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Old 06-22-11, 06:33 AM   #1
Mysterious Lady
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Sore achilles tendons... but not when riding.

I've been reading old threads on sore achilles tendons, but could still use some help, please. My issue is that both my achilles tendons (not the heel) are sore *at other times* like when I go up and down stairs. It's been going on for many weeks, but I think it's getting worse over time. Honestly, I didn't even associate it with biking because they DON'T hurt when I'm pedaling. But I realized when I was on Sheldon's site that it might be because of poor pedaling technique, tried to read up more on the topic here and elsewhere, and still feel confused. IDK if I'm pedaling wrong (no clips, so where should my foot be positioned on the pedal?) or the issue is something with the bike or something else. Or, since they don't hurt when pedaling, does that mean that it's not caused by pedaling and the timing is coincidental?

Factors/conditions:
I've been riding for about 2 months now, short distances of usually 3-6 miles, on my teenager's cheap mtb that is a little small for me (while I continue to shop around for one for me). So maybe the size of the bike is a contributing factor? The seat is up pretty high, but my leg still has some bend in it at the bottom of the pedaling stroke. I do wear my regular gym shoes and it has often been cool in the evenings when I ride -- but certainly not cold. Like 50s-60s F. And I do stretch out a bit before and after I ride, although the only one that I feel works that area is one where one leg is in front around a 90 angle, and the other is stretched way out behind me where I feel the stretch down my calf muscle (not specifically in the achilles tendon area, but close).

Thanks for any help!

Last edited by Mysterious Lady; 06-22-11 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 06-22-11, 11:32 AM   #2
florida7272002
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I also have some problems with mine, but they hurt at diffrent times. If i am doing more hill climbing they tend to hurt, due to me not stretching enough before the ride. Also they hurt when I walk up and down the stairs after a ride or in the morning when I get up and head down the stairs. I just make sure the I do more stretching before, and after my rides, and before I get out of the bed.
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Old 06-22-11, 02:54 PM   #3
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I've had problems with my achilles tendons before. I can't comment much on your case, but I can assure you that they can take a long time to heal.

It's worth seeing a physio therapist or some kind of professional, at least to know if you're continuing to injure them further. A physio could give you exercises to do to strengthen the muscles around the tendon and prevent future injury.
The worse it is, the looooonger is will take to heal.

I know the frustration of an achilles heel injury. I hope that you heal well!! All the best.
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Old 06-22-11, 09:07 PM   #4
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Check your bike fit. You may want to lower your saddle slightly.

As mentioned, it can take a while to heal and tendonitis can become chronic. Back off the cycling effort for a while and make sure you are doing enough stretching. I do 6 minutes per leg on hamstrings and achilles tendon.

Buy a Strassburg sock! Any decent running shop will have them. Wear it to bed at night. You will see big gains in about a week. Complete recovery can take a while. In my case, the better part of two years.

See an MD and get some physio.

Good luck
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Old 06-22-11, 09:23 PM   #5
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I'd consider a higher saddle if that is not possible with your teenagers bike, then consider getting another bike that fits. As for foot placement , I'd move my foot a bit further to the front of the pedal, which should put less stress on the Achilles tendon. Stretching? I'd suggest it be done alot more than just a bit before and after a ride . For a good and easy exercise, try standing two or three feet away from a wall while facing it. Keeping your feet in place, do what amounts to a push up off of the wall in front of you. If that works for you, than you might wish to place your feet in a pigeon toed stance then do more very slow push ups off the wall.
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Old 06-22-11, 11:20 PM   #6
Mysterious Lady
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Thank you for all the comments! I am going to call a specialist in the morning and see if I can get an appt because my insurance will change come July 1st... just in case medical attn is req'd. I appreciate the specific tips and suggestions as well. Sounds like more stretching is a must-do for me.

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As for foot placement , I'd move my foot a bit further to the front of the pedal, which should put less stress on the Achilles tendon.
OK, so do you mean like more of the arch of my foot centered over the pedal, or the heel of my foot, or what? If you could elaborate a bit that would be great.

I *really* don't want this to slow me down because I've been absolutely loving getting out there and riding. Thanks!
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Old 06-25-11, 07:11 AM   #7
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Just a quick follow-up on this topic -- I did go see a sports fitness doctor about my achilles tendons based on the suggestions you guys had, and I am SOOO glad I did! She noted 2 predisposing conditions I had that for this problem and had long and short term recommendations on dealing with this. Short term: night splint, some physical therapy appts/exercises. Long-term: shoe insert supports for my weak arches, this toe insert thingy for when I'm biking, and LOTS more stretching exercises (holding for 30 seconds rather than my typical 10, lol).

So thank you for your feedback and encouragement in dealing with this!

ML
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Old 06-25-11, 12:55 PM   #8
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OK, so do you mean like more of the arch of my foot centered over the pedal, or the heel of my foot, or what? If you could elaborate a bit that would be great.
First, I'm glad you went to see a Doctor and that you are happy with the result. Yes I move my foot around on the pedal, with a firm shoe or in my case sandal, I'll center the arch over the pedal at times to put less stress on the tendon. Of course your doctor should be able to confirm my belief that it helps. Good luck.
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Old 06-25-11, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysterious Lady View Post
Just a quick follow-up on this topic -- I did go see a sports fitness doctor about my achilles tendons based on the suggestions you guys had, and I am SOOO glad I did! She noted 2 predisposing conditions I had that for this problem and had long and short term recommendations on dealing with this. Short term: night splint, some physical therapy appts/exercises. Long-term: shoe insert supports for my weak arches, this toe insert thingy for when I'm biking, and LOTS more stretching exercises (holding for 30 seconds rather than my typical 10, lol).

So thank you for your feedback and encouragement in dealing with this!

ML
Excellent!
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