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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Top of foot/front of ankle pain??

    So .... what fit adjustment would you make to the bicycle if you suffered from top of foot/front of ankle pain??

    This is a new one for me. I've had Achilles problems before, but never any pain on the other side of the foot/ankle.

  2. #2
    Recumbent Ninja
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    what kind of pain - can you describe it? When and how does it occur?

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The pain starts in the middle of the top of the foot (roughly over the arch) and goes up to about 6 inches up the front of my leg, like up the shin. It is a narrow band of pain right up the middle of the foot, and up the leg ... sort of along that tendon in front, I guess. I feel it when I walk, when my foot flexes as I walk. It doesn't hurt when touched, and it isn't bruised or anything.

    I rode a century yesterday, and it was fine all through the century. It was fine last night when I was relaxing ... but when I went to stand when I got out of bed this morning .... OUCH!! It has been sore all day, but does feel a bit better now than it did first thing this morning.

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    Recumbent Ninja
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    my guess is tendonitis. My first suggestion is to see a doctor. barring that, I would heat it, then exercise the foot by attaching a weight (even cans in a grocery bag) and doing toe raises, then icing the foot afterwards. Combine this with a thorough stretching program, and you may get rid of it in a couple weeks if you stay off the bike. Otherwise it could get worse and keep you off for longer and need cortisone shots.

    Again just a guess. I'd see a doc.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Possibly ... although it is already feeling much better than it did this morning. But I'm more after what might have caused it. Saddle too high, too low ... something else ?????? It's the first time in 17 years of cycling I've ever had pain on the top of the foot.

  6. #6
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I get something very,very, similar on the first long ride, when I have been off the bike for a while.
    It goes away after a few shorter easy rides. It feels as if something needs to be stretched in my case.
    Once I get going and keep on riding it never comes back. It will repeat if I stay off the bike again.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    I get something very,very, similar on the first long ride, when I have been off the bike for a while.
    It goes away after a few shorter easy rides. It feels as if something needs to be stretched in my case.
    Once I get going and keep on riding it never comes back. It will repeat if I stay off the bike again.

    That's the thing ... I've been rotating and stretching my ankle on-and-off all day, because it did feel like it needed stretching out or something ... and it does feel better. In fact, walking makes it feel better ... the first few steps hurt, and then it seems like it settles down.

    One other suggestion I got was that I might have had too much pressure on the top of the foot, or that tendon there. I was wearing heavy wool socks, my ankle braces, my shoes, and my neoprene booties. I wear that combination quite often, but perhaps this time something wasn't sitting quite right.

  8. #8
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    That's the thing ... I've been rotating and stretching my ankle on-and-off all day, because it did feel like it needed stretching out or something ... and it does feel better. In fact, walking makes it feel better ... the first few steps hurt, and then it seems like it settles down.

    One other suggestion I got was that I might have had too much pressure on the top of the foot, or that tendon there. I was wearing heavy wool socks, my ankle braces, my shoes, and my neoprene booties. I wear that combination quite often, but perhaps this time something wasn't sitting quite right.
    It sounds more and more like what I get. It goes away in a day usually.
    In my case it does not matter what I wear.
    Maybe something is flexing that part of your leg or ankle joint, more than the trainer. Did you take much time off at all?
    It could just be the increase in riding time if you went right from the trainer to a century. If I remember correctly, it's gone in about a week of riding.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well, the century was the longest ride I've done outside. I rode 65 kms on Saturday, then the century on Sunday. Two weeks ago I rode a metric century ... half outside and half inside on the trainer, and then the next day I did another 50 kms outside. And I've been riding my trainer an hour or two a day for quite some time.

    So it isn't as though I've been off the bicycle for an extended period of time or anything ... but it has been just over 2 months since I've done my last century ...... maybe that's too long between centuries for me!!

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've had another suggestion that it might be cleat positioning ... that I need to adjust my cleat to allow my toes to point outward just a tad more. Either that or that I need a little bit more float.

  11. #11
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    I'm betting the joint wasn't thoroughly stretched and warm prior to the activity, and it may have pinched a nerve, whichc caused a shift in muscle use.

    Be careful about assuming it's healed and thinking you can go right back tot he activity. Last time I did that I was out for 5 months of physical therapy and missed most odf the season.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Well, the century was the longest ride I've done outside. I rode 65 kms on Saturday, then the century on Sunday. Two weeks ago I rode a metric century ... half outside and half inside on the trainer, and then the next day I did another 50 kms outside. And I've been riding my trainer an hour or two a day for quite some time.

