Stoner Having Acupuncture And Changing Riding Position To Deal With Arm Pump

Arm pump (or compartment syndrome, to give it its medical name) is an incredibly vexing condition that has troubled many top level motorcycle racers over the years. The latest victim of this problem is Casey Stoner: the Marlboro Ducati rider started to suffer with the issue at Silverstone, and with just six days between the British Grand Prix and the Dutch TT at Assen, Stoner had no time to recover.

With a little longer between Assen and Barcelona, Stoner has had time to work on the problem and recover. The Australian has taken two approaches to solving the problem: changing his position on the bike and a physical therapy to deal with the symptoms: "I've actually done some acupuncture to it, to see if that can release the pressure," Stoner told journalists after practice on Friday. "There's just one muscle that runs up the arm, I can feel it, that's the hard point, that's the tightness, it's so stiff, and it just doesn't want to relax."

While Stoner is using acupuncture as a curative, the Australian is also trying to prevent the problem recurring in the first place. "We completely changed the handlebar position and brake levers and things like that," Stoner said. The changes are aimed at helping Stoner control the bike more easily, for the physical effort required for the Australian to keep the bucking Ducati Desmosedici under control is part of what is causing the arm pump. "I wanted to put the handlebars a little bit wider, take a little bit of pressure off the arms in some ways." The change had also pushed Stoner's body further forward, in another attempt to take some of the strain off of his arms.

The first changes made turned out to be a little too radical, and the team had to take a step back from where they were. "The first change didn't feel like it made so much difference, so we came back to a position about halfway between this and what I normally run, and this felt comfortable. We also changed the brake levers back to somewhere near what I normally have, somewhere in the middle of both."

Stoner is confident that the changes will solve the problem, and allow him to race as he wishes. "This is what I ended up with, and for me, the arms felt perfect. The first 15-20 minutes, I felt, not arm pump, but that there was something there, and then at the end of the session I felt nothing. Hopefully with the position, either we found something or the bike was working that much easier, it was that much easier to ride and I didn't have to use that much effort," Stoner told the assembled media. "Hopefully, we've done everything correctly and it should work out."

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That Casey's main issue right now seems to be the arm pump and not the machine. No mention of a folding front or frantic twirling of clickers. So after mainly mucking round with his handlebars he's only a gnats knob off Lorenzo time wise. Nice work young man!

Stoner was noted for riding with fairly wide bars for a motoGp bike earlier - he commented once that it was a hang-over from his dirt-riding heritage. Then with the '10 Duc, suddenly he's having to pick up the front-end everywhere, add in narrower bars and presumably harder i.e. more vibration-transmitting clip-ons and the old 'harsher' forks and it's hardly surprising if it makes new physical demands on his arms.

The guy can't take a trick with some 'fans' of the sport - if he just says 'we have a few problems to sort out' then it's back to the cant of 'mystery illness', if he states what the problem is and what he's trying to do about it, then it's 'excuses' or 'whingeing'. Personally, when it can be proven that one's PR abilities translate to better lap times I'll worry about him developing that aspect, in the meantime I'd prefer to see hard-fought action at the pointy end and PR abilities be damned.

After a hard day of street riding I have felt similar so I no it sucks but I thought most of the top level guys had this corrected many years ago? I guess Casey is one of those who haven't but I'm pretty sure that both Nicky and Ben Spies have both had the surgery to relieve arm pump. Maybe the surgery is more of a yank thing?

Hayden said at Assen that the surgery only works for so long. And he's still having one or two problems, even after surgery. So there's no easy fix. If you think you can get away without having surgery, then it's better to avoid having it altogether. 

I suppose so but it seems that a ton of motocross, supercross, and road racing guys have it done so it seems like if it wasn't working then nobody would keep getting the surgery. With that being said this goes back to how I think that even though Stoner has and is turning in fast lap times here and there he hasn't been back to the form he was before he was puking in his helmet last year. Maybe he'll start to get back to that form, we'll see.

Casey has been fast all year. Only a few problems have stopped the wins. But Casey knows that this championship is lost. It's all about wins now.

We are only a third of the way through the season guys. Lots of time for drama. A big lead yes, unassailable no. Will Casey or Dani pull it off - unlikely. But I do hope they (and others) make it very uncomfortable for Lorenzo.

that Casey, very much to her chagrin you understand because he is so not her fave, looked damn good today and might have something for Lorenzo tomorrow. Let's hope as a runaway front is not that interesting.