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Question
I'm am 9 years old and practicing level 7.  When we work bars for an hour my hands start to go numb.  What can I do to stop this.  I am working kip cast handstands, but after awhile I can't feel my grip on the bar anymore.  My hands get fried early.

Answer
Hello,

Sounds like you are having a real problem. Sorry to hear that. Numbness can be produced in hands from a number of places. Our nerves come from our spines, and travel like tree roots from the spine down to our toes and finger tips. These nerves pass through a couple of places along the way and form bundles. They form a bundle right under the collar bone, right in the under arm region, at the elbow and at the wrist. The activity you are doing could cause nerve stretch or pressure at any of these places. That means you are feeling the numbness in your hands, but the problem could be anywhere from the neck down. Watch carefully and see if any other activity cause this numbness, even writing homework, sitting at the computer. Have your coaches watch your technique carefully. Make sure you are using muscle and not overstretching tendons or landing on collar bone area, under arm area. Make sure you keep your wrists in neutral, not too bent or to pressed back. Don't let this go on for too long.

Good luck,
Kathy

Gymnastics

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Kathy Tooman PT

Expertise

Analysis of motion. What muscle length, strength, balance, coordination is needed to accomplish drills or skills. What is needed to avoid preventable injuries and to assist in rehab from a physical therapy perspective.

Experience

3o years as a clinical therapist with strong skills in figuring out why or why not an athlete can't accomplish their skills. Many hours with athletes on and off field, specially gymnastics, swimming, tennis, and soccer

Organizations
American Physical Therapy Association American Physical Therapy Association Sports Medicine Section

Publications
HOLD YOUR SHAPE, Childrens Gymnastic Flip Booklet HOLD YOUR SHAPE, Parent & Coach Manual

Education/Credentials
Physical Therapist, graduate of University of Michigan

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