Achilles' Whine



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Scott

Guest
Well, I just gotta whine a little, okay? I developed some Achilles tendon problems (left side)
during a big winter tour, and it seems the beast has come back for more :( I was not symptom free,
but I was riding pretty hard (up to 40+ miles w/hills), but then I started stretching, did a couple
of stout rides back to back, and whammo, she's back. I guess I never did get fully recovered. So now
it *looks* like plans for the big summer tour have to be scrapped. I've been missing out on some
great spring riding. In general, I just need a hug and someone to tell me it's going to be OK!

I may be off the bike for some time, so I'm trying to get used to the idea. I've been neglecting my
upper-body workouts. Time to get back with that program. Of course, with this kind of problem, I
can't hike, rock climb, etc. It's just a real show stopper. Sigh....

Any other folks out there deal with this problem? What was your experience? How long did it take to
get back to full riding strength? I got the problem when I did too radical a boom adjustment
mid-tour in early Jan. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'm seeing a physical therapist on Mon.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.

Viva Recumbency! Pedalphilia is not a crime....

Scott Haluzak GTT
 
M

Mlb

Guest
I developed plantar faciitis(sp) my first year riding bents, from ankling and a too distant seat.
Pain in the heal, Inflammation of the achilles where it makes the turn under your heel, felt like a
spur. Took almost a YEAR to fully heal! Bummer.
 
D

direwolf

Guest
I had the same problem a couple years ago on RAGBRAI. Here's what worked for me (after a couple
months of taking it easy): 1) shorter crank arms to decrease the angle through which the ankle has
to rotate; 2) move the cleats all the way back on the shoe; 3) on long tours, I wear a preformed
Ace-type elastic wrap on each ankle. Also, if you can find shoes that fit (I can't), get some with
extended Achille's guards and lace the shoes tight so as to prevent any lateral movement of the
Achille's tendon.

I've done some medium-length tours since then, 800 miles or so - with plenty of hundred-mile days.
The problem hasn't come back, but it took many adjustments to get things just right.

My advice is to keep tweeking things so that you don't put down too much power through the ankles,
and you'll be fine. Don't let anybody tell you to take non-steroidals or any of that stuff - fix the
mechanics of your pedal stroke.

Bobby

Scott wrote:

> Well, I just gotta whine a little, okay? I developed some Achilles tendon problems (left side)
> during a big winter tour, and it seems the beast has come back for more :( I was not symptom free,
> but I was riding pretty hard (up to 40+ miles w/hills), but then I started stretching, did a
> couple of stout rides back to back, and whammo, she's back. I guess I never did get fully
> recovered. So now it *looks* like plans for the big summer tour have to be scrapped. I've been
> missing out on some great spring riding. In general, I just need a hug and someone to tell me it's
> going to be OK!
>
> I may be off the bike for some time, so I'm trying to get used to the idea. I've been neglecting
> my upper-body workouts. Time to get back with that program. Of course, with this kind of problem,
> I can't hike, rock climb, etc. It's just a real show stopper. Sigh....
>
> Any other folks out there deal with this problem? What was your experience? How long did it take
> to get back to full riding strength? I got the problem when I did too radical a boom adjustment
> mid-tour in early Jan. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'm seeing a physical therapist on Mon.
>
> Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
>
> Viva Recumbency! Pedalphilia is not a crime....
>
> Scott Haluzak GTT
 
S

Steve McDonald

Guest
Swim-----paddle a Kayak-----get a quadraped recumbent and use only the hand crank-----rollerskate,
iceskate or rollerski-----find a gym that has a horizontal overhead ladder and brachiate-----you get
the idea: crosstraining.

