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  1. #1
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    Plantar fasciitis for a cyclist??

    After a few longer rides than usual (3.5hrs) I noticed pain in my arch and later moving up the foot towards the ball. Only my left foot is affected. The Ortho diagnosed it as Plantar fasciitis, which is common for runners, but I don't run. For runners it's also typically associated with heel pain, but my heel is fine. The checked my foot for a stress fracture, interestingly using a tuning fork. The Ortho suggested my arch may be collapsing -- apparently something common when you get older, I'm 38. I'm going to try superfeet (black) in my cycling shoes and perhaps get fitted. I'm curious is anyone else has a similar affliction. It's still painful to walk on/flex so I haven't been riding. I got a Medrol prescription but not much improvement in a week.
    Last edited by turquoise; 07-09-2012 at 09:12 AM. Reason: mentioned insoles

  2. #2
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    I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for about a year and it is no picnic. Mine is in my heel and after any type of exercise or activity that impacts that area have almost had me in tears. I was in a boot for two months and even tried the cortisone shot... Nothing helped. Inserts do help some, but you have to put them in all your shoes. Stretching also helps relieve some of the pain but eventually comes back within an hour so you have to keep doing it. The issue is that the tendon gets inflamed and there is little blood flow to help heal the tendon. I know for me my weight has contributed to the issue. I was 250lb last year and I am down to 213 and it has helped relieve some of the pain. The issue though was it takes exercise to lose weight, but it aggravates my foot. I have had to rely on biking as my go to exercise because it does not impact my heel.

    Bottom line put some orthotics in your shoes, try and stay off your feet as much as possible, massage your foot, lose weight (if you are over-weight) and stretch. My thoughts after dealing with this issue for so long is that it has to do with muscle cramping. Whether it is the muscles in the foot or calves, the muscle as it begins to contract from the cramp it is reeking havoc on the plantar tendon. So maybe cut some of the salt out of your diet and make sure your drinking plenty of water on your rides. Again I am not sure of your life style, but it should give you some things to try out.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VuDoo11 View Post
    I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for about a year and it is no picnic. Mine is in my heel and after any type of exercise or activity that impacts that area have almost had me in tears. I was in a boot for two months and even tried the cortisone shot... Nothing helped. Inserts do help some, but you have to put them in all your shoes. Stretching also helps relieve some of the pain but eventually comes back within an hour so you have to keep doing it. The issue is that the tendon gets inflamed and there is little blood flow to help heal the tendon. I know for me my weight has contributed to the issue. I was 250lb last year and I am down to 213 and it has helped relieve some of the pain. The issue though was it takes exercise to lose weight, but it aggravates my foot. I have had to rely on biking as my go to exercise because it does not impact my heel.

    Bottom line put some orthotics in your shoes, try and stay off your feet as much as possible, massage your foot, lose weight (if you are over-weight) and stretch. My thoughts after dealing with this issue for so long is that it has to do with muscle cramping. Whether it is the muscles in the foot or calves, the muscle as it begins to contract from the cramp it is reeking havoc on the plantar tendon. So maybe cut some of the salt out of your diet and make sure your drinking plenty of water on your rides. Again I am not sure of your life style, but it should give you some things to try out.

    That's interesting you mention cramping affecting the plantar because I got a really bad cramp in my calf (inner calf near knee) on the ride -- the next day I had really bad pain in my foot. Also, for the past week, before ride, I had some tightness in my calf. I wonder if overdoing it with the calf workouts contributed to this condition.

    I can cut down on salt but it is essential for workouts, e.g. gatorade has a lot of sodium, which is necessary to maintain balance since you lose it during exercise.

  4. #4
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    I've had trouble with plantar fasciitis in the past. A bit of a souvenir from doing a job in which I actually worked.

    You need shoes that fit. That includes an insole that supports your foot. Without an insole, if you strap your shoe tightly, it puts pressure on the top of your foot that collapses it. Which is bad news. But if you don't strap tightly, you get movement in the inside of the shoe. Or, I do. So that's not necessarily a solution either. With an insole that fits my arch, I don't need to whale on the straps or buckles to get a snug fit.

    You need your shoes to have a sufficiently stiff sole.

    You can reduce the stress you're putting on your arches by staying in the saddle more. How practical this is for mountain biking is going to vary. I had noticed problems more on my road bike, doing climbs or sections of climbs of a few minutes out of the saddle. Being more conservative in my approach to those climbs was pretty easy, since I was on the road. The point being, if you get out of the saddle and mash your way up fire roads, don't. And if you can do a bit more of a singletrack section, especially a climb, in the saddle, do.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I've had trouble with plantar fasciitis in the past. A bit of a souvenir from doing a job in which I actually worked.

    You need shoes that fit. That includes an insole that supports your foot. Without an insole, if you strap your shoe tightly, it puts pressure on the top of your foot that collapses it. Which is bad news. But if you don't strap tightly, you get movement in the inside of the shoe. Or, I do. So that's not necessarily a solution either. With an insole that fits my arch, I don't need to whale on the straps or buckles to get a snug fit.

