments:

Hi Coma.


It's amazing what a little bit of cold can do for pain levels and function.

Check out the Learn How To Reduce Inflammation page (find the link in this thread).

5 gallon bucket full of water and frozen water bottles/ice. 10-15 second dips as high up to/over the elbow as you can get.

As many as possible.

Ice dipping (frozen bread has some effect too, obviously!) is very effective at reducing pain levels.

It doesn't deal with other factors like too tight muscle and connective tissue or nutritional insufficiency/deficiency, but it's really good and reducing pain levels.

Aug 04, 2014
re clutch pain made me stop four times in 50 miles
by: Coma

Great stuff.
I have done just over 400 miles in just a few days, most of which was in traffic and after doing what was suggested, it has been a real joy to ride again :) and I was able to ride a good 20 miles, all in slow moving traffic so plenty of clutch control, In fact I was able to ride to till my right side wrist started to ache before my left.

I still have mild pain in the left wrist but no where near to what i did have, mostly because I have short arms/legs and a long body so when I do ride, I always have some weight on my wrists (yes I do squeeze that tank).

I have also been doing hand and wrist stretches when stopped at lights etc, i'm not sure if thats a good thing adding more preasure on the carpal tunnel as thats where it hurts the most, although it is just aching now (mostly through the stretching?) and i am able to go 30-40 miles before i "want" to stop, before i could only do 10 miles max then i would "have" to stop, so a big improvement right there.

Should i give my wrists a break from stretching, massaging, riding etc, or is it more productive to work them through it?

Thanks for all you're previous help, a big thumbs up from here :)


Joshua Comments:

That's great to hear!

1. I wouldn't stretch, I'd lengthen.

2. I wouldn't 'work through it', I'd 'continually do thinks to help the body work better/to counter the negative factors'.

So, at stops, gently pull the fingers/thumb back. Don't stretch, but 'lengthen' the structure.

It's not about creating distance (and potentially too much stretch signal and/or pain signal to the brain), it's just about making the muscles/connective tissue that have been too short and tight while working/riding a little bit longer.

Riding etc makes things tighter. You make them a little looser and disrupt that tight pattern by regularly creating length.

The simple way of saying all that is 'stretch gently'.

Aug 09, 2014
re clutch pain made me stop four times in 50 miles
by: Coma

Ha yeah, I think I was over doing the stretching, I gave my wrists and arms a rest for a couple of days with no stretching, just light conditioning if that's the right word to use and the majority of the pain has gone.

It is now just a very light ache on my wrists when I am riding my bike, I have also got to the stage where my left wrist can outlast my right side if on long journeys and no stops.

Adding to that, I am able to ride a good 60 miles now between stoppages (I have just come back from an afternoon ride off 90ish miles to see how my wrists are feeling and only stopped once), this is all without traffic so the real test would be in weekday traffic with plenty of clutch control ;).

Thanks in all you're help with myself and others, it's been a god send and a pleasure to ride and enjoy the scenery again.

I see you have books available but do you have any dvd's ?, my attention span is too short to get into a book :(.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Coma.

Gotta love progress!

I have a DVD for Carpal Tunnel (The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works, but it comes with a Quick Start Companion ebook too with lots of important how to information, so......

Sep 27, 2014
thumb joint pain on clutch hand
by: bummed thumb

Hi joshua.!

Your insight and dedication to helping people fix their pain is admirable and much appreciated.

For a while i thought my thumb might be hurting because my hand was too weak so I tried to wait it out, let it build up strength... and I am a "girl" so I thought it might be that my hands were small for the reach of the clutch.

But after talking with other female riders and guys as well, I was starting to get the idea that this pain was NOT normal.

I've been to the dr. And their first solution was to send me home with a prescription.?! Wth... im not intrested in hiding the pain... i want to make it go AWAY.! Lolol...

