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05 Feb 2004

I'm training for the Argus and I get very numb from sitting on the saddle for hours - "Numb nuts". Is this bad for me?
Answer 387 views

01 Jan 0001

Most experts agree that even though we don’t know how common bike-riding impotence may be, or how much riding it takes to cause a problem, there are some commonsense suggestions men can follow in the meantime.

·Penile numbness and excessive genital shrinkage are warning signs that there may be too much pressure on the perineum. The nerves in the perineum are being pinched, which means that artery that feeds the penis is also being compressed. If you experience groin numbness while riding, get up on the pedals and ride out of the seat for a distance, or get off the bike and take a break.
·Sitting back on the buttocks as much as possible while riding, takes the pressure off the frontal area.
·Lowering the front part of the saddle, or at least making it level, relieves pressure on the penis while riding.
·Fit a broader or more heavily padded seat which spreads the load to the ischial tuberosities (the sit bone), rather on the perineum.
·Check to see that the legs are not fully extended to the bottom of the pedal stroke. The knees should be slightly bent to support more of your weight.
·Be wary of spending significant time on aero bars – they encourage riding on the nose of the saddle.
·Stand up every 10 minutes or so to encourage blood flow.
·Heavier riders may be more at risk of arterial compression damage because of the greater weight that is placed on the perineum. You should also get off the saddle as frequently as you would on a regular bike and be certain that it is set up the same in riding position.
·Make sure the top tube of your bicycle is three to four inches below the perineum.
·Consider padding the top tube.
·Get out of the saddle when riding over any bumpy surface like railroad tracks, trail debris, or washboard terrain. Use your legs as shock absorbers.
·Consider a recumbent bicycle or stationary cycle. The reclining position on a chair-like seat, limits any chance of compression or impact injury. Alternatively, spinning – the new exercise craze – may be better, because you spend time out of the seat, standing on the pedals.

Dr Elna Mc Intosh
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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