Why Do My Shoulders Hurt After Riding A Motorcycle?

Shoulder pain is a common issue that most riders experience after riding a motorcycle. The condition becomes worse when anyone needs to ride a long distance. In such situations, it is common to wonder why do my shoulders hurt after riding a motorcycle. Well, there are several reasons behind causing shoulder pain, but the most common is improper posture.

As riding a motorcycle requires keeping your shoulders and hips aligned vertically, a slight adjustment can make a big difference in causing shoulder pain. Not only that, wearing improper safety gear and riding longer distances without stretching also cause shoulder pain. However, to know more in-depth details in this regard, go through the entire article.

Article Summary:

  • Riding a motorcycle with the wrong posture can lead to shoulder pain. So, make sure you sit on your bike with a suitable posture while riding.
  • When you ride a bike for a long time, your body muscles will become stiff, causing shoulder pain. In that case, simple stretching will help to get rid of this problem.
  • Although a helmet protects your head from getting any injury, wearing a heavy or tight one will cause pain in your shoulder. On the other hand, a proper helmet will prevent pains along with ensuring maximum head protection.
  • If you feel stressed while riding a bike, it will lead to muscle strain. So, staying confident during riding will help prevent muscle injuries such as shoulder pain.
  • Dehydration could also be a prime reason for shoulder pain, as water helps to smooth the joint and power the muscles. So, drinking sufficient water will keep you in good riding performance as well as prevent shoulder pain.

Can A Motorcycle Helmet Cause Shoulder Pain?

Helmets are usually worn to protect the rider’s head from any unexpected accidents. But if the helmet is heavy or ill-fitted on the head, it will cause neck and shoulder pain. This is because the average weight of a helmet is around 4 to 5 kg.

Can A Motorcycle Helmet Cause Shoulder Pain

When you wear a heavier helmet, it will be hard for you to move your head. This will cause stains and uneasiness on your head that will badly impact your neck and shoulder. Besides, wearing a loss helmet can cause it to shake irregularly, which can distract you and hinder a comfortable ride.

So, riding a motorcycle wearing such a type of helmet will cause neck and shoulder pain. These pains sometimes lead to several problems. In that case, wearing a motorcycle helmet for neck pain will ease riding for you and prevent such pains.

Why Do My Shoulders Hurt After Riding A Motorcycle?

Most riders usually ask, why do my shoulders hurt after riding a motorcycle? Typically, several factors can contribute to your shoulder pain after riding a motorcycle. Some common reasons for shoulder hurt have been demonstrated below.

Why Do My Shoulders Hurt After Riding A Motorcycle

Wrong Posture

Most motorcycle riders experience shoulder pain because of the improper position of their bike. When riding a motorcycle, you should sit with your back straight and your shoulder will be placed on top of your hips and slightly pushed back. If the posture is not maintained while riding, your shoulder leads to different pain such as trigger points, impingement syndrome, and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Riding For A Long Time

When you ride a bike for a long period, your muscles will shorten and become stiff. The main reason is that your arms will stay in the same place for a long time. If muscles get stiff, they pull on the bones, causing them to become misaligned and causing pain, discomfort, and damage. As a result, you will experience stiffness in your shoulder, causing pain after riding a motorcycle.

Wearing Wrong Gear

Riding a motorcycle with wearing the wrong gear can also lead to shoulder pain. For example, wearing a poor helmet will resist your neck’s movement, causing neck and shoulder pain. Besides, wearing a heavy or too tight helmet increases the weight on the neck and will lead to more burdens between your head and the helmet.

Carry A Heavy Backpack

Carrying a backpack while riding a motorcycle can also cause shoulder pain. Typically, when you carry a backpack, you will instinctively lean forward and bend your shoulders forward. This will stretch the upper back and neck muscles and eventually cause pain in your shoulders.

Feeling Stress

If you are new to riding or are not confident in your motorcycle, you may feel stress, leading to strain on your muscles. For example, you may grab the handlebars like a vice or constantly put tension on your thighs. When your muscles are tight, all the sensations and vibrations of your motorcycle will intensify, causing pain in your shoulder.

How Do I Stop My Shoulder From Hurting When Riding A Motorcycle?

After knowing the reasons for shoulder pain, you may be wondering how I can stop shoulder pain when riding a motorcycle. You can usually prevent your shoulder pain by following some simple tricks. Here these are:

How Do I Stop My Shoulder From Hurting When Riding A Motorcycle

  • Stretching: Although it may seem simple, stretching your body before and after riding can prevent shoulder and neck pain. In that case, you can do some simple exercises such as shoulder shrugs, neck circles, and forward folds with your hands.
  • Adjust Riding Posture: Every common pain can be attributed to parts of your posture while riding a motorcycle. So, you should understand which is the best posture for your comfort. Make sure you have a relaxing position where your wrist and shoulder are natural, and your back isn’t curved over.
  • Wear Proper Gear: Wearing a helmet is crucial to reduce the risk of head injury, but it is also essential that the helmet be accurate in size and weight. So, ensure you wear a lightweight helmet that properly fits your head.
  • Build Your Strength: Motorcycle riding may not be an extreme sport, but it still requires your muscles’ strength. So, working on your core muscles will improve your grip, preventing shoulder pain.
  • Stay Hydrated: A minimal level of dehydration can be the reason for muscle fatigue that leads to shoulder pain while riding a motorcycle. In that case, drinking sufficient water can reduce muscle fatigue and improve your riding performance.
  • See a Physiotherapist: If you experience pain even though employing everything discussed above, you should seek a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist can give you treatment based on your problem so that you can recover quickly.

Tips For Avoiding Shoulder Pains When Riding

Riding a motorcycle with shoulder pain can expose you to danger. So, you should do something to prevent shoulder pain when riding. Here are some effective tips that can help you to stop this pain.

Tips For Avoiding Shoulder Pains When Riding

  • Increasing your shoulder strength will support and stabilize your shoulder joint. This way, you can prevent shoulder pain when riding.
  • Switch your riding styles frequently, as being in the same for a long time increases the chance of acquiring shoulder pain.
  • Adjust the seat and handlebars of your motorcycle so that your wrists are at a comfortable angle while riding.
  • Eat a variety of carbohydrates as well as fruits high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It will lessen the chance of muscle fatigue.
  • Manage your body weight, as being overweight can lead to improper posture on the bike.


Riding a motorcycle with shoulder pain will be irritating and uncomfortable for any rider. If you face the same problem by following some simple tips, you can easily get rid of this problem. In that case, your first consideration may be why do my shoulders hurt after riding a motorcycle?”

Typically, riding with the wrong posture, longer time, improper gear, and feeling stressed are the leading causes of shoulder pain. However, with our discussed simple tricks and tips, you can stop and avoid shoulder pain while riding a motorcycle.

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