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  1. #1
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    A problem with my feet. any suggestions?

    I am growing slightly concerned I may have an actual problem with my feet.

    at first I just attributed this to my weight. get rid of the weight get rid of the problem.

    but today I came to the realization that its likely can't BE my weight since on the recumbent stationary all my weight is on the seat under my BUTT not my "feet" the only "force" on my feet is me pressing them into the pedals to turn the crank.

    my arches don't hurt nor to my heels. the BALLS of my feet hurt. I am not talking a slight ache I am talking some honest pain and eventually it makes me "stop" (usually right around the 60 minute mark)

    I was trying to think up solutions to alleviate the force on my feet to alleviate the pain (I may actually have a workable idea in mind) and it hit me.

    WHAT IS wrong with my feet.

    stiffer shoes "HELP" but only so much.

    today I wore the Mountain Bike shoes Neil so generously gave me with the metal plates in the bottom (about as stiff as they get)

    they did not seem to help (though this may be because the bowling shoes ripped my feet apart !!!)

    at this point I am thinking of going with some super stiff size 15 shoes and putting crocs "bottoms" inside them as "insoles" the close cell foam will distribute the forces more evenly (walking does NOT cause this kind of pain though the pain IS similar to walking in regular shoes) I need the size 15 for enough "room" to fit my foot and the croc insoles (I just cut the bottom off a worn out pair of crocs)

    I did this once before with somewhat positive results for walking but its harder to come by affordable size 15 shoes anymore :-)

    I tried 14's at the time not big enough needed to be 15 to fit both the insoles and my feet.

    the idea I have is to build a contraption to quite simply remove the feet from the equation. think calf to foot "crutch"

    2 shafts on each side of my leg to a "sole" under my show with springs on the shafts.

    the shafts would connect to a "molded wrap" around my calves. this would transfer quite a bit of the "force" from the pedals to a distributed area of my calves instead of to the balls of my feet. it just might be possible for me to build something like this (I am working out what I would need to do it and how strong/feasible it would be.

    but I really would like to know what is wrong with my feet. why so much pain on the pedals but NOT when I walk. we walked nearly 3 hours today ZERO foot pain (crocs) wearing the crocs on the stationary did NOT help in fact they were worse (I am guessing they "BENT" around the pedals increasing the force concentration since the stiffer the shoe the better the results.)

    I can NOT see a doctor. I don't have insurance and lack the funds to pay one directly. I do recognize however at some point down the line if this gets worse or does not improve I may have to figure out some way of seeing a doctor (any ideas on that too ??)

    so what do you guys think it could be ?
    Last edited by nerys; 02-03-13 at 01:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    I take it this is mostly on the bike? Sounds like you need to change the location of your feet on the pedals. Experiment with it.

  3. #3
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Makeshift orthotic devices are more likely to cause problems than solve them. I don't know your situation and assume you probably don't want to discuss your private financials here, so I'll give some general information for anyone having trouble paying for professional services.

    1) Check your area for charity or free clinics. You will have to fill out some financial paperwork and services are usually limited to primary care, but you can at least see a physician, usually on a sliding fee scale with liberal repayment options. Sometimes the charity clinics can refer you to specialists who perform services at a reduced rate.

    2) Check with Social Services and Public Health offices to see what programs are available and if you qualify.

    3) Most medical facilities have a charity care policy that can help you out with reduced rates and will work with you on a repayment schedule. It varies from facility to facility but you can call them in advance to get the necessary paperwork and a good idea of what services will cost you.

    Obesity can cause numerous foot problems (I have a few) including pronation, stress fractures, and tendonitis.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 02-03-13 at 06:03 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    OK, standard disclaimer--you should see a podiatrist and we are unqualified to give advice. That said, you might read this article about ball of the foot pain and what may or may not be going on: http://www.northcoastfootcare.com/pa...Foot-Pain.html

    Note, the author says that " Many of the foot problems listed above are worsened with soft, flexible shoes. The shoe should only bend at the toe, not in the middle of the shoe. To test a shoe, hold the heel and place the toe area on the floor. Press down on the shoe. If it collapses, it is too flexible."

    Your Crocs may be part of the problem.

    Another article: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bon...tarsalgia.html

    And: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metatarsalgia/DS00496

    Metatarsalgia is a condition marked by pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot.
    You may experience metatarsalgia if you're physically active and you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. Or, you may develop metatarsalgia by wearing ill-fitting shoes. There are other causes as well.
    Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can sideline you. Fortunately, conservative treatments, such as ice and rest, can often relieve metatarsalgia symptoms. And proper footwear, along with shock-absorbing insoles or arch supports, may be all you need to prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 02-03-13 at 06:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Forget the Rube Goldberg devices and consult a professional. But before that experiment with arch supports.

