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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
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    4,197

    Angry Dumb heel and/or ankle!

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    I can deal with body parts that wrinkle, sag or pooch.
    I don't mind if my hair is a tad thinner.
    But darn it, I hate when body parts decide to go on strike--without warning!

    I've been on my mtb in Nov/Dec/Jan and aside from being a weenie on occasion, I've not had any problems. Then I get on the road bike for the first long ride of the season and I was thoroughly enjoying it for the first 40 miles. I felt strong, my cadence was 95, and my av. speed was 17.2 mph. Then out of nowhere my achilles tendon on the right foot goes haywire in a big way with pain and swelling. A lump developed in the middle of my tendon and I had to wear clogs for a couple of days because of the swelling. Funny thing is, I could stretch it and it didn't even hurt.

    So I called the ortho doc Monday and explained to his nurse what happened this past weekend. She suggested I do some stretching exercises (which I have been) and to consider using a heel cup. I'll give it a try but I'm not optimistic. I won't get to see the doc until next week if it's not better.

    I hate getting old(er).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca
    Posts
    1,004
    sundial...I had some achilles issues last week because of some sloppy saddle swapping and bike fitting on my part. Long story short, my saddle was too high, I angered my achilles and was off the bike for two days. Lots of rest and icing and I felt better when I rode on Monday.

    Could your saddle on your road bike be too high?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Brandy, it doesn't feel like it but I can lower it just a little and see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,940
    That is how I feel about the current misbehavior of my knee. Blam out of nowhere. What the heck....It is frustrating.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
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    4,197
    Rocknrollgirl, it is frustrating, isn't it?

    Brandy, I lowered the seat on my bike and took it out for a ride. My achilles knot was starting to rear it's ugly head again so I headed back. I'm beginning to wonder if I am due for orthotics.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,576
    You might only be due for a medial forefoot wedge (like are built into Specialized Body Geometry shoes, or you can have put into your shoes at a shoe repair shop).

    If your forefoot doesn't get the weight transfer pattern heel-toe like it does when walking, it doesn't always get set up to be a rigid lever. So it kind of collapses (pronates) throwing your foot/ankle/knee/and sometimes hip out of whack. Sometimes the poor achilles tendon will jump in at this point and try to stabilize the system. Since it really can't do that well, ya get tendonitis and other nasty boogers. (if the achilles doesn't even try, you can end up with knee pain as it is the next joint to take the stress)

    A medial wedge (3 to 5 degrees) in the forefoot stabilizes and approximates a rigid lever.

    Most PTs can give you a wedge of the correct angle for you, for free (billed as part of your treatment) A shoe store or shoe repair shop will charge you about $15. Bike shops sometimes do it as part of a fitting.

    If you want UNOFFICIAL NOT-MEDICAL-ADVICE DO AT YOUR OWN RISK hints of how to fake a wedge with a piece of typing paper, PM me.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Hi Knot, thanks for the information. You're always helpful when it comes to these things.

    I wear Specialized BG Sport mtb shoes with Frogs on my road bike and Tahos with BMX pedals on my mtb. I haven't noticed a knot developing in my achilles (or pain!) when I wear the Tahos, but I think I do remember having a tinge of discomfort with the mtb shoes last summer. Then of course it got really nasty on my first long ride of the season. So I'm wondering if I have to ditch the BG Sport shoes for something else? I'm going to try the heel cup thingies but in all honesty I think I will probably need orthotics. My right achilles decided to chime in with my bad right knee.

    I was thinking about my shoes and I recall that there is one pair of Adidas that causes me the same problem. I don't have problems with Merrells.
    My knot goes away usually in a day. Then when I wear certain shoes it comes back.

    Ahhh, the joys of expired warranties.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Sundial, where exactly is the knot? Is it close to where the achilles attaches to the heel or is it higher up, more like where the achilles starts if you were referencing the portion closest to the knee as your starting point? Or someplace in between? Is in more in the muscle above the achilles?

    And do you have any numbness/tingling in the lower leg or foot?