Soooo... I've read through the thread and tried to apply as much of your advise that pertained to my situation, however I'm not having any relief so far and it's been about 5 weeks since I started.... my pain is also on my clutch hand but it's not the wrist... it's the second knuckle in my thumb (closest to the web).

There is definitely TWO hot spots... One on the palm side of the joint that I can find easily by massaging... and the second more difficult one to find is on the other side of the joint and is more painful when I "fold my thumb into the palm."

It doesn't necessarily hurt when I'm riding although I can feel it achey and fatigued easily... it's when I'm holding a plate doing dishes or picking up a large glass of water....or when I apply any type of pressure... i've tried massaging, icing, and taking ibuprofen for the noticeable swelling... but maybe the fact that it's my thumb and NOT the wrist, I'm doing something wrong.?

I've massaged the forearm searching for tenderness or any kind of soreness and I'm not finding anything... and despite my efforts to ease the pain, I'm noticing it getting worse over the last few days...

ANY advise or suggestions that might have been left out of the previous discussion, because the location is different.?

ANY help at all...


Joshua Comments:

Hi Bummed Thumb.

Tell me EXACTLY how much of what self care you've been doing, and exactly how you've been doing it.

Leave out the anti-inflammatories, as they're not going to fix anything so really irrelevant to our convesation.

Nov 23, 2014
Thumb pain when playing guitar, riding motorcycle ext ect!
by: Thomas

I have had this pain in my thumb for around 6 years now. It has been so long that I can't really remember how and when it started exactly. It was about six years ago that i passed my motorbike test and as you can imagine i was out riding a lot! Added to this i also play the guitar and as it is my main hobby I would usually play for hours at a time.

As you might guess over the years this pain in my thumb has irritated me when doing these things that I love. I no longer have the motorbike as i came to the conclusion that it must have been the main cause for my thumb pain. I have however continued playing the guitar but I have been hindered quite a lot.

I have have been through all the usual treatments including physiotherapy, acupuncture, m.r.i and X-rays, and also seen the top hand consultant in my local hospital. after each and every method and meeting they all came to the same conclusion that theres nothing wrong and that I have to stop playing the guitar and riding my motorbike.

Very recently I have been considering giving up the guitar and music due to increased stress the injury causes me from day to day.

The pain I get is located in the fleshy/muscly area between my thumb and first finger and at times is so bad I can feel it all day whatever I am doing.

I should also mention that I am a carpenter by trade and it can effect my work to if I overdo it on the weekend.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Thomas.

First off, fire anybody that says "There's nothing wrong you should just quit playing guitar ". And never go back.

That's.....I have nothing nice to say about that. I in fact have a lot of not nice things to say about that. But I'll refrain.

Go get that motorbike back. There's no reason you shouldn't be riding to your heart's content.

Granted, you need to reverse the pain causing dynamic that has you where you're at. Time, rest, etc, isn't going to help.

I suggest my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program. And reading this entire thread won't hurt you at all....

Your thumb hurts, and you'll need to work the thumb pad area as well, but it's generally a function of the muscles (that turn into tendons and attach to the wrist/hand/thumb) that cause (part of) the problem.

Aug 07, 2015
wrist pain from riding motorcycle and pulling in clutch
by: Umez

So i have been riding for about 2 years. About 4 months ago i got a shooting pain in my left wrist when of all things washing my dishes, this continued to hurt for a couple days.

Now when i go on long rides my hand left hand starts to feel weaker and seems like i cannot grip as hard.

There is a sharp pain my left wrist as i engine brake (which involves gripping the handlebars a little tighter) as well as a general numbness of the muscles in my forearm after repetitive use of my wrist or after riding for some time.

It seems like the main symptom is pain and numbness when gripping the handlebar tighter.

Please let me know if you can help pinpoint the problem.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Umez.

The first place to look is the Tendonitis dynamic.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

Chronic tightness, chronic process of inflammation, chronic lack of nutrition.

It's a predictible, progressive dynamic. And it's not that washing dishes (or riding motorcycle) hurt you, it's that quickly/slowly over time, your ability to function decreased.

