Keeping Your Feet Healthy While Cycling
Cycling is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout and it can be done alone or with a group of friends. Cycling is also good for the body as is reduces the amount of force used on the joints of the lower extremities. It will also give you a chance to enjoy the sun and fresh air and is much more mentally soothing than plodding away on an elliptical machine. Though cycling is good for the heart and body and generally safe, there are some issues related to your feet that you should keep in mind to lower your chance of foot related injuries.
Common Cycling Foot Injuries
In general, there are mainly two common foot injuries found in most cyclists. Pain and numbness in the forefront of the foot is one chronic and common ailment treated here at Pro Motion Healthcare. Since the foot is where the pedal meets the force behind the motion, this can occur when you are using a platform pedal or a cleat. Shoes that have carbon fiber soles also increase the amount of stress your forefoot faces resulting in increased injuries to that area. You can reduce your chances of injury by opting for orthopedic footwear to distribute the force accumulated during pedaling. When cycling longer distances, make a point to change the position of your footwear and the position of your foot on the pedal periodically to avoid lacking the forefoot. Using OTC inserts that are made specifically for cyclists also will have a positive effect on the mechanical issues that typically are the cause of numbness. If you find that you are still facing pain or numbness after addressing these issues, it’s a good idea to visit your local podiatrist here at Pro Motion Healthcare.
Other causes that can contribute to cycling injuries of the foot are biomechanical abnormalities. Simple things such as having a limb that is longer or shorter, neuromas, bunions, hammertoes or other foot abnormities can increase the issues. Wearing orthopedic footwear will help remedy some of these disadvantages. Pre-dislocation syndrome, which is basically having a toe that is longer than the other, add pressure to the forefoot, it can cause swelling, pain and further deformity if not addressed correctly. Pain and swelling can be treated with ice and aspirin. However, for a long-term cycling solution, a functional foot orthosis is a great way to keep the foot in a biomechanically sound position and redistribute the force used to pedal.
Cyclist commonly faces issues with the Achilles tendon, especially cyclist who bike over long distances. The paratenon, which is the covering of the tendon, may become swollen when subjected to repetitive stresses and friction. Here at Pro Motion Healthcare, we can offer physical therapy to help treat the issue, but as a preventative measure, using the lower gears and staying seated when cycling will reduce the chances of injury to the tendon. Take time before heading out to cycle to employ proper stretching and warm-up exercises to reduce chronic swelling and stress in these areas. In some cases, repeated injury can turn into tendinosis which doesn’t often respond to conservative treatment measures.
How We Can Help
By following our suggestions above, you can reduce or avoid foot injuries when cycling. If you are seeking help with shoe fittings, biomechanical analysis, or therapy for existing cycling injuries, our helpful staff are just a phone call away at 705-315-0111. Give Pro Motion Healthcare a call today, we are here to help.