    You need your shoes to have a sufficiently stiff sole.

    You can reduce the stress you're putting on your arches by staying in the saddle more. How practical this is for mountain biking is going to vary. I had noticed problems more on my road bike, doing climbs or sections of climbs of a few minutes out of the saddle. Being more conservative in my approach to those climbs was pretty easy, since I was on the road. The point being, if you get out of the saddle and mash your way up fire roads, don't. And if you can do a bit more of a singletrack section, especially a climb, in the saddle, do.
    I do strap down on my shoes until my feet are secure. I have Sidi Dominators and they are stiff but the stock insole is flimsy, so hoping the superfeet will help. I just recently started using my lockout and have been standing up more so this could be a contributing factor. I think I'll tone that down a bit

  6. #6
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    I have to second stretches. There are plenty of guides on the youtubes. Good shoes were already mentioned as was losing weight.

    I hurt my foot digging with a shovel while wearing crummy shoes (might as well have been bare foot jumping up and down on a shovel). Bad mistake. I think it has been about a year and it's pretty good now. I find biking doesn't aggravate it. My most recent 'flare up' was from wearing flip flops all day long for a couple of weeks while in SoCal. I had forgotten all about the PF and got slack on wearing good footwear.. oops.

  7. #7
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    Something you might try instead of sports drinks for recovery would be chocolate milk. I know it doesn't sound appealing after a workout or a long ride, but it replaces what is lost as well as other things that some sports drinks don't have.

  8. #8
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    I got it in my right foot last winter when I was walking crooked due to a separate foot issue (black death foot). A friend sent me this link, and I did the stretches 1-2x/day, even after the pain subsided. PT didn't help at all.

  9. #9
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    Flexy shoes

    I have always assocciated plantar faciatis with flexy soles. (Stiff soles may affect the achilles.) But you say you are on Sidi's so they are plenty stiff.
    Do you do other activities in shoes that are too flexy? Maybe this is where the damage is ocurring, not on the bike.
    MCM # 57

  10. #10
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    Symptoms

    I have plantar fasciitis and my symptoms are a little different.
    You can find out about plantar fasciitis symptoms in the following website:
    plantar-fasciitis-elrofeet.com/What_are_the_Symptoms.
    The more symptoms you have the chance is you might have plantar fasciitis.
    You may develop the problem off riding and only make it flare up on the bike. I got it from standing long hours at work. Riding my bike was almost the only thing I could do without pain. Thanks god I am almost out of it today.
    Take care & Good luck

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Magoo View Post
    I have always assocciated plantar faciatis with flexy soles. (Stiff soles may affect the achilles.) But you say you are on Sidi's so they are plenty stiff.
    Do you do other activities in shoes that are too flexy? Maybe this is where the damage is ocurring, not on the bike.
    I would wear flip flops all summer and that may have contributed to my condition. But now I'm done with flip flops. I wear running shoes at the gym but only use the weight machines

  12. #12
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    I also had plantar fasciitis issues in the past...

    In my case, tight calf muscles were part of the problem as it contributes to adding tension on the Achilles and plantar fascia. Also, weak foot muscles were also part of the cause.

    In my case, it wasn't severe, no ruptured fascia. Once the injury was gone, working on flexibility and foot strengthening were a must to solve the cause of the issue and prevent it from coming back. Good stiff shoes and orthopaedic insole also helped me continue riding in the mean time.

    The bad thing with a plantar fasciitis is that it's usually long to heal. It can take many months to heal.
    Guillaume

  13. #13
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    My doc quoted 6 months+.

    I got xrayed for bone/heal spurs as well. There was the minor start of one but nothing major luckily. The rubbing cause by tighten fascia (due to swelling) can cause a spur to form, which makes the condition even more painful.

  14. #14
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    Mine abated after two weeks of no activity. I still have some tenderness if I flex my toes back but fortunately cycling shoes don't allow that movement. I got the yoursole thinsport insoles (custom molded) for my sidis. I'm convinced this was brought on by a tight calf but I also haven't ridden >3.5hr rides yet so not sure if it'll come back. Thanks for all the replies everyone.

  15. #15
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    I was plagued by plantar fascitis in one foot for close to a year. Terrible pain! Tried all sorts of over-the-counter shoe inserts and other remedies and nothing helped.

    A friend suggested that I see a podiatrist and I eventually did just that.

    For awhile, I slept each night with my leg in a special brace that, by keeping my foot bent backward, kept the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot in a stretched position. After about a month I no longer needed the brace. I now do a short stretching exercise twice each day (early morning and just prior to going to bed). I also wear orthodics (shoe inserts) custom-made for my feet by the podiarist I have been doing that for the past four years and the problem has not come back.

    Getting to know a good podiatrist is one of the best things I have ever done for my feet.

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