Sore Achilles Heel Tendon

Apr 19, 2009
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I have started riding again after a couple years of being off the bike from a cosistent training perspective and have noticed I have had some soreness in my left achilles heel.

Any idea as to why and what i can do to remedy the soreness?
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Sore Achilles

euphrades, I just went through this about 1 month ago. I was having pain that steadily got worse. It got to the point where I had a difficulty walking. So my advice to you:

1. Don't push it. Take time off the bike. I tried to take a few days off, it started to get better but then got worse once I started to ride. Finally I took 2 weeks off until the pain was finally gone.

2. How did it happen? Typically this injury occurs from poor riding set up or form. Your seat might be too low or you are dropping your heal too much on your down stroke.

3. How to keep it from happening again? Check your bike set up. Focus on keeping your pedal stroke flat (don't drop the heal so much ...especially on those tough climbs). Stretch after riding.

I have been riding pain free!!!

Hope this helps.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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Part of the problem may also be tight calves which can be released with a good deep tissue sports massage. This will help take some of the strain off the achilles tendon. Most cyclists also suffer from tight hamstrings as well, so have that worked on as well. Stretching is great long term, but to ease things off now, try a couple of massage treatments.
You can also look at moving your cleats back a 3-5 millimeters, especially if you have larger feet. You may need to lower your seat a hair to accomodate for that change.
And as you've already heard, ease off on the mileage, and ice post-ride.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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steresi2 said:
euphrades, Check your bike set up. Focus on keeping your pedal stroke flat (don't drop the heal so much ...especially on those tough climbs). Stretch after riding.

I have been riding pain free!!!

Hope this helps.
It helped a lot I have been hitting the hills a bit harder lately and i am sure its me dropping my heel. I noticed yesterday that it was a bit tight as well as my calf when I was riding. I did some streching on the bike and when i got hom and there was no issues this morning

Looks like I need to stretch more and not drop my heel. I know i was doing that.

Thanks for all the help.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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CHECK OUT The Stretching Handbook
By Bradley E. Walker

He has stretches and injury descriptions that will assist you in most sports and sports injuries.

Ha has a few books out

Good Luck
 
Jun 16, 2009
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i was mis diagnosed with achilles tendinitis later i found i had planatar facitis(spelling) if you have it bad it will move from your foot to your heel to your achilles even up your calf.
anyway stretches really work. Alot of masters runners suffer with this and through one of their websites i found stretches guaranteed to work. they really did, i can't remember totally but one was to draw the alphabet in the air using just your foot and another was put a towel on the floor reach out with your toes and try and pull the towel toward you by curling your toes under.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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Okay soreness came back...after being off the bike for almost 4 days. It seems to be more when i stand up than when I am sitting.

One of the guys I ride with uses the same pedals as me and he said that the Look/Shimano cleats need to be pushed back all the way. I can't find any article to support what he says. I am riding the Shimano Dura Ace pedals and have been for a couple years but its possible they have been out of adjustment for a while.

Let me know your thoughts...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I had somthing that sounds very simular. My solution was that my cleat was not going forward enough. I needed to get the cleat right under the ball of my foot.

Once I made the change, back to my old shoes and pedals, and gave enough time to recover. Problem Solved. Pain gone
 
Oct 10, 2009
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drop your saddle...5mm to 1cm even if it feels to low give it a go.The problem is if your saddle is too high you put pressure on the heel at the bottom of your stroke....I stuffed up my saddle height once and didn't notice for 6 weeks.I could hardly walk in the end my tendon / heel / sole were so sore.Raise it slowly up till you think it is right after a week or two.But not as high as original.
 
Oct 23, 2009
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I struggle with the same thing all summer...kept coming back. Here's how I cracked it from advise from others:

1. 2-3 weeks off the bike. When you walk, walk with perfect posture, shoulders back and all, I was amazed how much that helped.

