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Cycling and foot pain

Cycling and foot pain: A Narre Warren Podiatrist talks foot pain management before the Around the Bay. The annual around he bay cycling fund raiser is fast approaching. This time of year the dwindling number of crisp mornings and warmer weather has prompted many MAMILs (middle aged men in Lycra) to dust off the bikes and hit the road. Podiatrists focus on all lower limb for and ankle injuries but when it comes to cycling injuries, they often take a back seat to running injuries.

However, leading into such a big cycling event like this, injuries become more common.
Lower leg and foot injuries due to cycling are often caused by poor preparation, poor technique/skill, inappropriate gear/ bike set-up, inappropriate shoes, poor technique and overuse. If you’re unlucky, an acute bike accident can also result in a lower leg of foot injury.

Some of he more common conditions caused by cycling are:

  1. Stress fractures: sometimes caused by overuse, possible underlying weakness of the bone/bone density or inappropriate shoes/cleats.
  2. Shin Pain: sometimes caused by overuse, lack of conditioning/poor preparation or poor technique.
  3. Knee pain: sometimes caused by an incorrect bike set-up, overuse or poor technique

When these injuries present, rest and ice should be the first steps in management followed by an altered training/cycling load and or intensity. Podiatry and Physiotherapy management will assist with the long term management of these conditions and assist in the prevention of recurring injuries.

Long term management solutions would look at improve your bike set up to be better suited to your body, improving your efficiency via addressing peddling technique and mechanics and also addressing your footwear and cleat set-up.

Our advice if you are experiencing leg/foot pain or currently have a cycling injury is:

  1. Reduce load and frequency of rides
  2. Have a professional bicycle fit or check seat, handlebar, gear and pedal positions
  3. Identify the activities or pre existing injuries that result in pain and also improve your symptoms
  4. Improve flexibility through stretching but also look to improve muscular strength