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  1. #1
    neptune diner bennyk's Avatar
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    Top of ankle pain

    Lately toward the end of my morning ride, and for about 30 mins after, there's been soreness in what feels like the tendon along the top of my ankle.

    If you look at this picture, it's roughly where the middle of the three lines referring to "muscles" along the top of the foot/ankle.


    After the ride, I ice it for about 20 mins and the soreness goes away. It's not especially painful during the ride or after, but it's uncomfortable enough to bother (concern) me.

    Since it's only my right ankle, I'm assuming this is due to some assymetry in my pedal stroke. I'm right handed/legged, is there a specific part of the stroke I can pay attention to fix this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Feet have slightly different sizes and legs can have different lenghts. I have foot pains when I ride with soft soled shoes. I can only visualize stress on that tendon if you are pulling UP with that foot. A longer warm up might help.
    This space open

  3. #3
    Senior Member Old_Fart's Avatar
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    There are different things that can cause joint pain.
    There are certainly a few things you could try but it certainly wouldn't hurt to see a doctor and/or a bike fit specialist.

    Good fitting bike-specific shoes are very important. Proper pedal positioning can make a huge difference, especially if you are using clipless pedals/shoes. Saddle height/position may cause overextension or bad positioning of ankles, knees, and hips. Stretching, and warm-up/cool-down routines are essential for some people and not as big of a deal for others. You may also have a bent peddle that is causing a bad motion in the ankle.

  4. #4
    neptune diner bennyk's Avatar
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    I couldn't really say whether this is due to leg lengths. I'm very certain it's not a bent pedal or something. I'll check the alignment of my cleats though, they could be assymetrical.

    I'm suspicious that this is just due to my occasional "funky" pedal stroke. Every so often I'll sort of mess up and put a lot of strain into one part of the stroke. If this happened and it hurt the ankle, I could be aggravating it every successive time. I'll try a longer warm-up today (read: try not to blast up the bridge).

  5. #5
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    I love these questions! I do clinical work.

    The only way to tell if it is a leg length discrepancy is to measure. Simple as that. have someone measure you while you are lying down from the tip of the hip bone all the way to the ankle. If you have a length problem, then you'll need orthotics and stretches.

    Stretches for the ankle tendon (I'm glad you didn't say muscle):
    -get onto all fours
    -with the top of your toes on the ground as the pivot, pretend/try to touch your ankle to the floor (you can't)
    -basically, that'll stretch your tendons that cross over the ankle joint. It'll most likely be painful at first, but keep stretching daily and you'll be fine. Don't over do it though, you DON'T want to touch your ankle bone (the Talus) to the floor.

  6. #6
    neptune diner bennyk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokfei
    I
    -with the top of your toes on the ground as the pivot, pretend/try to touch your ankle to the floor (you can't)
    -basically, that'll stretch your tendons that cross over the ankle joint.
    Do you mean rotate the ankle to the side, or flatten the foot out behind you by sliding the toes back?

    Thanks for the advice. No one is handy to help me measure, so I'll have to live a little longer without knowing...

    I did throw a little bit more of an angle on my right cleat, which allows my foot to be more parallel to the pedal motion. For some reason it was "toe-in" slightly before, now it's more parallel like my left foot, and it seems to have helped the pain, but I am still keeping an eye on it. Tomorrow I'll do a longer ride, so I'll know if it's really helping or not.

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    Wow, I have the same probelm for 2 weeks now. It seems to be healing very slowly even when I didn't bike for a while. I'm suspecting it is a sore anterior tibialis tendon. I believe it is that because it hurts only between the first and second metatarsal which is the middle bone of the first and second toe. It also hurts slightly when you press on it but not if you press towards the outside of my right foot. It conerns me as well and hope it goes away soon so I can resume biking.
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer once said: "Let's have a minute's silence for all those Americans who are currently sitting in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle."

  8. #8
    Senior Member serpico7's Avatar
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    I notice soreness/pain in both ankles in the same area that bennyk is experiencing soreness. Could it be that I'm "ankling" the pedal stroke too much? I.e., not keeping my feet relatively flat throughout the stroke, but moving from toe down near the bottom of the stroke to heel down near the top - would that cause pain in the front portion of the ankle?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennyk
    I did throw a little bit more of an angle on my right cleat, which allows my foot to be more parallel to the pedal motion. For some reason it was "toe-in" slightly before, now it's more parallel like my left foot, and it seems to have helped the pain, but I am still keeping an eye on it. Tomorrow I'll do a longer ride, so I'll know if it's really helping or not.
    The toe-in is key. I had this for a long while and aggravated it with every long-distance ride I did. The toe-in tended to encourage to my ankle to "flop" outward (at least it did with mine, and especially when I was tired). Worn cleats (Time Atacs), shoes with fading side support, and cleat misalignment ended up being the problems combined. Since getting new shoes, and new cleats and aligning them so my right foot is parellel to the downtube, I haven't had a problem.

    In my experience, ankling is not the problem, although it can encourage the pain through misalignment.
    Last edited by Rowan; 10-06-06 at 03:00 AM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Suggest you try a set of "Knee savers" from Harris cycle. These finely
    machined adapters space out the pedals to allow more straight line
    alignment of the whole foot and leg during the 360deg stroke of pedaling.

    I have metal knees now and these "spacers" are a so helpful at relieving
    strain on my feet and legs I simply can't imagine ever pedaling without
    them again.

    I know they seem to be high priced but once you see the quality of machining
    and the way they make you so much more comfortable the price soon is forgotten

    I think they are worth every penney I spent on them .

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/pedals.html
    Last edited by Nightshade; 10-05-06 at 08:38 PM.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  11. #11
    Senior Member serpico7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    Suggest you try a set of "Knee savers" from Harris cycle. These finely
    machined adapters space out the pedals to allow more straight line
    alignment of the whole foot and leg during the 360deg stroke of pedaling.
    Thanks for the info, but my feet are parallel to each other. But they are not parallel to the ground during the entire stroke, which is what I thought might be causing the pain.

  12. #12
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpico7
    Thanks for the info, but my feet are parallel to each other. But they are not parallel to the ground during the entire stroke, which is what I thought might be causing the pain.
    Yep, this little bit of twist at the bottom of the pedal stroke is sneaky and often unnoticed but
    painful none the less. One suggestion if you buy Knee savers is to be sure to anti-size the
    threads to keep them from rusting in place when assembled due to the fact that they are naked
    steel after machining.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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