The many miles and hills around the South Bay make cycling an exciting way to stay fit, not to mention the gorgeous views. It’s easy to make this a lifestyle, especially with such a large cycling community in the area. With habit, though, comes repetition, and with it must come good form in order to stay pain free.
The ankles can get stressed after long rides. This can be from improper foot position, having flat feet, having too high of a saddle, riding in soft-soled shoes, having a bent pedal or crank…the list goes on.
The most common ankle pain complaint from cyclists is pain in the back of the ankle, which often indicates Achilles tendonitis. Severe Achilles tendon problems may require surgery, but In early stages, they can often be remedied with ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and rest. Gently stretching the Achilles tendon is also important. One way to do this is to stand with the ball of the foot on a stair or curb for 20-30 seconds and let the heel hang down, taking care not to overstretch. If the symptoms don’t subside, or the pain has migrated or is getting worse, it’s time to see an orthopedic doctor.
A board certified orthopedic doctor specializing in ankle problems is usually the best choice for these types of issues. He or she can create a custom treatment program that helps you get back on your bike sooner and can advise you about the most ideal form for your particular body mechanics. If you need custom shoe orthotics, this person is also the most qualified resource. Having the right diagnosis and treatment for your pain, especially if you want to get back to logging miles quickly, takes a qualified medical expert who will listen carefully to your needs and goals, and be your partner as you heal and move into health again.