Summertime is the perfect time to jump on your two-wheeled pedaler and get moving! Before you do, take some caution and read on about some common bike riding related foot injuries. We will also share some tips on avoiding injury while summer biking!
Common Biking Injuries and ways to prevent them
1. Hot Foot
- Definition: This condition is also known as metatarsalgia. It is characterized by a painful burning in the ball of your foot. When the nerves in your feet are pinched, it will cause a pain that you can’t ‘bike through’.
- Causes: A combination of hot weather, poorly fitting shoes, and a long bike ride.
- Remedy: Hop off your bike, remove your shoes, and let your feet cool down. You will also want to take preventative measures such as adding supportive insoles to your cycling shoes. These will take pressure off your nerves.
- Definition: Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that is quite painful.
- Causes: Biking can put a lot of strain on the calves, this injury develops due to overuse of the tendon. Additionally, a bike that does not fit you properly can cause this. A bike with a too-high seat will make toes point downward as you pedal, making your calf muscles contract far too much.
- Remedy: To avoid this injury, don’t overdo the distance when you bike, and keep your seat adjusted at a comfortably low height. This will allow your Achilles tendon to get a break between pedals.
3. Shin Splints
- Definition: Shin splints are an irritation on your lower leg that manifests with pain or swelling.
- Causes: Like Achilles tendinitis, this injury may afflict bikers because of overuse due to muscle imbalances that may make the surrounding muscles and tendons work too hard when you pedal. If you have collapsed arches or flat feet, those conditions may make this injury worse.
- Remedy: To avoid shin splints, always stretch before and after a bike ride. If flat feet are an issue, consider being fitted for orthotics if you plan on making bike riding a long-term hobby.
Take the Bike Indoors for a Comfy Ride
If you still find it too painful to bike outdoors after considering this information, you may want to take your riding indoors!
- Recumbent Bicycles: These help people with foot problems because instead of the up-and-down movement of a standard bicycle, recumbent bikes move in an out-and-down motion, reducing the impact on your feet.
- Stationary Bike: A stationary bike is also a good choice. If you like the idea of a more intense workout, but want to minimize pressure on the feet, try cycling at a greater intensity but with lower resistance—this combination is better on the feet than the high-intensity, high-resistance combination.
Of course, as we indicated above, proper form will also minimize pain during indoor rides. Your feet should fit snugly in the pedals. When you are at the lowest point of rotation, your knees should be bent slightly and your toes should be level—not pointing up or flexing down.
Whether you’re taking a leisurely ride in your neighborhood, working towards competitive cycling, or hitting the indoor spin studio, biking is a fantastic sport–as long as you take care of your feet! If you have experienced any biking or other sport-related foot injury, contact https://kansascityfootandankle.com/ so you can get back to doing the activity you love.
Kansas City Foot and Ankle
1010 Carondelet Dr, Suite 310, Kansas City, MO 64114
9501 N Oak Trafficway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64155
3600 NE Ralph Powell Rd, Suite D, Lee’s Summit, MO 64015
The foot and ankle specialists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle offer sports podiatry, diabetic foot care, and treatment and surgery of all foot and ankle problems to residents of Kansas City and surrounding areas.