View Full Version : Achilles tendon acts up when I use the trainer

09-24-2006, 07:01 PM
Last Winter, I developed a stubborn case of achilles tendinitis. At that time I was running 2 times a week (about 2 miles) and using my bike trainer with spinervals videos. I ended up going to physical therapy and it slowly subsided, with minor flare-ups here and there when pushing hard gears or doing too much hill work. I stopped running and haven't gone back to it. I've been doing long distance rides all season starting with short rides in May and working my way up. 2 weeks ago I did a century and felt absolutely great.

It seems like when I ride outside, I rarely have problems with my achilles (the rare occasion is if I do LOTS of steep hills which doesn't happen often), but when I ride on the trainer, my achilles tends to get sore. I am using the same bike, pedals and shoes as when I ride outside. I have a Minoura rim drive trainer which has the little rubber wheels that put resistance on the rims. I have the resistance set to the easiest setting and just use my gears to increase/decrease it. Spinning on this trainer is pretty different from riding outside - there's definitely a "dragging" feeling and it seems difficult to do pulling up and pushing down equally.

Has anyone had a similar experience? I want to continue training in the winter season, but I live in Michigan, so outside riding is sort of sketchy. Is there anything else I can try that might take the pressure off of my achilles? Rollers? Tough it out and go outside?

Any insight would be great. I am frustrated!

09-24-2006, 07:30 PM
on the trainer you are doing the same thing over and over.

In the real world, you are changing position and force all the time.

Can you try standing/coasting/shifting your body while you are in the trainer to give your achilles some variety?

09-25-2006, 05:58 PM

You said you've stopped running. Have you had any problem since then? Is it possible that it was more the running than the indoor riding that caused your achilles tendonitis?

If you're pretty sure it was the indoor riding, then Knotted's advice is right on the nose! Vary your position on the bike as much as you are able when you are on the trainer. Stand up, lean one way and then the other (not so much you tip the trainer over!:eek: ) Make sure you warm up well before you start pushing. Did you talk about this with your PT? Maybe she/he would have some insight as to what caused the problem. Were there certain exercises you did while in PT that you could start to do now to prevent the problem from occurring? I know what it's like to have to ride indoors in the winter - it gets plenty cold here, too. Plus dark! So I hope you are able to make it work for you.


09-29-2006, 11:35 AM
I haven't ran since October of last year, so running isn't the problem. I did try doing some standing, fake coasting and changing resistance here and there and that seemed to help a little. I notice that my hamstrings are more likely to get tight when I'm on the trainer, too - even when I move around. I wasn't sure if it was my position or what. It just amazes me that I can ride a century with no pain, but be sore after 1 hour on the trainer. Riding on the road is much easier and more enjoyable!

09-30-2006, 10:56 AM
Chronic tendinitis is often misdiagnosed tendonosis-look up the symptoms and treatment in the sports medicine sites. Eccentric weight training, balance pads and stretching, and red laser therapy will help you return to your former self. A progressive pt clinic or chiropractor will have the laser, not easy to find.

Chronic overuse and pain will only make matters worse. Good luck

10-01-2006, 06:25 AM
A close friend of mine also struggles chronic achilles tendinitis. His condition was initially caused by a running injury years ago and now flares up when he's on the bike (go figure). One leg is 1/4 inch shorter than the other, which was probably at the root of the problem, and if he doesn't back off when the condition starts the pain can affect his knee and hip. Rest, hydration and diet are his solutions, along with orthotics. I agree with Knotted as well, when you're on the bike you move around a lot and probably unconsciously get into less stressful positions.
If the problem continues, I suggest seeing an experienced sports PT.