    As you mentioned the cycling shoes didn't seem to help the problem. But you also mentioned your feet hurt from wearing and standing in bowling shoes for two hours. And those size 47 cycling shoes are slightly too small for you, so you couldn't add an arch support. Add that to the description you gave of getting that pain when you wore anything but Crocs for any period of time - you told me dress shoes give you the same pain after 30 minutes, for instance - and that leads me to believe you should experiment with insoles and arch supports.

  6. #6
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I'd try resting my feet until all pain is gone and then try cycling shoes.

    Are you in too high of a gear and mashing, putting more pressure on your feet? Try down shifting a couple of gears and spinning faster.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    I'd try resting my feet until all pain is gone and then try cycling shoes.

    Are you in too high of a gear and mashing, putting more pressure on your feet? Try down shifting a couple of gears and spinning faster.

    Good luck!
    I think that's it. I've seen Chris pedal the stationary. I've never seen such mashing since I stopped going to potato conventions. Its worse than when Sayre met Kulp. (Sayre when I first met him was a horrible pedal masher.) I think the lack of arch support is still a problem, but the mashing seems to be the likely suspect. Anyway its easy to test it before Chris sees a podiatrist.

    Nerys, this is your Team Captain speaking. Next time you are on the stationary bike you are to spin, not mash in a high gear. I don't care if you say your legs are uncomfortable moving that fast. Spinning is an essential skill, and will make you a better cyclist. Make it so.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Almost sounds like plantar fasciitis. Look it up and see if the symptoms fit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bwilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    Almost sounds like plantar fasciitis. Look it up and see if the symptoms fit.
    sure does,i have that and it hurts,riding has made mine much better...
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  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    Almost sounds like plantar fasciitis. Look it up and see if the symptoms fit.
    Hmm. It seems plantar fasciitis pain is in the heel. Chris is complaining about the balls of his feet. I'm not saying that he doesn't have that problem, only that the symptoms as described to me in person and in his post don't match.

    Dude walked more than four miles in Crocs with no foot pain whatsoever. He spent two hours in bowling shoes and had to sit whenever he wasn't bowling because the shoes "tore his feet up." I think this confirms that his problem is a combination of wearing shoes without arch support and mashing into the pedals. I'm not saying he might not need to see a podiatrist, but that spinning instead of mashing and wearing an arch support would help. Also getting cycling shoes that fit him isn't a bad idea either. Any suggestions for a cheap pair in size 48 to 50? Chris is too big for the size 47 I gave him.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shellyrides's Avatar
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    I have diagnosed pf in both feet and my pain is in the outside of my foot up near the ball of my feet. Not saying its his problem, just pointing out it can be in other areas of the foot. Properly fitting support for the arch correct shoes are the best thing you can do for your feet.
    Also streching your feet while sitting can be a big help. A chunk of pool noodle wraped in duct tape or 12" of wooden dowling ( I would find broom stick or closet rod size.) Put it under your bare foot and roll it back and forth while adding lite to strong pressure can help any foot recover or just stay heathy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    IMHO mashing/low cadence during seated pedaling is usually less force on the feet than walking would be.
    Flappage can cause a lot of pain during high cadence motions. I can't believe that pain is good for you. Compression or motion-control wear can help somewhat.

  13. #13
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    I tend to run the stationary at near maximum tension. until last weekend I did not even realize "I WAS" running it near maximum tension.

    I just kept hitting level up till it "felt right" when I have the tension too low my legs move around somewhat uncontrollable. feet want to come off the pedals knee's wobble out etc.. its "too easy" to spin and too hard to control. rather uncomfortable. its like ridding your bike and "popping the chain" your legs spin around uncontrolled and very uncomfortable.

    I only found out about the tension when I decided to see how high it would go and it only when up 1 more notch :-) hehe I had just assumed it went 1-100 and at 19-20 I was a panzy :-)

    I tried lowering it this week "just" to the point of unstable (I think I was around 14-15) it did not appear to have any effect on the pain at all and just introduced new discomfort. I am skipping the gym today (yesterday was tough on my legs I am really feeling it this morning) going to give my feet and legs a needed brake.

    you are correct about flexible shoes. this is partially why I don't like "rough" trails when the ground is FLAT and SMOOTH the crocs do not flex (because there is nothing to flex around) they "COMPRESSION" and the compression effects of the closed cell foam "IS" what gives my feet the needed support and why wearing them allows me to walk pain free.

