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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
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    675

    Clenching my toes

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    Ok, so this is a weird problem, but I clench the toes on my right foot when I ride. When I become aware of it, I consciously make them relax, but as soon as my attention wanders elsewhere, there they go again. I don't do it on my left foot. I have nice bicycling shoes by Specialized. They fit well and are comfortable and supportive. This is getting really painful.

    Deb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Over the top
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    13,535
    I wonder if maybe your saddle is too high or too far forward. Those give me all kinds of trouble with my calves (which, the calf muscles operate on the feet and toes).

    Have you had a fitting?

    Or, maybe your feet swell while you ride, and your shoes are actually too small? Or they're too big, and your right foot is trying to grip the sole of the shoe to keep it from moving around? Most people's feet aren't exactly the same size - do you know whether your right foot is bigger or smaller than your left?
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,690
    I've dealt with this on and off over the years. For me, it seems to happen when my feet start sliding in my shoes and I'm trying to stabilize that motion. Careful adjustment of the straps helps. Adding good insoles that fit well and are supportive helps too.

    Good luck with this!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    397
    Monkey toes. I seem to do it for no discernible reason--but particularly when I'm focused. I just make a practice of being aware of it and consciously relaxing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    675
    Quote Originally Posted by maryellen View Post
    Monkey toes. I seem to do it for no discernible reason--but particularly when I'm focused. I just make a practice of being aware of it and consciously relaxing.
    I think that's it for me, too. My shoes fit well, and my bike is adjusted for me.

    Deb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,258
    I do this, too, with my left foot. There is no reason why. I just started noticing that I am doing it again when riding... I had a problem with this when I was pregnant with my first son, 27 years ago! I thought it was some weird pregnancy pain, when my foot was hurting like hell from it, and mentioned it to my ob-gyn. We figured out I was clenching my toe every time I pushed the clutch in my car! Henceforth, this disease was called "clutch toe."
    DUH.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas City area
    Posts
    5,252
    Quote Originally Posted by maryellen View Post
    Monkey toes. I seem to do it for no discernible reason--but particularly when I'm focused. I just make a practice of being aware of it and consciously relaxing.
    I do this too! Right foot only...shoes fit fine, bike fits fine. It does tend to make my right toes go numb after awhile, then I notice, stop clenching, wiggle them a bunch, they get the feeling back. Then I forget until I notice myself clenching them again!

    Monkey toes, eh? I like it!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Quote Originally Posted by maryellen View Post
    Monkey toes. I seem to do it for no discernible reason--but particularly when I'm focused. I just make a practice of being aware of it and consciously relaxing.
    Same here. I also tend to roll my toes under my feet when I'm just standing around, barefoot. It freaks DH out....and fascinated this guy who was doing a ski boot fitting for me on time. I clench my toes in my shoes, my ski boots, ...wait...I'm even doing it now. Dang.
    I also try to be aware and wiggle my toes to relax them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,132
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    I do this too! Right foot only...shoes fit fine, bike fits fine. It does tend to make my right toes go numb after awhile, then I notice, stop clenching, wiggle them a bunch, they get the feeling back. Then I forget until I notice myself clenching them again!
    Ditto. Crazy, huh?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas City area
    Posts
    5,252
    Quote Originally Posted by salsabike View Post
    Ditto. Crazy, huh?
    I can tell I work harder with my right leg and my left just kinda "goes along for the ride", so I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not, but perhaps.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo
    2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Bontrager Select FIT CRZ+
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flo

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    675
    I've debated asking a podiatrist if there's some sort of insert I can put in my shoe to prevent it. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does this.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Over the top
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    13,535
    I dunno... all you who say you do it for "no reason," are you sure there are no trigger points in your calves? It doesn't sound right to me...


    ETA: I just got one of these, because the trigger points in my calves are so deep and so firmly established. The Stick and foam rollers were just too flexible to do them any good, and I couldn't into the high trigger points close to my knee, using the opposite kneecap. I suppose a narrow pastry rolling pin would do just as well. Or maybe a golf ball and body weight on bare floor, although that could be hard to control.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    94
    I do this also.

    First, and foremost....if you are having foot pain that is not going away, see a podiatrist. Trust me....the sooner you get in to address whatever is going on---the better off you will be.


    Your instinct is right----be wary of doing this with your toe. You may be developing a "hammer toe," which can cause (or be the result of) a neuroma in your foot (read: a pissed of nerve that swelled, moved, and causes pain/numbness etc.etc.). (Welcome to my life!)

    Make sure that the toe box (front wider part) of your shoe is big enough. (Or that you aren't cinching it down too too tight when you ride).

    Also, make sure you are keeping your heel down (feet flat) when you ride, and not lifting your heel tons and tons. This strains the ball of your foot/puts pressure there, and you may be curling your toe subconsciously as a way to relieve pressure or something that you aren't even aware you are putting on your foot.

    Hope this helps. If you have more questions. Ask away!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,690
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I dunno... all you who say you do it for "no reason," are you sure there are no trigger points in your calves? It doesn't sound right to me...


    ETA: I just got one of these, because the trigger points in my calves are so deep and so firmly established. The Stick and foam rollers were just too flexible to do them any good, and I couldn't into the high trigger points close to my knee, using the opposite kneecap. I suppose a narrow pastry rolling pin would do just as well. Or maybe a golf ball and body weight on bare floor, although that could be hard to control.
    Oakleaf, your post convinced me to buy a foam roller (only self-massage thingy I could find locally). Holy cow, it's amazing! I found knots in my legs and IT band that I didn't know existed.

    Thanks for the suggestion

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    7

    I do this also!

    Hi Deb,
    I am a podiatrist. And I do the same thing with my left foot. I also notice it when I am driving in my car sometimes. It is not a problem unless you are having pain or your foot is going numb. This is a neurovascular issue and you need to wiggle your toes when you think of it. Also, I get relief by clipping out of my left pedal when I am at a red light or when I stop. The other thing that could be going on is that your socks are too thick or your shoe is too small. You may be getting some swelling in the foot....especially if you ride in the afternoon or evenings. Anyway, let me know if you get any relief. Take care and good luck !!
    Anna

 

 

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