Foot Numbness

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Dave Harney, Jul 20, 2003.

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  1. Dave Harney

    Dave Harney Guest

    I've gone through the archives on this subject and found a lot more questions than answers. It seems
    the main suggestions are:

    - Clipless pedal with cleats as far back as possible, stiff sole shoe fit with loose fit
    around toe area,
    - Relieving pressure on ball of foot by spinning and "mud scraping" motion. Also, use of
    metatarsal cushion.
    - Taking foot off pedal and shaking leg. Getting off bike and walking about.

    Some folks find the problem goes away but for others it gets worse and could require surgery and
    bike abstinence. Many people do not find a solution to this problem, but use management tactics to
    keep on biking at some level. Generally, Foot doctors do not provide much help.

    Is there any new information on this topic? Some of the above suggestions have helped a little, but
    I'm far from a satisfactory solution.
     
    Tags:


  2. Dave,

    The local bike shop pro told me that numbness can sometimes be caused by inordinate pressure put on
    your foot as you try to twist it inside your shoe. The cause: you may have an eccentric rotation of
    your foot - your heel might not make a perfect parallel path with the crank.

    His fix for me was to switch to pedals that have a lot of float, preferrably without any centering
    spring. I use Speedplay Frogs (he uses Zeros), and the numbness has almost subsided. The only time
    I'm affected is when I'm pushing hard uphill or when I'm mashing instead of spinning.

    Chris Champion Vision R40 SWB OSS Double Vision R85 USS

    "Dave Harney" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've gone through the archives on this subject and found a lot more questions than answers. It
    > seems the main suggestions are:
    >
    > - Clipless pedal with cleats as far back as possible, stiff sole shoe fit with loose fit around
    > toe area,
    > - Relieving pressure on ball of foot by spinning and "mud scraping" motion. Also, use of
    > metatarsal cushion.
    > - Taking foot off pedal and shaking leg. Getting off bike and walking about.
    >
    > Some folks find the problem goes away but for others it gets worse and could require surgery and
    > bike abstinence. Many people do not find a solution to this problem, but use management tactics to
    > keep on biking at some level. Generally, Foot doctors do not provide much help.
    >
    > Is there any new information on this topic? Some of the above suggestions have helped a little,
    > but I'm far from a satisfactory solution.
     
  3. Jfreewheel

    Jfreewheel Guest

    for me, what works is not tying the laces on the shoes too tight. I use platform pedals with mini
    toe clips and low cut walking shoes.

    When we go on all day tours, what works best for me are cycling sandals. I think the secret is being
    able to wiggle your toes during long days.

    Hope you find your solution too

    J Gaerlan - Gaerlan Custom Cycles http://www.gaerlan.com "home of travel bikes and bike travels"
    (415)362-3866: (415)677-8943 fax [email protected]
     
  4. Rorschandt

    Rorschandt Guest

    [email protected] (Jfreewheel) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > for me, what works is not tying the laces on the shoes too tight. I use platform pedals with mini
    > toe clips and low cut walking shoes.
    >
    > When we go on all day tours, what works best for me are cycling sandals. I think the secret is
    > being able to wiggle your toes during long days.
    >
    > Hope you find your solution too
    >

    I have had sandals from the start, moved the cleat back, use BeBops, etc. What has finally worked
    for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at the instep of my feet.
    Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.

    rorschandt
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I don't have anything new, but loosening the shoe around the tows works for me 100%

    "rorschandt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Jfreewheel) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > for me, what works is not tying the laces on the shoes too tight. I use platform pedals with
    > > mini toe clips and low cut walking shoes.
    > >
    > > When we go on all day tours, what works best for me are cycling sandals. I think the secret is
    > > being able to wiggle your toes during long days.
    > >
    > > Hope you find your solution too
    > >
    >
    > I have had sandals from the start, moved the cleat back, use BeBops, etc. What has finally worked
    > for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at the instep of my feet.
    > Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.
    >
    > rorschandt
     
  6. Edward Dolan

    Edward Dolan Guest

    "Dave Harney" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've gone through the archives on this subject and found a lot more questions than answers. It
    > seems the main suggestions are:
    >
    > - Clipless pedal with cleats as far back as possible, stiff sole shoe fit with loose fit around
    > toe area,
    > - Relieving pressure on ball of foot by spinning and "mud scraping" motion. Also, use of
    > metatarsal cushion.
    > - Taking foot off pedal and shaking leg. Getting off bike and walking about.
    >
    > Some folks find the problem goes away but for others it gets worse and could require surgery and
    > bike abstinence. Many people do not find a solution to this problem, but use management tactics to
    > keep on biking at some level. Generally, Foot doctors do not provide much help.
    >
    > Is there any new information on this topic? Some of the above suggestions have helped a little,
    > but I'm far from a satisfactory solution.