Remove the limitations on function, and function will return.

Read this entire thread, follow the links, come back with questions.

See Related: Wrist Tendonitis From Riding MOtorcycle And Playing Video Games

May 16, 2016
left wrist pain after no clutching for over a year
by: Back in the saddle again

Been reading your thread on left wrist pain when clutching a motorcycle. I have the same left wrist pain as everyone else on here when i pull in the clutch. Bike has been parked in the garage for all of 2015 due to battling cancer.

So now that the cancer is gone and I'm back on my feet I decided I wanted a new motorcycle. Traded my trusty sportster in on a brand new heritage soft tail. Rode it around in the parking lot and everything was great. Took her out today for my first real ride in over a year. Started feeling that same left wrist pain as before. By the time I got home my left wrist was in agony. Parked her and rested and no pain now doing anything.

Supposed to be raining and ugly here the rest of the week so I'm going to do the ice and massage therapy you recommended for everyone else and see how it goes.


Joshua Comments:

Kudos on getting healthy again.

Good news/bad news, you have discovered that rest doesn't fix anything....

Lots of info in this thread. Get to work!

Jul 25, 2016
Repetitive wrist pain
by: Sunny

Thank you so much for your threads! I've been having issues with my left wrist & was looking up the difference between carpel tunnel vs wrist tendinitis. I really wasn't sure if it was caused by riding my bike or lots of boot camp style working out.

Yesterday I rode for 1 1/2 hrs while wearing a wrist guard which really helped. I noticed that I changing my grip so I wasn't holding with my thumb opposite the handle but together with the rest of my fingers made a huge difference in reduced fatigue at highway speed.

I've been icing for the past few days which inspired me to try a couple of push ups this morning. I was shocked to discover the pain was in the heel of my hand! How do I continue to do upper body? I've modified with with light hand weights but I don't want to lose momentum with weight loss/ fitness. I've also modified burpees by going onto my forearm.

Just typing this with my left hand created unbelievable pain between my thumb & fingers & radiates to the outside of my wrist! Going to ice now!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sunny.

1. Variety is smart. So when you're riding, do something a little different with your grip every time.

Use different gloves too (if you're wearing gloves) of different thicknesses. Though make sure you're not working hard against the resistance of the glove just to keep a grip on the handle(s).

Along those lines, same thing with dropping down into burpees. Land on hands, then on forearms, then on fists, alternate hands, etc.

2. Ice dipping is your friend! But it's not a fix.

3. Get the Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program and get to work.

4. If you're hurting so much from pushups, that means things are TIGHT. So you need to get to work on he forearms.

Tight forearm muscles connect to tendons that cross the wrist joint, and when it's all tight.....and you go puting lots of compression and torque and stretch on too tight muscle structures.....ouch.

Jul 28, 2016
Cortisone shot
by: Daisy

I have had tennis elbow for 1 month. It is so bad that I had to leave my waitress job.

I got a cortisone shot 3 days ago. I wish I had researched first.

Will these methods work for me too?

I want to be able to ride my motorcycle, but I am afraid that the cortisone will mask any pain that I need to tell me that I am hurting my tendon.

I did take the bike out for a few miles before the shot, and it didn't seem to hurt it, but I put it away because I was sneaking it out (doc said no riding until I heal).

I regret the shot now that I have researched or. :-(


Joshua Comments:

Hi Daisy.

1. Yes, these methods will work for you.

The body works on various set-in-stone principles/mechanisms. Same for everybody.

If a car is running poorly because it's out of oil, you put oil in the car, any car, to fix the running-poorly problem. Every car.

Same with the human body. They're all a little different, but they're all the same.

Your 'tennis elbow' symptoms exist for the same reasons that everybody elses' exist.

2. Did the corticosteroid injection decrease pain levels? That's a good thing then.

But yes, that's very wise of you to be concerned about hurting yourself if the pain is masked.

