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For those with wrist/arm/hand problems from polo

Before you ask, yes I am going to talk with an orthopedist and bike fitter.

I'm wondering what you've done if you have noticed problems develop from polo. Any small tricks or mods that helped? What were you doing that cause the problem(s)?

I am seeing small problems in the non mallet hand after giving my tall riser polo bike away. Tried ergon grips but I don't feel an improvement. My bars are saddle height(will be finding stupid high risers soon).

properly adjusted brakes were a big help for me. Make sure the lever is in a comfortable position and that the squeeze on them is like butter.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Paired a paul lever with some knowledge of my LBS mechanics and it is so much better. Thank you.

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

I've been rockin' this guy the last few weeks: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BI6J8I/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i01

Before I was having some elbow pain in my mallet arm, and this has helped clear that up a lot. Don't know why a wrist strap helps the elbow, but it does. Best $7 I've spent on polo gear yet.

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

You are damn right, 3 hours of solid polo and my wrists and arms feel great!

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

I also tried a wrist strap for my hand pain and it worked really well. I found it gave me way more strength in my fingers to hold the mallet, rather than having to lean on it.

I broke my wrist a year ago, and I've found that a wrist wrap is extremely helpful - I don't play or ride a bike w/o one. I use kind that keeps the joint under compression, not a rigid impact brace. You can get them from almost any store with a first aid section for under $10.

Anyone have any recommendations for alleviating shoulder pain on your mallet hand side?

depends where in the shoulder you're hurting. I've had issues on my shoulder on my mallet side and it was the tendon and in those cases where you can't massage the pain away, you need to immediately stop and take a break for a week or two to let the tendon repair itself.

and yes, you need to fap with your drive side shoulder for those weeks.

I used to get a lot of pain in my wrists (especially after tournaments) but I found that once I started riding more outside of polo, my wrist strength increased and the pain disappeared.

My issue at the moment is the palm of my mallet hand just below my fingers. I get bad stabbing pain when I lean on my mallet but not at any other time. I spent a lot of time in goal at a recent tournament (3 weeks ago) and I am hoping it is just deep bruising/strain. I have tried putting padding in my glove with makes it slightly better but it is still quite painful. I think that instead of trying to keep playing on it, resting for a week of two might be a better plan.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Hey Virginia hope you're feeling better I think if you stay off it for a week or two, you'll feel better (A little break goes a long way). You could get a rubber end for your mallet , (like fixcraft's) , or try bunching up a strip of sock (a little goes a long way)and taping it to the impact point (DIY option).

Thanks Max. I've already got a rubber end - they sell them in hardware shops here for chair legs for $2 a pair.

I like the idea of putting some soft material like a sock around the end. Will definitely give that a go. And I am staying off the court for a week or two - need to be fit for Geneva!

i get a lot of pain in my wrists/shoulder/fore arm but it is maily due to existing injurings that I can't afford to fix and polo amplifies those problems. FUCK YOU OBAMA! GIVE ME HEALTH CARE YOU FUCK!

I agree, riding your bike outside of polo helps condition the muscles/tendons/ligaments that are used when riding a bike. I think i have been hurting more lately becuase I havn't beenr iding as much as I have in past years.

"ok Mr. Schwinn fucking Armstrong!"

I could tell you were a romney supporter when I met you.

My no biking break is almost complete and I am going to do a bit of road and mountain riding to get back into the swing of things this weekend. Also I've been doing a small weight lifting and I am feeling great. Thanks for the suggestion!

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

Many hand problems will be alleviated by BIGGER GRIP! None of this one-layer-of-hockey-tape bullsheeet, I'm speaking of a honkin double wrap of bar tape or similar. Bigger grip=less gripping force required=less resultant muscle/tendon type problems. Magical difference.


seconded. A larger grip will do a lot to help both wrist and elbow problems.

but my hands are so dainty!

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Bigger grips actually make my wrists hurt worse. I can't hang on to it as well. I guess I am delicate and lady like after all!

Polo has given me tennis & golfer's elbow, resulting in wicked trigger finger in my ring finger on my right hand. Surgery is an option...OR you can just suck it up and deal with it like I do. It's comical in the morning.

...those days are over.


Proper stretching definitely helps. It's important to have the right width for your hand and the right height handlebars. That said I rock the smallest grip I can. Had a lockon on there and got serious fatigue.

i've found maintaining an excercise routine besides polo (mine involves weight lifting and rowing) has helped me immensely in terms of reducing fatigue and injuries. I was never an advocate of weights, as i grew up playing soccer, but it helps me enjoy polo so much more when I'm stronger and pain free.

I'm talking about full body, high reps and not high weight/ body image oriented stuff. i'd be glad to share what's worked for me if anyone is interested.
i'm pretty positive that making your self stronger and more balanced is the key to solving chronic pain issues. I'm sure your equation could be different than mine. I know others use yoga and swimming etc to get stronger.

Paul wrote:

i'm pretty positive that making your self stronger and more balanced is the key to solving chronic pain issues.

Every Doctor and phyical therapist I know will tell you this exact same thing.

The only reason anyone does anything.
For the lulz.

Dont go to the gym , play a wee bit less polo and treat the world as yours. Party on peeps

"So this is how it ends"MACHINE

yeah, i will regularly go to the gym w/ back pain and leave, having exerted myself, feeling pain free. may sound counter intuitive, but it works as long as your form is correct.

Both of my thumbs spontaneously dislocate from time to time...anybody experience that? I yell when it happens.


Only during polo?

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

+1 to Medic.Mike

Answer: Properly set up brakes.