    It may be that the height of the BB is too high in relation to the height of the seat. The numbness
    is being caused by a blood circulation phenomenon, which is different for different folks. If that
    is the case there is no solution other than getting a bike with a lower BB.

    Ed Dolan - Minnesota
     
  7. The C Man

    The C Man Guest

    rorschandt wrote:

    > What has finally worked for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at the
    > instep of my feet. Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.

    I saw the thread where Mark posted links to pictures of his modified shoes. Looks
    interesting and I'd like to try it as well. Where is a good source for the aluminum you
    and he used?
     
  8. In addition to making changes in your shoes, pedals, position of the crank, etc, try walking or
    running barefoot on sand every day. Playing volleyball barefoot on a sand court will do, if you are
    landlocked. This will stimulate the circulation in your feet and toes and help compensate for
    disruptions caused by cycling. There are rough-textured treading boards you can buy, on which to
    stand and flex your feet, to accomplish the same. It also helps to learn to lift on the upstroke
    when pedaling, allowing a break in the constant pressure on the soles of the feet.

    Wearing shoes constrains the natural flexing of the feet and toes and the circulation through
    them is reduced. Many times when I run, I go barefoot on a sawdust and wood chip trail and my
    feet enjoy the same benefits as those of our ancient ancestors. We still pretty much have the
    feet they evolved and they do best when exposed to the same type of use.

    Steve McDonald
     
  9. Rorschandt

    Rorschandt Guest

    The C Man <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > rorschandt wrote:
    >
    >> What has finally worked for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at
    >> the instep of my feet. Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.
    >
    > I saw the thread where Mark posted links to pictures of his modified shoes. Looks interesting
    > and I'd like to try it as well. Where is a good source for the aluminum you and he used?
    >

    www.aircraftspruce.com or, if you are fortunate to be near a scrapyard or recycling center any
    aluminum plate of 1/8"+ thick or thereabouts should be adequate. Toledo has all kinds of machinery
    companies and the like. It may be a small machine shop will sell you some reasonably.

    rorschandt
     
  10. Dave Is Here

    Dave Is Here Guest

    Moving cleats back:

    I did a similar modification to a pair of Lake road shoes about a month ago. I just used the
    mounting plates that were already in the shoes and slid them back to the new holes about 20mm behind
    the original holes. I used an ice pick to maneuver them back to new location.

    So far I have noticed an large improvement during the last 1000 or so miles in comfort on both my
    road and recumbent bikes. My main problem was not numb feet but hot feet toward the end of a 100
    mile ride. dave

    > > rorschandt wrote:
    > >
    > >> What has finally worked for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at
    > >> the instep of my feet. Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.
    > >
    > > I saw the thread where Mark posted links to pictures of his modified shoes. Looks
    > > interesting and I'd like to try it as well. Where is a good source for the aluminum you and
    > > he used?
    > >
    >
    > www.aircraftspruce.com or, if you are fortunate to be near a scrapyard or recycling center any
    > aluminum plate of 1/8"+ thick or thereabouts should be adequate. Toledo has all kinds of machinery
    > companies and the like. It may be a small machine shop will sell you some reasonably.
    >
    > rorschandt
     
  11. "rorschandt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Jfreewheel) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > for me, what works is not tying the laces on the shoes too tight. I use platform pedals with
    > > mini toe clips and low cut walking shoes.
    > >
    > > When we go on all day tours, what works best for me are cycling sandals. I think the secret is
    > > being able to wiggle your toes during long days.
    > >
    > > Hope you find your solution too
    > >
    >
    > I have had sandals from the start, moved the cleat back, use BeBops, etc. What has finally worked
    > for ME: aluminum plates bolted to the sandals that place the cleats at the instep of my feet.
    > Special thanks to Mark Stonich for the original idea.

    Ain't the internet grand? My solution is the opposite. I move the cleats out as far toward the toe
    as I can. This, with proper technique, fully engages the gastrocs (the calf muscles) in the
    'circular' pedaling motion.

    There's an anatomical basis for this - the veins in the gastrocs (and other leg muscle groups too,
    but we're talking gastrocs here) are equipped with check valves that turn the veins into pumps that
    lift blood from the feet. Running the gastrocs through their full cycle (and perhaps most
    importantly, relaxing them at full extension) ensures that the feet stay fed with red blood.

    Unrelated to the numbness and circulation issue is one of simple efficiency. The gastrocs are big,
    heavy muscles, designed and developed over a couple of hundred thousand years to propel us toward
    stuff we want to eat and away from stuff that wants to eat us. They should be made to work.