    So it isn't as though I've been off the bicycle for an extended period of time or anything ... but it has been just over 2 months since I've done my last century ...... maybe that's too long between centuries for me!!
    Your body can't take it unless your ride at least 100 miles.

    Was this the cold century without enough clothing you described in another thread ? The cold can do the same thing for some people. I'm one of them.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Try Tiger Balm or BioFreeze…Assuming the injury is minor tendonitis both of the products may help relieve the pain and improve flexibility. The active ingredient in both is menthol. I use both on occasion and sometimes as a warm-up cream on cold days. The downside of Tiger Balm is the odor but less so for BioFreeze.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Your body can't take it unless your ride at least 100 miles.

    Was this the cold century without enough clothing you described in another thread ? The cold can do the same thing for some people. I'm one of them.
    Yeah, that's the century!! My ankles were well wrapped, which may have caused some problems ... perhaps too well wrapped?? But still my feet were pretty cold by about 3/4 of the way through the century. I was pedalling up and down all the hills just to try to keep warm.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes
    Try Tiger Balm or BioFreeze…Assuming the injury is minor tendonitis both of the products may help relieve the pain and improve flexibility. The active ingredient in both is menthol. I use both on occasion and sometimes as a warm-up cream on cold days. The downside of Tiger Balm is the odor but less so for BioFreeze.
    I have a cream where the active ingredient is menthol and I used it last night ... all over my entire right leg from just above the knee (I had a tiny bit of knee pain) down to my toes. This morning when I got up, my knee, ankle, and foot felt pretty good and they've been improving throughout the day.

    I've got a spinning class that starts in about an hour, so I'll see how that goes before I make any further decisions about extra rest etc.

    Also, just in case anyone wondered ... I've got a Dr's appointment coming up in the not too far distant future for a couple other things. If this foot is still bothering me then, I'll ask about it too.

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I have a cream where the active ingredient is menthol and I used it last night ... all over my entire right leg from just above the knee (I had a tiny bit of knee pain) down to my toes. This morning when I got up, my knee, ankle, and foot felt pretty good and they've been improving throughout the day.

    I've got a spinning class that starts in about an hour, so I'll see how that goes before I make any further decisions about extra rest etc.

    Also, just in case anyone wondered ... I've got a Dr's appointment coming up in the not too far distant future for a couple other things. If this foot is still bothering me then, I'll ask about it too.
    If you have a choice warm up slowly for spining.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    If you have a choice warm up slowly for spining.
    Yes ... I hope they let us warm up slowly. This is my first spinning class ever! I'm also planning to leave in a few minutes to get there early so I can walk around the walking track a few times to warm up a bit.

  18. #18
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Yes ... I hope they let us warm up slowly. This is my first spinning class ever! I'm also planning to leave in a few minutes to get there early so I can walk around the walking track a few times to warm up a bit.
    Now it's Wed. night, what happened?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Now it's Wed. night, what happened?
    It was good!! I posted about the spinning experience (a little further down in this forum), but as for the foot/ankle situation ... I'm really wondering about my cleat position. I was as comfortable as can be on the spinning bike (using runners and rat traps instead of cleats), but when I got back on Machak today there were some twinges.

    I had my chainring and crankset changed recently. The crank arms are shorter than my previous ones, but wider set. I've already been playing with seat adjustment ... I wouldn't be surprised if I had to do a bit more with my cleats.

  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    It was good!! I posted about the spinning experience (a little further down in this forum), but as for the foot/ankle situation ... I'm really wondering about my cleat position. I was as comfortable as can be on the spinning bike (using runners and rat traps instead of cleats), but when I got back on Machak today there were some twinges.

    I had my chainring and crankset changed recently. The crank arms are shorter than my previous ones, but wider set. I've already been playing with seat adjustment ... I wouldn't be surprised if I had to do a bit more with my cleats.
    It could be that. Maybe more float would help. Your feet move around a little with clips and straps.
    Since the new cranks, have you put on many miles without this pain? Depending on what you are wearing in the cold, a few layers will raise your effective seat height, compared to warm weather and just shorts. Sounds like you are getting close to a solution.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    It could be that. Maybe more float would help. Your feet move around a little with clips and straps.
    Since the new cranks, have you put on many miles without this pain? Depending on what you are wearing in the cold, a few layers will raise your effective seat height, compared to warm weather and just shorts. Sounds like you are getting close to a solution.
    Since the new cranks, I've put on about 450 miles without pain.