    I REALLY am not trying to be argumentative here. this is my reality and you can't argue observed tangible facts.

    if I wear regular shoes (and I tried every insole I could find in retail and ebay) If I still HAD all of them I would probably have a couple hundreds dollars worth of "insoles" in a junk pile.

    if I wear regular shoes the PAIN in my feel is quite literally unberable after 20-30 minutes. debilitating. to the point NOT of "oh this hurts" but to the point of that is IT I am done through enough. no more. I sit down WHEREVER I happen to be because I am not taking another step. the pain really gets "that bad"

    when I wear the crocs "zero" pain. I attribute this to my weight. IE I think (could be wrong) I am SO heavy I simply crush any support structure in my feet and any support in the shoes under my well over 400 pound load. IE I hope as I get lighter this will become less a problem for me.

    now crocs in "uneven" ground where the shoes want to flex around whatever it is your standing on? NO they are NOT comfortable then. as noted the crocs were "worst" on the stationary. numb toes and pain in short order. FAR to flexible. I also noticed the crocs ALSO did not work well on the real bicycle either.

    but on flat surfaces they have no opportunity to "flex" I simply CRUSH them and the close cell foam compresses and "pushes back" clearly in the way I need because I can walk SO FAR a distance with no know limit in comfort.

    OK onward and upward :-)

    once my feet recover I get back on the stationary (monday evening) and I will use the lowest tension that I can and still be stable. I AM concerned about the calorie burn. the lower the tension the lower the calorie burn and the drop off is dramatically fast. BUT I want to solve the pain issue so will try it and see what happens.

    I have tried moving my feet around. I even flipped the pedal over and put my HEEL on the pedal instead of the center of my foot. NO impact in the pain which I found very odd ???

    again this might be "bad data" since my feet were already hurting from the bowling shoes so I will try this again tomorrow (my feet usually recover pretty fast)

    I THINK (this is a guess now after reading that metatarsalgia ball of foot pain link you guys provided) that my issue is support.

    it SEEMS as if the issue is SUPPORT and energy distribution. the crocs give me the energy distribution I need but on the "pedals" they fail to support because they are too flexible (maybe some plates attached to the pedals so the pedals have the same rigid surface area as my feet ??)

    the more rigid shoes solve the FLEXING problem but make the distribution problem WORSE (so its like wearing regular shoes and walking) which kind of makes sense since the pain is VERY similar and ALSO I now notice happens in a similar time frame (20-30 minutes) and the pain tipping point of I can't go on ALSO happens at about the same time (60 minutes or so)

    Hmm might be onto something here.

    one of my idea's might actually BE the solution. at one point I experimented with size 15 shoes and "crocs" insoles made from a cut up worn out pair of crocs. I may try that again.

    I may glue a metal plate in the bottom of the shoe to increase stiffness (like the MTB shoes) and then put in a set of croc insoles or those super feet insoles since they DO seem to help!! they don't rid the pain but they do reduce it)

    this way I get the pressure energy distribution of the crocs and the "stiffness" of the MTB shoes in a gym acceptable sneaker package. Hmmm that just might work.

    I THOUGHT it was a flat feet issue ie ARCH support but I am starting to second think that. its never my arches that actually "hurts" its always the balls of my feet that hurt (cycling or walking in regular shoes)

    EVEN JUST STANDING in regular shoes no walking causes the same pain.

    I will start looking into affordable methods of seeing a podiatrist. I am not hopeful but I will see what resources are available.

    I was ready to dismiss the "mashing" suspicion but it now dawns on me I can leg press 500 pounds without much effort (I maxed the sled and genuinely did not find it difficult at all)

    so its entirely possible I am apply far more pressure to those pedals than I realize. I wonder if there is anyway I can measure it ??

  14. #14
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Based on your history of pain and difficulty in finding shoes that work I say go see a podiatrist. Cut back on something else.

  15. #15
    Senior Member callmeclemens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerys View Post

    now crocs in "uneven" ground where the shoes want to flex around whatever it is your standing on? NO they are NOT comfortable then. as noted the crocs were "worst" on the stationary. numb toes and pain in short order. FAR to flexible. I also noticed the crocs ALSO did not work well on the real bicycle either.
    I'm glad you said this, I commented about that to Chef on our hike this morning about you're foot thread and the Crocs you wore Yesterday on the hike.

    Just a few ideas:
    Have you ever tried the Stations they have for insoles at Walmart where you stand on it, it measures your balance and tells you the best and insole for you?

    Also not when riding, but hiking/standing ever consider a nice pair of Work boots? I know it may be difficult and a bit pricey but they make all the difference for me when I hike, as I noted by wearing them on today's hike but not yesterdays. Just a thought that perhaps the Ankle Support could help with how you distribute weight when you move.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Hmm. It seems plantar fasciitis pain is in the heel. Chris is complaining about the balls of his feet. I'm not saying that he doesn't have that problem, only that the symptoms as described to me in person and in his post don't match.

