shoulder hurting after uni ride

Now the weather is finally getting better again, it is more fun to unicycle. Last week I did 11km on dirtroads (more like muddy roads with pits everywhere) and today 10km around a lake on asphalt. After my ride I don’t so much feel my legs, but I’m starting to get muscle aches in my left shoulder.
I feel I am more balanced with my right hand on the saddle and left arm slightly away from the uni (29").
I am just not good enough to do all balancing with my hips in stead and trying to use my right arm for balance and left hand on the saddle only works occasionally when the road tilts to the left.
Does anyone else have that? Is it possible to ride through pits just balancing with your hips?

Just a guess: Your left arm is jerking around quickly, and that’s causing the pain in your shoulder. I suppose you could try holding the seat handle with the left hand, which would help your technique and maybe also stop the shoulder from hurting. I have a related problem: On the steepest hills, I rely on pulling up with my right hand, putting a lot of stress on my right arm. I need to practice holding with the left hand, particularly when the hills get steep. It is natural to use the side of the body which works best for us, but I also think there’s value in learning every technique on the dominant and non-dominant side. I don’t mean to sound preachy; this is mostly advice which ‘I’ need to follow. Good luck!

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Mostly agree with comments from elpuebloUNIdo…

So which shoulder is hurting?

The asymmetry riding muni is almost impossible to completely eliminate in my experience. Like elpuebloUNIdo my problem is more overstressing the right (brake/handle arm), particularly the forearm. I have on and off tendinitis from muni and/or trials.

If it’s the left shoulder then the description of elpuebloUNIdo sounds right. So the solution might be reducing the flailing and maybe overextending of your left arm?

If it’s your right shoulder then sounds more like the typical overstress of the handle/brake arm. For the tendinitis there’s a great stretch that really helps me, but I never had any issues with my shoulder.

Ah, I just read your post and you said, “muscle aches in my left shoulder.”
So yes, maybe try to reduce flailing. Could also help to stretch. Or could also help to do some strength training in the gym. But I would guess that unless you severely pulled/tore a muscle it should strengthen from muni riding over weeks/months and go away with time.

I don’t think I flail so much really, only when I have to turn up a rise. It is the same as when painting the ceiling when you have to lift your arm all the time. At least it is just muscle ache, so it will go away again with training. Today i rode 10k on flat asphalt and tried holding the seat with my left hand, which is doable, but doesnt feel very secure. This time I dont feel my shoulder.

When have a “muscle ache” in my shoulder (or hip, at the other end of the torso) these days it’s much more likely to be an inflamed nerve causing phantom pain, which feels like it’s coming from a particular muscle. The effect can be quite convincing. You’re at the approximate age when back/nerve problems begin to present themselves for a lot of people so that might be something to consider.