I.e powerful enough to be used with only one finger and set up far enough inboard of your grips that no more than one finger will fit on the lever.
The less fingers on your lever the more fingers are on your handlebars = no more death-grip to hold on. Better grip and less hand fatigue.

This is my bike, it is a rather extreme example as I have abnormal witch-length fingers but you get the idea.Photobucket

I've been struggling with wrist fatigue and soreness on my mallet side for a few months now. I realized that much of my pain was due to my fatiguing forearms and my wrists overcompensating for them. I've done a few things to make play easier on said wrist; double-wrapped my mallet, Everlast wrist wraps, practicing shots with a straight elbow instead of wrist shots, and this:

It's called a wrist roller? I made mine with a broom handle and an old brake cable tied around a 10lb weight. You hold it out in front of you with the weight dangling and then roll each hand forward, alternating until you've coiled the cable around the handle and the weight is at eye level. Then you back it back down. Shit is so effective.

It's been almost a week and I can already tell a difference. Stronger forearms=less strain on my wrists=more polo, less pain.


Arms need to be outstretched?

For me the problem is the following: i have developed an epicondylitis or "tennis elbow" (right/mallet hand).
From my elbow to my wrist the pain irradiate time to time, i've got some cortisone injection then six weeks resting and the problem kind of disappear.

Since few months the pain is back and im going back to the doctor.

The problem is that my arm can't rest, i do 8 hours in front of a computer, then polo, then computer back at home. At first i only feel the pain after strong polo session, now it comes when im at work in front of the computer.

I'm trying some new mouse, left hand, etc.

Don't know, that sucks.

I've been dealing with tennis elbow too. No doctor visits yet because I don't wanna have to rest for six weeks. Did your doctor give you any special exercises to do? Or just say "don't play polo"?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

No exercises.

I got an cortisone infiltration and rest my arm for 6 weeks. He give a kind of plastic plaster arm that i should have most of the time.

After the 6 weeks i come back fine to polo, but the fact is that the cortison effect can last from 3 weeks to 6 months (lol the fuck). Indeed after 6 months the pain is now back and simple shit like working (CAD software) or playing BF3 give me pain. No to mention the bikepolo of course.

I'm going back to the osteopath and if no succes i will try a sport doctor and do the whole thing to truc to "fully" recover.

Computer+bikepolo is not that good... I could stop playing stupid comp games but can't stop working...

I work for an architecture firm doing CAD work 6-8 hours a day and my office forces everybody to use a trackball mouse. I absolutely hated it for the first few months but now I can't work with anything else. It really seems to reduce the repetitive stress on your wrist and forearm.


Yes I've also the same mouse, it reduce the pain but not that much in the long term for me. I'm going lefty at work with a regular mouse and the Logitech one if I need to rush some work.

You will call me weak but I've used the Logitech too much that it give me other pain... Thumb pain... Haha, well.

Ha! Now I'd just recommend you stop working so hard.

My cold weather ball is in my hands at all times. I squeeze it and squeeze it and squeeze it. I take it to breakfast lunch and dinner. The only time I stop squeezing my ball is when I'm playing polo.

why don't you guys try alternating arms when one starts to hurt?
start playing with your left when you feel pain in your right?

aren't you all ambidextrous like me?


have any of you guys tried an epicondylitis bandage like this?

  • epicondylitis bandage.jpg
.David. wrote:

have any of you guys tried an epicondylitis bandage like this?

That's actually chill33 from tallahassee in the picture.

Oh you.

I use one as well as a wrist brace on my mallet arm. Both help minimize but do not eliminate the pain. They do seem to shorten the duration of "post-polo-pain".

My problems started proper after doing one particular construction job. Lifting a lot of heavy sheet material and locking my elbow with a straight arm to carry it is a bad idea, especially when I felt the first tearing sensation in one arm and then immediately repeating the mistake with the other. Also not sensible is using impact drivers all day and not taking breaks. I noticed the beginnings of this elbow problem building the courts here in Montreal for the Northsides this year - it might be good to be mindful of such things when building courts, the excitement and time pressure can mean unnecessary self injury.

Coach from OT helpfully suggested locking my wrist when shooting, the wrist brace helps with that. The elbow strap apparently supports/constricts the muscles and connective tissue which perhaps stops them from over straining - it does seem to help fatigue strain in the area.

I also have a very particular way of wrapping my mallet handle. Short, only as long as my palm with a fat ball shape just above my thumb and forefinger, tapering off toward the heel of my palm. Means less gripping and the mallet works kind of like a pendulum. Raising my bars took pressure off my steering wrist, so much so the "old man grips" (ergo grips) were no longer necessary.

nice tips!

tried the epicondylitis wrap and it worked but slipped a few times too many after sweating..so i moved to just a tight elbow wrap like this and it works great...no more pain.

  • elbowpad.jpg

I agree with Paul - excersize using weights and stretching. Then again, I am old, and getting into "maintenance" exercise. (jebus fuck its depressing sometimes).

Do yourself a favor and google "shoulder external & internal rotation exercises". They are simple things you can do laying down, morning or night (or in the middle of the day, you sloth).

I dislocated (sub-lux, actually) both my shoulders several times in the first two years of playing polo. Ended up in PT, where I learned about the external/internal stuff, and poof, no more shoulder problems.

Now I hit the gym three days a week just to build up my board-checking shoulders... and to look at myself in the mirror (me so pretty).

I also go to a chiropractor and stretch like a mofo for my jacked-up lower back. My left lower back tends to get frozen up and tender if I stop playing for a bit, then rage on the court.

MinneaPOLOgasm -----------[] ((((O