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Thread: Ankle pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Roseburg, OR
    Posts
    5

    Question Ankle pain

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    I'm a fairly new rider but I have built up to riding about 2-3 rides, 70-80 miles a week with 1,000-1,800 ft/elevaion gained. Lately, on my longer rides, my right ankle has begun to hurt. It has gotten progressively more bothersome. It doesn't particularly hurt to walk on it, but I can just feel that it's a bit strained. I'm surprised that this can happen while clipped in on a bike, but not sure what to do. I also feel a pain from my groin down my inner right thigh on just that leg, but I don't know if they are related. That never bothers me except riding. I think perhaps I'm compensating and spinning weird when fatigued on the climbes, but it's just the one foot. Any thoughts? TIA..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will weigh in, but in the meantime, the simplest explanation is probably a misaligned cleat. Did you have a professional fitter set your cleats up? Even if so, it could still be off by a degree or two. I'd start by turning your cleat just a tiny bit. Before you start, outline your cleat on the sole with a contrasting colored Sharpie, so that you'll know where you started. (That's a handy trick when you replace a worn-out cleat, too.) If your ankle pain is on the lateral side (the side away from the crank), turn the cleat so that your toes turn very slightly more to the right. Vice versa if your pain is on the medial side (adjacent to the crank) - in that case try turning the cleat to point your toes more to the left. Next time you ride, have the tool you need to install your cleats handy in a jersey pocket. Tweak it every five miles or so if the pain isn't gone or if you feel any pulling or strain, sooner if the pain gets worse. If two rides doing that haven't fixed your issue, and if you don't get any better suggestions here, then a fitting is probably in order.

    Also, for me, I've found it very helpful when riding to focus on weighting all four corners of the feet (first and fifth metatarsal heads, inner and outer heels), same as I do standing and walking. In cycling shoes, it's easy to put your weight unevenly across the ball of your foot, or even through the arch. As much as your feet are held rigid by cycling shoes, your ankles, legs and hips still need the support from your feet.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    My first thought also was a misaligned cleat.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to over-pronate while pedaling? I know (from painful experience) that that can cause ankle problems when walking. If the pain is on the inside of your ankle, that might be something to consider.

    http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sp.../overpronation

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    That's a tough one, Karma. Lots of possibilities.

    You may have injured something as in pulled a muscle or strained a tendon. Might want to go easy on the miles or even check with a doctor.

    Your seat may be set just a bit too high. I find that this puts more strain on my feet. Too low, of course, is a way to blow your knees. On really long rides, I sometimes change seat height as needed to reduce pressure where I'm getting pain. Might give it a try.

    Most of us have one leg longer/shorter than the other and this can place more strain on one leg/ankle/foot than the other over long stretches. My left leg is slightly shorter, so I experimented with the cleat position on the left foot, moving it just a tiny bit forward compared to my right. Seemed to help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Does anyone know if it's possible to over-pronate while pedaling?
    Certainly, that's what I meant by four corners of the feet. Just like when standing and walking, it's important to engage your entire feet (the big toe flexors are key to a lot of this) and lift all three arches.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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