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Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
tears in them.

One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.

But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
my feet and surrounding structures.

Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
it.
post #2 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net wrote:
> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
> tears in them.
>
> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>
> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
> my feet and surrounding structures.
>
> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
> it.


I also have plantar fasciitis. I'm not sure if riding the bike makes it
better or worse. It *seems* to make the problem worse.

But riding the bike is much less painful than jogging. And since I
can't force myself to exercise indoors, riding a bike makes sense.

There are some exercises that stretch muscles in your foot that help the
problem. And certain shoes and shoe inserts help quite a bit.

David Griffith
post #3 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net wrote:
> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
> tears in them.
>
> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>
> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
> my feet and surrounding structures.
>
> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
> it.


I used to have PF and a doctor "cured" it with cortisone shots in both
heels. (Hurt like hell but did the trick.) Wish all my ailments responded
so well (right shoulder is a virtual pin cushion, for example).

However, if the problem's persistent as it sounds like yours is, then try
very stiff-soled shoes and move the cleat(s) back as much as possible. (Or
don't use the ball of your foot/feet if pedaling on platforms.) You want to
minimize the "flex" in your feet -- especially until thoroughly warmed up.

Good luck.

Bill S.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

David Griffith <dgriffith@doculex.com> wrote:

>I also have plantar fasciitis. I'm not sure if riding the bike makes it
> better or worse. It *seems* to make the problem worse.


Hmm.... I was hoping that cycling wouldn't aggravate
it.

I went and saw my podiatrist yesterday and he said one
potential cause a very sedentary life. That a
sedentary life causes the muscles and fibers to weaken
and not stretch as well.

So I'm "hoping" that maybe the RIGHT kind of exercise
might actually help the condition.

Is that a fanciful idea on my part?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

"Bill Sornson" <askme@ask.me> wrote:

>I used to have PF and a doctor "cured" it with cortisone shots in both
>heels. (Hurt like hell but did the trick.) Wish all my ailments responded
>so well (right shoulder is a virtual pin cushion, for example).


Ouch!!!

My doc told me he may have to use shock therapy. See
link

http://tinyurl.com/nrfb3

But I'm even trying to avoid that.

Since my life is so extremely sedentary I cant imagine
I got this condition form "overuse" of my foot!!
That's what is so puzzling

Hence I'm hoping the right kind of exercise is really
what I need
post #6 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net wrote:
> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
> tears in them.
>
> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>
> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
> my feet and surrounding structures.
>
> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
> it.



I've had it because of flat feet and cycling a couple of thousand miles
a year does not aggravate it for me. I went to a sports medicine
podiatrist some 15+ years ago and got orthotics which I wear in nearly
all situations except cycling. I take them with me to try on new shoes
and gradually I replaced all my old shoes with those that fit with the
orthotics.
post #7 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net wrote:
> David Griffith <dgriffith@doculex.com> wrote:
>
>> I also have plantar fasciitis. I'm not sure if riding the bike makes it
>> better or worse. It *seems* to make the problem worse.

>
> Hmm.... I was hoping that cycling wouldn't aggravate
> it.
>
> I went and saw my podiatrist yesterday and he said one
> potential cause a very sedentary life. That a
> sedentary life causes the muscles and fibers to weaken
> and not stretch as well.
>
> So I'm "hoping" that maybe the RIGHT kind of exercise
> might actually help the condition.
>
> Is that a fanciful idea on my part?


No, the RIGHT kind of exercise probably will help the condition.

I try to play tennis every day. For some reason, playing tennis doesn't
bother my heel spurs the way that jogging does.

When my tennis partner is unavailable I ride the bike. It seems like
the plantar fasciitis gets worse when my partner can't play tennis.

There's loads of information on the internet on how you can use
exercises to reduce the heel spurs. They work for me.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

David Griffith <dgriffith@doculex.com> wrote:

>There's loads of information on the internet on how you can use
>exercises to reduce the heel spurs. They work for me.


Ok that's good news on the exercise then

I was worried maybe I was doomed
post #9 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

On 2006-09-26 07:59:46 -0700, me@privacy.net said:

> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
> tears in them.
>
> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>
> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
> my feet and surrounding structures.
>
> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
> it.


I don't think it's going to be therapy one way or another. But the
exercise would be good for you.

What you need is supportive insoles -- specifically you need a good
pair of orthotics, that you can walk in, *and* cycle in. A podiatrist
can help you here.

I have a pair of custom cycling shoes with custom insoles (that were
actually made from molds created by a podiatrist), but they cost more
than most people would pay for an entire bicycle, so that likely rules
them out for someone just starting out. They absolutely help though --
my problem was not plantar fascitis but rather achilles tendonitis,
from a little extra monkey motion in my pedal stoke. The very
supportive inserts have helped markedly.
post #10 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

On 2006-09-26 09:27:02 -0700, "Bill Sornson" <askme@ask.me> said:

> me@privacy.net wrote:
>> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
>> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
>> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
>> tears in them.
>>
>> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
>> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>>
>> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
>> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
>> my feet and surrounding structures.
>>
>> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
>> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
>> it.

