MTB mountain bike rider. Why do my hands hurt when mountain biking?

Why do my hands hurt when mountain biking?

Help! My wrist and hand hurts after MTB


You entered a mountain bike race that was just a bit out of your league and you finished it, well done! But you are left with pain that radiates up the outer part of your hand and your little finger won’t straighten. You can’t remember hurting or bumping it but something is definitely not right. 

Why do my hands hurt when mountain biking?

You probably have handle bar palsy, a condition which involves your ulnar nerve. If your position during riding is not optimal, your grip on the handle bars can compress nerves in your wrist and hand.

These kinds of injuries are completely avoidable. 

Top tips to keep you in shape for your riding

  • Pain after riding is not normal. Listen to your body and actively make changes. If you experience numbness, tingling or pain in your fingers, you could be placing unnecessary pressure on your nerves. Get it checked out!
  • Wear padded cycling gloves. These specially designed gloves have pads over the areas where the nerves are most compromised. The pads protect the nerves from vibration and pressure.
  • Keep your wrists straight. Try not to let your hands slip down and around the handle bars-this encourages your wrist to bend which closes the narrow anatomical tunnel in your wrist and compresses the nerve. Consider changing your handlebars if you have difficulty with maintaining a straight posture.
  • Bend your elbows and allow them to act as a shock absorber, taking in the vibrations before they hit your shoulders. 
  • Relax and enjoy the ride. By keeping your body loose you will be able to absorb the vibrations more effectively and enjoy your ride much more than if you have a vice grip on the handle bars.


MTB mountain bike rider. Why do my hands hurt when mountain biking?

Don’t put up with wrist pain

If these tips haven’t kept the pain away, you may need to see a hand therapist. We would be happy to advise on any ergonomic changes needed or provide you with a strengthening programme if necessary.

Take good care of yourself, take good care of your hands and enjoy the ride.

By Tamryn Riemann

If you are experiencing hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.



For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166


Image credit: Christian Erfurt, Nick Rickert Unsplash