It's a valid concern.

Nov 21, 2017
Avulsion of the Thumb 6 years ago and Now PAIN
by: numan

Hello, I was reading thru this thread and came across the motorcycle clutch article. I myself have pain in my left wrist/thumb area.

I had a motorcycle accident that caused an Avulsion Fracture of my thumb back in 2011 and have been fine ever since the healing after the splint cast but starting about a month ago now in 2017, this area started hurting and feeling tight.

I ride a motorcycle every day to work --about 15 -20 miles and after the ride my my thumb and wrist hurt--Its really hard to make a fist and although I can touch my index and middle finger with my thumb, it hurts like all hell if I try to touch the pinky and other finger next to it.

Is this Tendonitis u think? Please help.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Numan.

Think more 'tendonitis dynamic'.

Meaning, the 3 factors of that cause tendonitis symptoms are what's causing your pain etc.

You broke bone. That causes inflammation, tightness, and reduces nutrition. Connective tissue shrinks down compressing tissue and pulling on tissue. Other things get tight. More inflammation. Pain develops which causes more tightness, both of which use up more nutrition, etc etc, then you have pain and you're where you're at now.

We tend to think that if there's pain (or the scenario you describe) that there's something injured.

While that may be the case with you, if something is ripped or torn (which seems unlikely unless you know something I don't know), what IS the case (even and especially if you have a rip/tear) is that you are experiencing progressive tightness, inflammation, and nutritional lack.

And that looks like everything you've described.

Jun 10, 2018
Wrist Pain From Riding My Yahama Scooter
by: Billy Joe

Wrist pain in right hand for almost 2 months after long riding of my yamaha scooter.

Pain in forearm when i twist my hand. What is it and what should i do and how long it takes to heal?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Billy Joe.

This thread's for you.

Sep 04, 2018
Clutch Hand
by: Anonymous

Hi Clutch. I have the exact same problem, maybe from a different cause. Does the palm side of the base of the thumb hurt? Does it hurt when you use your thumb? Read up on a scaphoid fracture.A hard to diagnose fracture near the base of the thumb at the wrist. Mine would cause extreme pain in the wrist and forearm. Got so bad I could not unscrew the cap on the toothpaste.

Had an exray doctor said no fracture, it was arthritis but could not rule a fracture out. Ha, I have no clue what that means. I mentioned the scaphoid, that it sounds exactly what ails me after I read everything that I could. 8 weeks and counting. Can pull the clutch in now a few times but finished after that. Not riding.

Jun 11, 2022
Pain after 2 days
by: Lauren

I appreciate this entire thread. I'm hoping you can help with that shooting pain happening between the top of the outer wrist bone and the base of the left hand. It came about spontaneously after my first two days on a motorcycle.

I was in a licensing course for most of that time, after never being on a motorcycle before. I do work with automobiles and have been using my left hand as my dominant hand for the past 9 months.

I've developed a lot of strength but I don't doubt that I have been fatiguing myself without realizing it. Now I can't tighten an oil filter, open a jar, or do any motion that would externally rotate my forearm/palm. Today I wrapped my wrist to keep myself from unintentionally twisting, but I'm looking for that long-term solution. I work 6 days a week so I can't say I will be able to rest as I should, but I'll do what I have to do within the parameters that I have.

Will you share your insight?


Joshua Comments:

Give me an update on symptoms etc.

In general, sounds like a particular flavor of the tendonitis dynamic: too tight muscle and connective tissue, inflammation process, and nutritional lack.

It had been building up/progressing, and then you did a lot of something new (riding a motorcycle, using that hand/wrist/forearm/shoulder a lot and newly), which long story short tightend things up, and too much, and then stuck tight, and either compressed some nerve (because tightness, so when you move it it compresses even more), or just saying that same thing differently, tightened muscles up such that nerve compressed and when you move it tightens up even more, maybe even essentially cramping, causing that shooting sensation.

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