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Old 02-16-12, 08:30 PM   #1
Owlclock14
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Achilles tendon-usage in cycling

About 2 years ago my world was running 3 miles a day and even though I was horrible, I was the happiest I'd been in a long time. After running for a few months, I was diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis (my tendon was inflamed) and shortly after that, I had it in my other foot. I can't run, jump, stand on my toes, or walk more 3 miles a day. After a year of NO exercise and gaining 30lb, I'm at the end of my sanity. I NEED to push my body and to me biking seemed like a good fit.

So, my question, can I bike? (Im not looking for racing, just physically able.) If so, possible way for my training going?? If not, any suggestions?

Thank you!!!! And yes I know going and trying is the best idea but I don't own a bike ^^
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Old 02-16-12, 08:49 PM   #2
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You can develop quite severe Achilles tendonitis on a bicycle ... if the saddle is too high, and occasionally also if the saddle is too low. If you get the saddle just right, it should be OK.

But ... even if you have the saddle just right for flat ground riding, it may be too high for hill climbing. If you're doing a lot of hill climbing, the recommendation is to lower your saddle very slightly.

I know all of that from experience ... and also reading. 10 years after developing quite severe Achilles tendonitis from a ride, I still have issues with it now and then.


That said, "they" recommend cycling as an exercise you can do if you are recovering from Achilles tendonitis.

I would recommend getting a bicycle that fits and then ensuring that the bicycle is set up correctly for you. If you opt to use the services of a bicycle shop to do the setup, tell them about the Achilles tendonitis and let them know that you don't want the saddle too high (or too low, but especially not too high). If a shop isn't willing to work with you ... go elsewhere!!

And then, I'd recommend easing into it. Start with short, rides on flat ground, at an easy to moderate pace, for a while and see how you go. It's a start, and it's better than doing no exercise at all.

There are also ankle braces that work for Achilles tendonitis. I have a pair, and will often wear them if I'm doing a hilly ride. I picked mine up quite inexpensively at Superstore in Canada ... so have a look around. You are probably quite familiar now with the way to wrap your ankles for Achilles tendonitis ... these braces come close to immitating that ... with a lot less time and tape.
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Old 02-17-12, 08:27 AM   #3
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I was diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis a couple of years and never let it stop me being on a bike. It did sometimes slow me down though. Last year I got a new podiatrist and he found that my AT was being shredded by bone growth on my heel. Surgery to repair the tendon September, and today I am 75% healed with a few rides under my belt this year. FWIW, I was given some inserts for my shoes that did help with the pain a bit.
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Old 02-17-12, 12:56 PM   #4
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Just make sure your saddle is low enough and your cleats (if you use them) are *behind* the balls of your feet. If you use platform pedals, foot positioning is equally important - you want the pressure to be behind the balls of your feet. Also, spin don't mash.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:47 AM   #5
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THANK TOU guys! Exactly what I was lookin for I wear night braces and I have orthopedic support in my shoes and I did 5 miles on majority flat trail and my heels didn't hurt at all ( stretched before, middle of and after). my podiatrist said that I can exercise just has to be minimum but I really think that doing 10 miles 2/3 times a week will help me SO much mentally,like I said I'm not racing lol

I'm going to a bike store today to flat out details on a bike and such

It's bitter sweet to know there are other people trying to beat Achilles too, Constantly feel like I'm alone :/
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Old 02-20-12, 08:31 PM   #6
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I was also a runner from my days in the military. Used to be my medium of choice to deal with stress and stay in shape. About 4 years ago, I started having trouble with my achilles tendon. 3 years ago, after spending 4 weeks in a boot and applying nitroglycerine topically to the area, I had the tendon surgically repaired. That was the end of my running days. I am now prohibited from running, jumping, or performing any high impact activity. Cycling was one of the few options left, and one that I very much enjoyed. Consequently, I've become a cyclist. I try to ride every day. And I notice no ill effects on my repaired achilles tendon.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:35 PM   #7
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Achilles tends to be a problem of the 40+ weekend warrior. We ain't as young as we used to be.
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Old 02-27-12, 05:02 PM   #8
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Except I'm 18 but yeah I agree it is mostly affected weekenders, and women who go from high heels to tennis shoes for working out
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Old 02-27-12, 05:05 PM   #9
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Yeah I have same issues, good to know that cycling does work its great to have something to do twice a week that exercises. I don't think as of now I'll get surgery but I prob will later on in life
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