2. You can resume riding after the time off but every time out take a piece of cloth tape and run it vertically from under your heel right up to the bottom of your calf muscle. Brace it with 2 or 3 cross pieces of tape. This keeps your heel from dropping and stressing the tendon. You have to go lightly though, because locked in like that, you can overstress your knee...be careful. The taping really helped me keep riding without stressing the tendon and while I did exercises to strengthen the tendon (like heel rises)

3. Stretching: Back, legs, ankle rotations (both directions). Obviously, take special care with the calves. I found that stretching before riding didn't help much or even made things worse. Stretch as soon as possible after riding.

4. Iceing: Ice the tendon after stretching or at least some time before going to sleep.

5. At my age, (44) I've also found I've had to keep this maintenance up and it hasn't given me problems. When I've stopped the maintenance, the calves would start tightening, and I could tell the tendonitis was coming back. After resuming the maintenance, the discomfort would go away.

Also, it's important to try and figure out what caused the problem and fix it. The other posts had good suggestions. In my case it was a worn out cleat. I replaced it soon after getting the tendonitis, but unlike previous similar times, the pain didn't go away...sigh, I'm getting old.
 
Nov 3, 2009
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Rock7586 said:
I had somthing that sounds very simular. My solution was that my cleat was not going forward enough. I needed to get the cleat right under the ball of my foot.

Once I made the change, back to my old shoes and pedals, and gave enough time to recover. Problem Solved. Pain gone
Bingo, try moving your cleat back on the shoe (therefore your foot moves forward relative to the pedal) effectively giving you better leverage and straining your achilles/calf a lot less.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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RMcSEA43 said:
I struggle with the same thing all summer...kept coming back. Here's how I cracked it from advise from others:

1. 2-3 weeks off the bike. When you walk, walk with perfect posture, shoulders back and all, I was amazed how much that helped.

2. You can resume riding after the time off but every time out take a piece of cloth tape and run it vertically from under your heel right up to the bottom of your calf muscle. Brace it with 2 or 3 cross pieces of tape. This keeps your heel from dropping and stressing the tendon. You have to go lightly though, because locked in like that, you can overstress your knee...be careful. The taping really helped me keep riding without stressing the tendon and while I did exercises to strengthen the tendon (like heel rises)

3. Stretching: Back, legs, ankle rotations (both directions). Obviously, take special care with the calves. I found that stretching before riding didn't help much or even made things worse. Stretch as soon as possible after riding.

4. Iceing: Ice the tendon after stretching or at least some time before going to sleep.

5. At my age, (44) I've also found I've had to keep this maintenance up and it hasn't given me problems. When I've stopped the maintenance, the calves would start tightening, and I could tell the tendonitis was coming back. After resuming the maintenance, the discomfort would go away.

Also, it's important to try and figure out what caused the problem and fix it. The other posts had good suggestions. In my case it was a worn out cleat. I replaced it soon after getting the tendonitis, but unlike previous similar times, the pain didn't go away...sigh, I'm getting old.
All of the above helped - but I found that moving the cleat forward on the foot that was having a problem helped me a lot, however, my case may be different from most since I have a leg that is an inch and a half shorter which make the set up difficult (the short leg was the one that had the Achilles problem).
 
Jul 9, 2009
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I had the same, progressively worse to eventually impeding walking. I went and saw a physio. He gave me stretches that helped. Most importantly he explained the whole friction thing. I loved my "old" Time shoes so much I just kept using them even though they were falling apart. The padding at the back of the shoe was starting to tear and deform - he explained this could have been the start of it, increased friction. Check your riding shoes. Second, he looked at the casual shoes I was wearing, same problem - I seem to wear this section of all my shoes out rather quickly. Finally, I also swam at various times in the year and used flippers for different workouts - this may also have been contributing. In my case, retiring the old Times for new ones made the biggest difference, but I now pay attention to all the shoes I wear in terms of potential friction points.
 

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