Riding with a Hernia

I got a 20" Torker LX for Christmas. I still require a wall/fence/bridge to hold onto to go very far, so I have been learning to ride on days it is not too snowy on the bridge by my house. I’ve had only one particularly bad spill that left me in serious groin pain for 10+ minutes, but other than that I’ve manage to land on my feet.

I had my yearly checkup today and my doctor says I have a hernia. He seemed totally unconcerned about unicycling and was sure that no amount of racking myself with my unicycle or falling off would cause this or make it significantly worse. However, he is not a unicyclist and I thought maybe someone here may know a bit more about hernias and unicycles.

Does anyone think I should definitely avoid riding my unicycle until after my surgery? I see a 4 year old thread where experienced unicyclers said it would be 5 weeks or so after my surgery before they could/should ride again… but they are experienced unicyclers, maybe learning to ride is more likely to cause injury and I should wait longer?

I’m bummed about being injured and probably not learning to ride my unicycle for a while, but I guess January is a better time to be stuck inside than May or June!

Any advice is appreciated!
Ueki Tylor

In my professional opinion, i wouldnt. It could worsen anything, and prolong recovery time. If your just riding distance/comuting you ask your doctor what he thinks about cycling in general.

but just to be on the safe side i’d say dont unicycle.

I trust a doctor more than I trust potentially uneducated guesses from random people I have never met.

They could be giving decent advice, but still, you are just learning to ride still and aren’t doing any serious riding, so I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

Thank you for the advice! I’ll ask him about mountain biking… that seems to make my legs ache about as much as practicing my unicycle. Although I suspect it is totally different muscles that are aching.

I have a hernia and unicycling never bothers me, but mine isn’t bad either. It depends on your own situation so asking your doctor is a good idea.

It could depend on the type of hernia. If this is the “turn your head and cough” type then racking yourself probably will not make it worse. I do think that all the stress of carrying your weight on your legs while learning to unicycle could make it worse.

Learning to ride a unicycle is physically stressful.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I speak only from personal experience.

Talk to your doctor. Do what the doctor says. Be sure to describe the leg/groin stress involved. The mountain biking comparison sounds good but tell the doctor unicycling is harder than mountain biking.

i guess it wouldnt hurt to, but it may not be the best idea in the world for it.

i’m speaking from a standpoint of having gone through 100 hours in an emergency medical care course and being certified in both cpr/aed and OEC technition.

What sort of hernia is it?

If it’s an inguinal hernia then anything that increases your intrabdominal pressure will pop it out. Straining on the toilet, lefting things, and probably unicycling as well.

Some of them are easily reduced (push on it and it pops back in). The only problem comes when it comes out and you can push it back in.

woah… Gizmo, you jsut reminded me of a previous conversation… I cant remember whether if it was on a trials forum, or on here, but either you or someone else said the same thing.

Sometimes you can push it back in, and it might come back, but sometimes you can.

Hmm…I think if it were me, I wouldn’t want to risk it. It seems like a better idea to just take the time off now and get healthy as fast as you can so that you can get back to unicycling as fast as possible rather than risk making it worse (and possibly increasing your recovery time). Of course a doctor’s opinion would be best.

Just my 2 cents.

I rode with a pretty major inguinal hernia up until the time I had it surgically repaired.
After that I didn’t even want to see my uni for a couple of weeks.

I’d go with the doctor’s advice tho, and have it repaired sooner rather than later.

I would continue to ride your unicycle. If your hernia gets worse as a result, then sue him for malpractice. What a swell idea!


I talked to my surgeon yesterday. He agreed with my doctor that unicycling or biking or jogging would not be a problem while I wait for surgery. He said I would need to avoid it after surgery though. I currently have a minor inguinal hernia, so other people’s hernias mileage may vary.

There is supposed to be good weather this weekend, so I will work on mastering going in a straight line with no wall!

I ride with JC all the time which is pretty much like riding with a hernia. I have had no trouble with it so far.

It has been 8 weeks.

Well, 8 weeks after my surgery I hopped on the unicycle again. I’m a bit more sore than I was after my last practice session, but I don’t think it did any lasting harm.

So I am once again on my way to meeting my goal of unicycling to work!

Glad your up to rolling again. Good luck!