Steve McDonald
 
A

Al Kubeluis

Guest
Hi Scott, Achilles inflammation was my Achilles heel when I ran a lot. I did eventually find the
cause and a solution. You do have to find what's causing it. Treating the pain will not solve the
problem, although the inflammation must be eliminated either through treatment (physical and/or
medical treatment) or through stopping the activity that causes the problem. I bet stopping biking
is not a solution you'll accept. Some things that I found helpful were:
1. Wearing heel lifts in all of my shoes (running and non-running). This reduces the amount of
tendon stretch. Since you walk more than you run or bike, it is essential to wear heel lifts in
your every day shoes. Perhaps a shorter crank length may help. Or experimenting with cleat angle
and fore-aft position.
2. Backing down on the intensity of the activity. Reducing ride speed and distance - especially
during recovery - is essential.
3. Not giving up on looking for a solution. I was unable to run for a year at one point before I
found a solution. And that solution was to go to a running podiatrist (a podiatrist who ran and
who specialized in runners). He treated the inflammation and gave me a key to the solution -
which was to wear heel lifts in all of my shoes. Up to that point, I was wearing them only in my
running shoes. Some of my running friends required orthonics to solve their problems. I did not.
So keep looking for the solution that works for you. Good luck, and happy biking.
--
~~~al.kubeluis..md.usa.earth.sun.milkyway.virgo.universe..corsa~~~

"Scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Well, I just gotta whine a little, okay? I developed some Achilles tendon problems (left side)
> during a big winter tour, and it seems the beast has come back for more :( I was not symptom free,
> but I was riding pretty hard (up to 40+ miles w/hills), but then I started stretching, did a
> couple of stout rides back to back, and whammo, she's back. I guess I never did get fully
> recovered. So now it *looks* like plans for the big summer tour have to be scrapped. I've been
> missing out on some great spring riding. In general, I just need a hug and someone to tell me it's
> going to be OK!
>
> I may be off the bike for some time, so I'm trying to get used to the idea. I've been neglecting
> my upper-body workouts. Time to get back with that program. Of course, with this kind of problem,
> I can't hike, rock climb, etc. It's just a real show stopper. Sigh....
>
> Any other folks out there deal with this problem? What was your experience? How long did it take
> to get back to full riding strength? I got the problem when I did too radical a boom adjustment
> mid-tour in early Jan. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'm seeing a physical therapist on Mon.
>
> Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
>
> Viva Recumbency! Pedalphilia is not a crime....
>
> Scott Haluzak GTT
 
C

Chris Campanell

Guest
My left side Achilles acted up last summer. It was so bad that I almost couldn't walk. A few
sessions with ultrasound and a lot of ice calmed it down to the point where I could walk without
limping let alone pain.

Background: I don't ankle and my cleats were all the way back. Cranks are standard
Greenspeed length.

The sports med MD recommendations were:
- stretch the Achilles prior to and after riding.
- ice the back of the heel after riding.
- don't where shoes loosely (no rubbing on the back of the heel).

The stretch involves standing on a staircase backwards so that your feet hang over the edge of the
step. The point is to let the heel hang down as far as possible. Hold the position for 3 mintues but
I go 5. Gives you "floppy" feet afterwards. Ends up being a pretty good calve stretch as well.

It went away. I continue to do the stretch religiously and this seems to keep it at bay. Whenever I
get lax with my stretching or sloppy with my street shoes it flares up.

I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on tv. I don't know if my problem is the same as yours.
It sounds like it may not be. I suggest that the first thing to do is to heal. To that end,
see a doctor.
 
M

Mlb

Guest
[email protected] (Chris Campanelli) wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> My left side Achilles acted up last summer. It was so bad that I almost couldn't walk. A few
> sessions with ultrasound and a lot of ice calmed it down to the point where I could walk without
> limping let alone pain.
>
> Background: I don't ankle and my cleats were all the way back. Cranks are standard
> Greenspeed length.
>
> The sports med MD recommendations were:
> - stretch the Achilles prior to and after riding.
> - ice the back of the heel after riding.
> - don't where shoes loosely (no rubbing on the back of the heel).
>
> The stretch involves standing on a staircase backwards so that your feet hang over the edge of the
> step. The point is to let the heel hang down as far as possible. Hold the position for 3 mintues
> but I go 5. Gives you "floppy" feet afterwards. Ends up being a pretty good calve stretch as well.
>
> It went away. I continue to do the stretch religiously and this seems to keep it at bay. Whenever
> I get lax with my stretching or sloppy with my street shoes it flares up.
>
> I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on tv. I don't know if my problem is the same as yours.
> It sounds like it may not be. I suggest that the first thing to do is to heal. To that end, see
> a doctor.
>

agreed, agreed, and agreed! I can now touch the next step below with my heel after many years of
that stretch. It very often gives immediate relief from twinges of soreness.
 
S

Scott

Guest
Thanks, everyone, for your input. The cause of the problem was extending the BB too much mid-tour in
Jan. Also, I think I compounded the issue with some sloppy technique on a longer day. We were
cooking along the floor of Death Valley, and I seem to remember a bit too much ankle movement. This,
however, was accentuated due to the greater reach. Anyway, I've since moved the BB back in a bit.
I'm seeing a PT on Monday, and hope I can begin riding again soon. I already have short cranks, so
that's taken care of. Mostly, I think its going to be an issue of a very gradual resumption of
activity. I've stopped riding for the last couple of weeks after some hard days and too much
stretching. We'll see.

Everybody, get out there and logs some miles for me! :)

Scott Haluzak GTT
 
A

Alpha Beta

Guest
Ice it every 4 hours. Take Advil or generic IBprofen every 4 hours for two days. This reduces
swelling. After which, you can start stretching it to loosen.

"Scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thanks, everyone, for your input. The cause of the problem was extending the BB too much mid-tour
> in Jan. Also, I think I compounded the issue with some sloppy technique on a longer day. We were
> cooking along the floor of Death Valley, and I seem to remember a bit too much ankle movement.
> This, however, was accentuated due to the greater reach. Anyway, I've since moved the BB back in a
> bit. I'm seeing a PT on Monday, and hope I can begin riding again soon. I already have short
> cranks, so that's taken care of. Mostly, I think its going to be an issue of a very gradual
> resumption of activity. I've stopped riding for the last couple of weeks after some hard days and
> too much stretching. We'll see.
>
> Everybody, get out there and logs some miles for me! :)
>
> Scott Haluzak GTT
 
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