    And yeah, what Knott said about the wedging.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Hi Wahine, my knot seems to be at the same altitude (??) as the ankle bone.
    When I run my fingers down both sides of the achilles, it's tender. It is more tender on the lateral side of the tendon and only rears it's head when I ride my road bike or wear a certain pair of Adidas shoes. Then I get a knot which feels like the size of a macadamia nut. I do not get pain in the ball or arch of the foot and I don't experience tingling. My knot goes away after a day or two. When I got home from cycling yesterday and really stretched the tendon, it felt like twisted rubber bands creaking together. Does that make sense? No pain, just that weird friction sensation.

    I just bought Blue Spot heel cups to try and the doc wants me to wear them on the affected foot. I feel like I'm wearing a stacked shoe, lol.

    I'll get on the bike in a day or so and give it a whirl again. Maybe, just maybe, the heel cup will help.

    Thanks for asking and hopefully we can figure out a solution together.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    It does sound like localized achilles inflammation. Which brings us back to the search for the cause. Could be alignment (see Knott's post above), I would suggest going for a deep tissue massage to make sure there aren't any nasty trigger points in your calf that need to be worked out.

    You might want to try these:

    http://www.networkfitness.com/Networ...20Products.htm

    If you're thinking about it I'd go with the starter set.

    Is there any possibility of direct pressure on that part of the tendon causing swelling? If that's the case, it needs to be relieved.

    Keep posting and let us know haw you're doing.
    Last edited by Wahine; 01-17-2008 at 12:37 PM.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    I have a wonderful medical massage therapist I go to. This will give me a great excuse to go see her. I wore the heel cup today but only on the right foot. Am I suppose to wear it in both shoes? The doc didn't specify in his special instructions.

    Can one see a PT without a Rx?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post

    If your forefoot doesn't get the weight transfer pattern heel-toe like it does when walking, it doesn't always get set up to be a rigid lever. So it kind of collapses (pronates) throwing your foot/ankle/knee/and sometimes hip out of whack. Sometimes the poor achilles tendon will jump in at this point and try to stabilize the system. Since it really can't do that well, ya get tendonitis and other nasty boogers. (if the achilles doesn't even try, you can end up with knee pain as it is the next joint to take the stress)
    You know, I wonder if this is what is going on with my knee. I had a bunion removed when I was twenty. I developed them because my foot doesn't get rigid when I walk. The podiatrist said it was a bio-mechanical issue, right up there with the hammer toes I've had since I was a baby.

    Anyway, I've noticed lately that my right knee has a tendency to lean towards the outside when I ride. If I ride long enough like that, it hurts. If I think about it, and keep the knee pointing inward, I've been able to make the pain go away. I call it lazy knee syndrome.

    Yes, I'll be going in for a bike fitting soon.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    I have a wonderful medical massage therapist I go to. This will give me a great excuse to go see her. I wore the heel cup today but only on the right foot. Am I suppose to wear it in both shoes? The doc didn't specify in his special instructions.

    Can one see a PT without a Rx?
    Put the heel cups in both shoes. You don't want to mess with your blance in your pelvis or someplace else by walking around lopsided.

    As for the Rx that varies from state to state and from one ins. co to the next. Call your insurance and ask, then call a PT office and check with them.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Ok, saw the ortho doc today and he said I have...........tendonosis. The tech x-rayed my ankle and there was no calcification. He said I have scar tissue that has been there for some time. He prescribed a air heel thing to wear and to try a different set of heel cups since my Blue Dot ones didn't help on my last mtb ride. We went over the stretching exercises and he wants me to try a compound that is to be applied twice a day on the site. As for orthotics, he wasn't interested in going that route and wants me to meet with my favorite bike shop guy to get fitted with a Sole (a shoe insole that is heated, placed in the shoe and worn during cycling while it cools to fit the foot). If I continue to have problems, he'll prescribe ultrasound therapy.

    I hope I can get relief through the heel cup and such and not be sidelined for the upcoming cycling season. I'm just now getting into the groove of things.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Can I make just one observation from my experience with folks who have used the heat-molded insoles?

    You take an unhappy foot, and you make a mold of it. Then every time you take a step (or pedal stroke) on that foot you force it back into that unhappy position. Reinforcing the mechanical problem over and over again.

    The heat moldable insoles are great for folks who don't have mechanical problems, I'm not against them for healthy feet.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

 

 

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