>
> I used to have PF and a doctor "cured" it with cortisone shots in both
> heels. (Hurt like hell but did the trick.) Wish all my ailments
> responded so well (right shoulder is a virtual pin cushion, for
> example).


That will work -- once or twice. If it's done regularly you will
eventually rupture your achilles tendon -- cortisone weakens it.
Cortizone is good for immediate release, with some rather significant
long-term consequences if it's over-used.
post #11 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

On Wed, 27 Sep 2006 11:58:32 -0700, Bill Lloyd
<thanks.for.no@spam.com> wrote:

>On 2006-09-26 07:59:46 -0700, me@privacy.net said:
>
>> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
>> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
>> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
>> tears in them.
>>
>> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
>> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>>
>> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
>> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
>> my feet and surrounding structures.
>>
>> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
>> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
>> it.

>
>I don't think it's going to be therapy one way or another. But the
>exercise would be good for you.
>
>What you need is supportive insoles -- specifically you need a good
>pair of orthotics, that you can walk in, *and* cycle in. A podiatrist
>can help you here.
>
>I have a pair of custom cycling shoes with custom insoles (that were
>actually made from molds created by a podiatrist), but they cost more
>than most people would pay for an entire bicycle, so that likely rules
>them out for someone just starting out. They absolutely help though --
>my problem was not plantar fascitis but rather achilles tendonitis,
>from a little extra monkey motion in my pedal stoke. The very
>supportive inserts have helped markedly.



If the OP isn't willing to shell out for custom orthotics yet, he
could try these
http://www.yoursole.com/

They are almost as good as custom orthotics, at least for relatively
minor anotomical problems. I rode with custom orthotics (for flat
feet) for years but recently switched to this and they work just as
well for me.
--
JT
****************************
Remove "remove" to reply
Visit http://www.jt10000.com
****************************
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

John Forrest Tomlinson <usenetremove@jt10000.com>
wrote:

>If the OP isn't willing to shell out for custom orthotics yet, he
>could try these
>http://www.yoursole.com/


Interesting

Thanks!
post #13 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net wrote:
> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. Basically the muscle fibers in my arch have lost
> ability to stretch like they did and have microscopic
> tears in them.
>
> One of the possible causes of this condition is a very
> sedentary lifestyle of which I'm guilty.
>
> But since I cant very well "walk"...I'm looking at
> other non impact forms of exercise that will condition
> my feet and surrounding structures.
>
> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates
> it.


Good therapy and also a suggestion to go see a Rolfer...helped my wife
a lot, with her PF in her foot.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

"Qui si parla Campagnolo" <peter@vecchios.com> wrote:

>also a suggestion to go see a Rolfer...helped my wife
>a lot, with her PF in her foot.


really? Seriously?

Interesting

What exactly do they do as far as massage to the foot?
post #15 of 28

Re: Plantar Fasciitis and bicycling?

me@privacy.net, a shy anonymous British person, wrote:

> I'm 48 and have developed plantar fasciitis in left
> foot. <snip> Just curious if any has PF here and has found bicycling
> to be a good therapy for it? Or if it just aggravates it.


I developed plantar fasciitis (PF) in my late 50s, and put off treating
it for >6 months. I was an avid cyclist at the time, and continue to
be. Different treatments help different people with PF.

This article was helpful to me:
<http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010201/467.html>
Abstract: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in adults.
The disorder classically presents with pain that is particularly severe
with the first few steps taken in the morning. In general, plantar
fasciitis is a self-limited condition. However, symptoms usually
resolve more quickly when the interval between the onset of symptoms
and the onset of treatment is shorter. Many treatment options exist,
including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch
supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents and
surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by
tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.
(Am Fam Physician 2001; 63:467-74,477-8.)

I am a daily bicycle commuter, and wear orthodics in my cycling shoes,
or cycling sandals - both SPD. Orthotics, stretching, and shoes with
good motion control (I Googled motion control running shoes, and found
good information) all seemed to help.

One thing I had to find out for myself was how to adapt standard
orthotics for cycling shoes. I went to a Podiatrist for treatment, and
received custom orthotics as part of the treatment regiment. They were
made from stiff plastic, covered with a thin layer of foam and topped
with a thin layer of leather. I had two problems with them. First,
they were so thick that with extended use they caused the top of my
foot to go numb, even when wearing roomy New Balance walking/jogging
shoes. Second, I ride in the rain (usually with Shimano SPD sandals &
waterproof socks) so anticipated problems when the foam-leather topping
got wet. Simple solution: I ripped the foam and leather off. Now I
have ½ length orthotics that work for me. As an extra benefit, this
orthotic is easier than the bloated version to switch from one pair of
shoes to the next.

All the best,
Larry
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