    Dude walked more than four miles in Crocs with no foot pain whatsoever. He spent two hours in bowling shoes and had to sit whenever he wasn't bowling because the shoes "tore his feet up." I think this confirms that his problem is a combination of wearing shoes without arch support and mashing into the pedals. I'm not saying he might not need to see a podiatrist, but that spinning instead of mashing and wearing an arch support would help. Also getting cycling shoes that fit him isn't a bad idea either. Any suggestions for a cheap pair in size 48 to 50? Chris is too big for the size 47 I gave him.
    The Plantar Fascia is in the heel, but the pain from plantar fasciitis is often in the ball of the foot. The crocs could actually be making the problem worse, even though he's not having pain when wearing them. Read up on the causes of plantar fasciitis and it'll make more sense.

  17. #17
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Based on your history of pain and difficulty in finding shoes that work I say go see a podiatrist. Cut back on something else.
    Listen to the little bird Chris.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Listen to the little bird Chris.
    Good luck with that one
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  19. #19
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    My dad got a pair of "insoles" made to correct his foot issue. the total cost was well in excess of $2000 office visits and insoles ($900)

    what do you want me to cut back on exactly to come up with that kind of cash and this was 20 years ago when things were a lot cheaper.

    like I said I will look into local options to see a podiatrist but I am not overly confident it will be anything I can REMOTELY afford. if I ever manage to get my 3D printer (it will actually make me money) I am going to start experimenting with printing my own rigid insoles :-)

    yes I have rather a few pairs of "work boots" but the same problem persists. (the pain) IT IS slightly better in work boots (just slightly) I attribute this to them having thicker insoles in them ?? and typically they have a "raised heel" which oddly enough DOES reduce the pain.

    I have these funky 70's platform high heeled boots/shoes I like to were sometimes (think 70's disco shoes) and my feet hurt dramatically less in them.

    interesting about the heel force still causing BALL pain. this would explain why it still hurt when I tried using my heels to pedal! I will be sure to mention that if I manage to see a doctor.

  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerys View Post
    My dad got a pair of "insoles" made to correct his foot issue. the total cost was well in excess of $2000 office visits and insoles ($900)

    what do you want me to cut back on exactly to come up with that kind of cash and this was 20 years ago when things were a lot cheaper.

    like I said I will look into local options to see a podiatrist but I am not overly confident it will be anything I can REMOTELY afford. if I ever manage to get my 3D printer (it will actually make me money) I am going to start experimenting with printing my own rigid insoles :-)

    yes I have rather a few pairs of "work boots" but the same problem persists. (the pain) IT IS slightly better in work boots (just slightly) I attribute this to them having thicker insoles in them ?? and typically they have a "raised heel" which oddly enough DOES reduce the pain.

    I have these funky 70's platform high heeled boots/shoes I like to were sometimes (think 70's disco shoes) and my feet hurt dramatically less in them.

    interesting about the heel force still causing BALL pain. this would explain why it still hurt when I tried using my heels to pedal! I will be sure to mention that if I manage to see a doctor.
    My custom orthotics were 300 dollars, and they weren't covered by insurance. The doctor's visit was, aside from copay, but the charge wasn't 2K.

    Anyway, contact a couple of offices and get the cost of a consultation. Don't rely on the data from a different man 20 years ago. How much is a telephone call going to cost?

  21. #21
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Orthotics is one of the areas where modern technology has driven costs down not up.

  22. #22
    Neil_B
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    Any good stretches or home treatments for PF that the OP could use until he gets his butt to a podiatrist? If indeed, PF is what this is?

  23. #23
    Senior Member bwilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Any good stretches or home treatments for PF that the OP could use until he gets his butt to a podiatrist? If indeed, PF is what this is?
    Anything that keeps my calves stretched,if they start getting tights i am in trouble...putting the ball of my foot on a step and my heell on the floor and stretching that way gives me some relieve.
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  24. #24
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Look into beginner's yoga or pilates. Lots of good stretches that involve everything from the balls of the feet up through the back.

    Check this out. Lots of stories about individuals who were obese and disabled to varying degrees when they started out.

    http://www.ddpyoga.com/site/index.php/en/

    I got the basic set and I'm very happy with it. It has modifications for beginners or those who are heavy or inflexible. Again though, a visit to a physician is in order if you already have physical problems. Not that long ago I was very morbidly obese with injuries and other health problems and I can tell you that the trial and error method is risky when it comes to exacerbating existing problems.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Tennis ball. Roll it with pressure from the foot, toes to heel and back several times. SLOWLY and let it stretch.

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