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Achille's Pain?

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Achille's Pain?

Old 06-08-20, 08:06 PM
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puma1552
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Achille's Pain?

Got out for my first ride this year on Saturday, easy 32 miles with a 15 mph average. Nothing fancy.

Bike fit hasn't changed since my last ride in October, nor has my fitness and even my weight is within 1 lb of October. Same shoes, same Shimano yellow cleats with a little float, no changes to either of those.

About halfway through I noticed a very slight irritation in my left achille's heel, just enough to notice and look down actually wondering if my shoe was digging into my heel which would've been unexpected since the shoes have never done that. It wasn't that.

End of the ride, it was more noticeable but still not really in the front of my mind. The next day I realized it was my tendon, and back of heel was red and swollen a bit. Moderate discomfort walking. Today, two days later, everything's fine, but it seems like something that can and probably will come back, just has the feeling of that type of thing.

Ideas of what would cause that? My cleats are all the way forward, but they always have been and no issues.
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Old 06-08-20, 09:09 PM
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Because of the redness, it sounds more like bursitis, but could be tendonitis, both of which are common, overuse- type of injuries, by which I mean, the kind of injuries you see when strenuously starting a new activity, e.g. first ride of the season.

Both respond well to rest and anti-inflammatories (e.g. ibuprofen, and even steriod shots in extreme cases), but since you're feeling better already, I wouldn't bother with anything but sufficient activity layoff until the Achilles/heel is pain-free and feeling normal again.
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Old 06-08-20, 09:29 PM
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Lack of exercise maybe? Stretching will probably help more than anything. Leaning against a wall, put one foot well behind you and with your heel firmly on the floor, gently bend your knee until you feel like you've reached the limit of that stretch. Hold for a count of 50, repeat on the other foot. Every morning, a while after you get up. If there's no pain after a few days of that, you could try one-legged calf raises on a stair, full range of motion with leg straight, twice a week.
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Old 06-09-20, 04:15 AM
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Cleats all the way forward will definitely put stress on your Achilles tendon. You've been OK with it so far, but now it has caught up with you. A combination of many things can be the cause - you may have had a longer break off the bike than usual, whatever you were doing to maintain fitness during the break may not have loaded the tendon in a similar fashion, your flexibility may have changed, or you might just be getting older. In any case, I would re-asses the position as well as trying some stretches (carefully to begin with, it might not hurt but is probably still sensitive) and doing even lighter and shorter rides to begin with.

What is the reasoning behind your current cleat position, what are you achieving by having them all the way forward? Will you lose anything if you move them backwards? (Don't forget to adjust the saddle if you do.)
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Old 06-09-20, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiery View Post

What is the reasoning behind your current cleat position, what are you achieving by having them all the way forward? Will you lose anything if you move them backwards? (Don't forget to adjust the saddle if you do.)
It's just most comfortable for me, I know it's not the most powerful but I don't feel right with my pedals further back under my feet, just personal preference I guess.

Heel feels 1000% fine today; I guess I'll keep the cleats where they are for now and just see over a few rides if there are any further issues, if so then maybe I'll move the cleats back a bit. In the meantime I'll do more stretching, etc. as suggested in this thread. Just seemed odd since it never happened before.
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Old 06-09-20, 09:25 AM
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I don't think he was saying put the cleats further forward on you shoe.

Will you lose anything if you move them backwards?
"them" is the cleats, not your feet. Or at least that's how I took it.

Edit.... Okay, I misread you. I do that too often. So disregard the above. But I think you'd benefit from the advice. Just get used to it. Some studies show it transfers power more efficiently.

Moving them further back on the shoe will feel odd till you get used to it, but it will put less stress on your Achilles tendon. So if you do have any medical issues with it or are just getting old and feeble <grin>, you may benefit from it.

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Old 06-09-20, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
Cleats all the way forward will definitely put stress on your Achilles tendon. You've been OK with it so far, but now it has caught up with you. A combination of many things can be the cause - you may have had a longer break off the bike than usual, whatever you were doing to maintain fitness during the break may not have loaded the tendon in a similar fashion, your flexibility may have changed, or you might just be getting older. In any case, I would re-asses the position as well as trying some stretches (carefully to begin with, it might not hurt but is probably still sensitive) and doing even lighter and shorter rides to begin with.

What is the reasoning behind your current cleat position, what are you achieving by having them all the way forward? Will you lose anything if you move them backwards? (Don't forget to adjust the saddle if you do.)
I'm 74 and the spindle right under the ball of my big toe works great for me. It doesn't "catch up" to a person. That said, if you don't use it, you lose it, but I think that's pretty well known. CTS is saying that for riders over 40 or 50, taking enough time off to substantially detrain can mean you'll never get it all back no matter how you train.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:18 PM
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I dropped my saddle about a half inch and it helped me a bunch on ankle pain but that was based on a bunch of youtube MD self study YMMV
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Old 06-10-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by taco2ewsday View Post
I dropped my saddle about a half inch and it helped me a bunch on ankle pain but that was based on a bunch of youtube MD self study YMMV
This. In my experience it has always fixed itself when I drop the saddle. In fact, that's how I determine correct saddle height.
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Old 06-10-20, 04:35 PM
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I had a torn achilles tendon a couple of years ago and it totally ruined my season. The initial cause was getting kicked playing soccer, but a few days later on a ride I felt an irritation and stupidly decided to stretch it out. Several months later, including a few weeks in an aircast, I was finally able to ride more than 10 km again.

Bottom line: I would be very careful about doing any stretching if you are feeling any pain or discomfort in the tendon. They take a long time to heal.
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Old 06-11-20, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
It's just most comfortable for me, I know it's not the most powerful but I don't feel right with my pedals further back under my feet, just personal preference I guess.

Heel feels 1000% fine today; I guess I'll keep the cleats where they are for now and just see over a few rides if there are any further issues, if so then maybe I'll move the cleats back a bit. In the meantime I'll do more stretching, etc. as suggested in this thread. Just seemed odd since it never happened before.
It could simply be that your saddle is a bit too high as is it right now, so you might be compensating by having the cleats further forward. Please don't take this as me trying to convince you to change, if it all feels OK now do carry on by all means. But if you do decide to try a slightly further back cleat position, definitely don't forget to also lower the saddle.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm 74 and the spindle right under the ball of my big toe works great for me. It doesn't "catch up" to a person. That said, if you don't use it, you lose it, but I think that's pretty well known. CTS is saying that for riders over 40 or 50, taking enough time off to substantially detrain can mean you'll never get it all back no matter how you train.
I was not trying to say that having cleats further forward from whatever arbitrary point is an injury laying in wait for anyone and everyone riding like that. It is, however, a source of increased stress on the Achilles tendon and that stress can catch up with a person. It doesn't have to, but it can. Think of it as a risk factor that may be worth being aware of.
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