Ankle pain

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Mister Ed, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Mister Ed

    Mister Ed New Member

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    When I have been on long (10 day) cycle journies I have had quite some pain at the back of my ankles. (Is that your achilles?) It's hurt pedalling. And been bad walking (esp downstairs) afterwards.
    Can anyone suggest anything to prevent this?

    Mister Ed
     
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  2. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    It does sound like your Achilles Tendon is tightening up.
    When I was young I outgrew my Achilles and had to wear special cups and pads in my shoes, and could not run for a year!! I managed not to tear them and with extensive stretching everything worked out.
    Now I sometimes have a little trouble with it getting tight and causing a bit of pain. Only thing that helps is stretching. Stretch a lot!! Keep it nice and limber. Get a board or find a curb and really get a good deep stretch and also put your hands on the wall and lean towards it with your legs straight till you feel it getting a good deep stretch.

    Having said all that go see your doctor! I don't want to inflame a problem with bad advise. I just wanted to pass along what I've been through.
     
  3. funknuggets

    funknuggets New Member

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    I would check your pedal stroke, and perhaps even change your saddle height. Check out this brief snippet from Sheldon Brown:

    "Some older cycling books and articles recommend the practice of "ankling." This refers to changing the angle of the foot fairly drastically during the course of the pedal stroke, so that the toe is pointed upward at the top of the stroke, and downward at the bottom. The idea is to make more use of the muscles of the lower leg, and to permit "pedaling in circles", i.e., applying more force to the cranks at top and bottom dead center.

    This practice is pretty much discredited these days. If carried to an extreme, it can cause injury. This happened to me when I was a teen-ager; I had read about ankling, and had just acquired my first pair of toe clips, just before setting out on my first overnight tour. I ankled for about the first 30-40 miles, when there was a sudden sharp pain in one of my Achilles tendons. I had to lower the saddle, remove the toe clips, and finish out the 4 day tour pedaling on my arches, because I couldn't bear the slightest load on the front of my foot, pulling on the Achilles tendons. For about a month thereafter, I would need to massage my Achilles tendons for about 5 minutes each morning before I would be able to walk. 40 years later, I've still not completely recovered from this injury."

    Now, you can check with any sports therapist, but if Im not mistaken... for male atheletes, the achillies tendon is by far the most injured tendon. It takes longer to heal, and also is one of the first to degenerate for men as they age. In fact I just found this... I found this at emedicine.com for Achilles tendon injuries:

    "Sex: Achilles tendon injuries are more prevalent in males, perhaps due to sports-specific involvement.

    Age: This injury usually is observed in recreational athletes aged 30-50 years. As with gastrocnemius tears and strains, this population often is active only intermittently, and they often still challenge their bodies with high-force activities, predisposing them to these kinds of injuries. "

    So, I would say it sounds like Achilles Tendonitis (Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon or paratenon, usually resulting from overuse associated with a change in playing surface, footwear, or intensity of an activity) due to the high amount of use and relatively low rest during that period.

    So... ice and ibuprofen, make sure you are getting adequate stretching and training and you may check your positioning on the bike and make resulting modifications to decrease the stress on your ankles!!!

    Best of Luck.
    Chris
     
  4. Mister Ed

    Mister Ed New Member

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    Just a note to say thanks very much. This is really helpful. Although I am a commuting cyclist and cycle every day, my infrequent cycling holidays do perhaps put me in that typical category of "30-50 yr old male active intermitently and suddenly challenging my body with high force activity".
    I am looking at those stretching exercises and will do much more training/build-up before this summers trip.
    thanks again.
     
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