    One of the reasons that this idea is global anathema is that one of the most informative and
    influential websites covering bikes and recumbents warns that engaging the gastrocs ('ankling') is a
    sure road to Achilles tendinitis and disability. I'm certainly not looking to pick a fight - just to
    state an alternate view along with some justification for it.

    Certainly, tendinitis is something to be avoided, but my working view is that, for most people -
    even lots of runners I see, the gastrocs are deconditioned. One of the reasons is the declining need
    to chase or flee from things. Another is the abundance of free parking in malls near every store on
    your itinerary. Another is high heels, both on the things we make some women wear but even the
    modern high-tech running shoe. Among many recreational runners, the quad-based propulsion style
    doesn't work the gastrocs much at all.

    To anyone persuaded to try the technique, I'll warn that the risk of tendinitis is real from sudden
    overload or overuse of deconditioned muscle groups, so ease into it. That and the gastrocs take a
    l-o-n-g time to come back. Too, the forward positioning of the cleat loads the tendons and
    connective tissue in the feet and ankles in unaccustomed ways, and they have to be reconditioned
    too. My rule is that if the pain is in the bulk of a muscle, ride through it, if it's in fascia,
    tendons, joints, or other connective tissue, or it gets worse under weight, quit.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I have no credentials whatsoever in exercise physiology - only 45 or
    so years running and 55 or so biking, injuries too numerous to count, and many thousands of miles
    covered using bad technique.

    According to me, my foot numbness is largely due to blood pooling in the feet, and it's fixed by
    effective use of the calf muscles.

    hth, Fred Klingener
     
  12. Edward Dolan wrote:

    > "Dave Harney" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I've gone through the archives on this subject and found a lot more questions than answers. It
    > > seems the main suggestions are:
    > >
    > > - Clipless pedal with cleats as far back as possible, stiff sole shoe fit with loose fit around
    > > toe area,
    > > - Relieving pressure on ball of foot by spinning and "mud scraping" motion. Also, use of
    > > metatarsal cushion.
    > > - Taking foot off pedal and shaking leg. Getting off bike and walking about.
    > >
    > > Some folks find the problem goes away but for others it gets worse and could require surgery and
    > > bike abstinence. Many people do not find a solution to this problem, but use management tactics
    > > to keep on biking at some level. Generally, Foot doctors do not provide much help.
    > >
    > > Is there any new information on this topic? Some of the above suggestions have helped a little,
    > > but I'm far from a satisfactory solution.

    >
    > Diamond frames would have the lowest BB position and if you troll thru the racing news groups they
    > have the same problem and much the same conversations about solutions. BB height seems to have
    > little to do with this problem. There is a fair amount of power flowing through the connection
    > between the foot and the pedal. That is the fundemantal source of the "foot numbness" that comes
    > from cycling. Speedy

    >
    > It may be that the height of the BB is too high in relation to the height of the seat. The
    > numbness is being caused by a blood circulation phenomenon, which is different for different
    > folks. If that is the case there is no solution other than getting a bike with a lower BB.
    >
    > Ed Dolan - Minnesota

    -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----
     
  13. Rorschandt

    Rorschandt Guest

    "Fred Klingener" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    >
    > According to me, my foot numbness is largely due to blood pooling in the feet, and it's fixed by
    > effective use of the calf muscles.
    >
    > hth, Fred Klingener
    >
    >

    Good point. There are differing causes to foot/toe numbness. Mine appears to be from pressure on the
    nerves(Morton's Neuroma). Low cranks didn't make any difference, neither did wider or looser shoes
    or cycling sandals. In fact, I didn't begin to have toe numbness until my first recumbent, which was
    a low crank Linear. Coincidentally, since riding the bike didn't hurt me like all previous DFs, I've
    been riding MUCH more. I also wasn't using stiff soled cycling shoes(Bad cyclist! Bad!)until the
    past 2 years. It is a shame, as I have very well developed calf muscles <blush>.

    rorschandt
     
  14. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > as I have very well developed calf muscles <blush>. rorschandt

    I'll match that and raise you one. :) I don't have a measurement handy, and of course size isn't
    everything. If you look at the pic in the link you prolly can't tell that I had to order the
    extensions to the boot straps in order to get them to reach the buckle. While there is some
    fore-shortening in the photo I think you can get the idea. I built up my legs considerably, I worked
    for the USFS humping 85lb packs chasing smoke all over the western states.

    I was in an organized ride hereabouts and one fella's spindle (crank shaft?) broke! The sharp ragged
    edge cut his calf so badly he hadda go to the hospital. I'd like to really crank on sometimes but
    that vision haunts me.

    http://cvip.fresno.com/~gab16/geohonda.jpg

    (How am I doing, Fab-My-Mentor?)

    GeoB
     
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