    I'm going to use my cycling shoes at tonight's class ... the pedals there have SPD cleats so I'll try my shoes with those pedals and see what happens.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    I have an old hockey injury to my left ankle. I experience both pain and weakness on the anterior of my shin, and then down over my arch -- just as you describe Machka. My physio described it as 'ankle flop' and gave me some exercises. It actually didn't do anything for me. I have to 'strap' now for every ride. Eventually I came to the perfect combo which is an elastic sock, with an ankle support overtop. Slowly the ankle has grown stronger through riding to the point where I can occasionally ride without strapping.

    Another thing I've done is to move my cleats (both sides) basically as far back as I can. This takes a lot of pressure off the lever point of the ankle. The drawback of course, is that you want to have the cleat situated right under the centre of the ball of the foot for maximum power. But as a time trialist, this isn't critical; and as a rando, I'm sure it's even less important.

  23. #23
    Senior Member brevig's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have spasming in your Tibialis Anterior muscle. Were you able to palpate any kind of bump along the front of your leg to the right of the bone? This is the same muscle that gets irritated in "shin splints". It causes pain "down the shin to the ankle and into the toes".

    The bump, or trigger point, is ischemic tissue caused by a lack of blood supply. For self treatment: rub the front of your leg on the right side along the bone and apply heat to bring fresh blood into the muscle. Stretch the muscle by extending your toes and pointhing them down while sitting (keeping the foot free from obtrussion).

    For professional treatment: consult your local massage practitioner who is knowledgeable/competent in myofascial release/trigger point therapy. A therapist with experience in trigger point therapy would probably be more beneficial and could easily "release" the muscle.

    If this is the reason for your pain, I wouldn't point the cause to any foot adjustment. It's most likely due to improper stretching or warming up.
    Richard Brevig
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  24. #24
    Senior Member brevig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stallionforce
    I have an old hockey injury to my left ankle. I experience both pain and weakness on the anterior of my shin, and then down over my arch -- just as you describe Machka. My physio described it as 'ankle flop' and gave me some exercises. It actually didn't do anything for me. I have to 'strap' now for every ride. Eventually I came to the perfect combo which is an elastic sock, with an ankle support overtop. Slowly the ankle has grown stronger through riding to the point where I can occasionally ride without strapping.

    Are you saying you're having difficulty lifing your toes up as you walk and they have a tendency to drag the floor if you don't lift your foot high enough? If so: Has your condition improved? Sounds like the same muscle: Tibialis Anterior. I don't know if you have permenant paralysis of the muscle or only temporary and need to be rehabilitated. Either way, it would cause the 'ankle flop' or 'foot drop'. What excercises did he prescribe you?
    Richard Brevig
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  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brevig
    It sounds like you have spasming in your Tibialis Anterior muscle. Were you able to palpate any kind of bump along the front of your leg to the right of the bone? This is the same muscle that gets irritated in "shin splints". It causes pain "down the shin to the ankle and into the toes".

    The bump, or trigger point, is ischemic tissue caused by a lack of blood supply. For self treatment: rub the front of your leg on the right side along the bone and apply heat to bring fresh blood into the muscle. Stretch the muscle by extending your toes and pointhing them down while sitting (keeping the foot free from obtrussion).

    For professional treatment: consult your local massage practitioner who is knowledgeable/competent in myofascial release/trigger point therapy. A therapist with experience in trigger point therapy would probably be more beneficial and could easily "release" the muscle.

    If this is the reason for your pain, I wouldn't point the cause to any foot adjustment. It's most likely due to improper stretching or warming up.
    Yeah, could be the Tibialis Anterior muscle. If there is a bump it isn't really noticable ... but I do have mild "shin splints". And I've been doing pretty much what you've mentioned for three days now ... and it does seem to have helped.

    -----
    Now today I rode the spinning bikes with my usual cycling shoes and noticed a bit of strain again, so I think I might have to adjust something. My cleats are quite far back already because I discovered that was more comfortable quite a few years ago. I'm still thinking angle.

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