wrist pain from holding seat bumper (muni)

I have been riding muni for a little over a year and all of the sudden I’m having a lot of wrist pain from pulling up on the seat bumper during muni rides. I have had several minor occurrences of this pain in my left wrist during the summer but a week ago I went on a muni ride and shortly after the ride I developed significant pain in my left wrist near the pisiform bone (the pea sized bone on the outside of the wrist – straight down from the little finger). It was such a problem that I could not even lift the unicycle with that hand and I experienced a good deal of pain even when turning the steering wheel or lifting a hanger holding a pair of pants. Since I tend to use my left hand more than my right when holding the bumper I thought it might be an overuse issue so I decided to try my next ride (on the same trail) using only my right hand. About half way through that ride (after repeatedly trying a tough hilly section) I noticed the same pain developing in my right wrist (in exactly the same area) and after the ride it gave me just as much pain as I had previously experienced in my left wrist.

Has anyone else experience this issue? I cannot imagine why this is happening all of the sudden. Although I’m fairly new to this trail, I had ridden that trail twice before in the previous week without any issues.

Any thoughts?

I just found the thread “wrist pain from lifting front handle?” that I somehow missed when searching earlier. However, I’m still interested in hearing any additional suggestions. Has anyone found that handlebars help. Does it help to lift from the side of the bumper instead of the front in order to keep the wrist in a better position?

Probably not a lot of help, but I’ve had an issue with wrist pain when hopping. For me it was in the thumb side of my wrist - at the scaphoid bone. But then I have an unhealed fracture in this I did 23 years ago, so not that unexpected. I’ve been forced to switch to using my non-dominant hand (not that big an issue - I’ve learnt to do a lot of things left handed over the years).

I’d think if you’re getting pain without a previous injury you’re probably doing something wrong - doesn’t seem that awkward the way I’m holding the handle. Though as a newbie (I also don’t even play a doctor on TV) I’m not the best to advise on this.

You could try the KH touring handle set close to the seat. This would allow you to grip with a more natural hand position.
Your hand is not twisted around putting less torsional stress on the joints.


Having been out and practiced my hopping, one thing I notice is that I’m only holding the handle with my first three fingers - means I have a pretty much straight wrist - something which would be difficult if I was also gripping with my little finger. Having an old wrist injury I am very conscious of how I hold my wrists on bike handlebars - hadn’t really thought about how I hold the uni handle (too much else on my mind!) but I imagine keeping the wrist straight was at least a deliberate sub-conscious thing.

Maybe you have an RSI-type injury now -> not good. :frowning:
I don’t know how you apply your holding and pulling the seat handle. In general, you should not hold firmly (let alone pull) just because you can. This may sound silly, but when I just had a handle on my MUni (in 2002), I remember I got sore fingers (not wrist) because I was basically pulling all the time. Now I hold my handle (a regular KH seat handle in my MUni case) just loosely most of the time. Only if I need the power or control, I really grip it and pull.
aracer’s suggestion to hold your wrist joint straight while pulling is good as well.

My husband had wrist pain …maybe due to golf?..and had to have that little bone removed. Wrist still bothers him occasionally. Don’t know what will happen now that I’ve talked him into learning unicycling:)

My wrist hurts all the time, broken fingers didn’t help, nor does sitting at a compouter and typing/clicking all day, had a lot of pain in the back of my right hand after a big ride Sunday.

Switching hands so you give your “dominant hand” a rest, this is a good way to develop bi lateral strength as well, but I see that you had pain in both hands, so it must be the way you are using the handle.

Take a look at when and how you are using your grab handle, it could be that your gripping it all the time and keeping your arm tensed vs only gripping when you need to pull up. It is possible to “steer” the uni without pulling up, simply by resting your hand on the grab handle.

As I’ve gotten better at muni, there are times when I ride with both hands free and I can still ride over some fairly rough terrain; some people don’t even grab the handle and ride free hand always.

An ergo grab like the ones I build or the KH could help, but only if you learn how to rest your wrist and arm, otherwise you’ll just have a different pain.

Try riding with gloves that have wrist support? Like kh gloves?

Good call, I totally forget that some folks don’t wear wrist guards.

If you don’t have some, get some, they not only keep your wrists protected, but support your wrist during use.

My Favs:


They also make long fingers, but they tend to be hot.

Bending the nylon stiffener so it’s flatter and conforms to your wrist is a nice fit trick.

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I already wear hillbilly wrist guards but I’m going to take it easy for a while and give my wrists time to heal. The one thing I have been doing differently is that I’m riding a tougher trail that usual. I’ve just advanced to the point where I can ride all the tough spots on this trail but I can be stubborn and I insist on retrying these tough spots over and over until I get them. I don’t hold onto the seat much during the rest of the trail but for these tough spots I pull very hard on the seat. Perhaps I need to limit myself to 3 tries on these tough spots and/or learn to avoid pulling up so hard even on the tough sections.