This is the big cycling weekend in Collingwood and the Town of Blue Mountains. The Centurion Cycling Race winds its way through the scenic, rolling hills this area has to offer. But there are some steep elevations that must be conquered. This 100 mile race, combined with the elevation change, will put excessive stress on the feet of many athletes.
So what types of foot problems do long distance cyclists encounter? Most problems arise in the forefoot, or what is commonly referred to as “the ball of the foot” as this is where the foot contacts the pedal. The intense force generated in this small area can lead to a thinning of the natural fatty padding over time. Wearing thicker socks may help to combat this issue.
Cyclists often complain of a burning, stabbing or hot pain between the metatarsal bones. This is caused by compression of the nerves that run through this area and numbness may occur after prolonged irritation. Wearing a shoe that has a wider toebox will help reduce the compression. A metatarsal pad placed on the insole of the shoe may also offer some relief but the size, density of the material and position of the pad is critical to its success in relieving your foot pain. This placement of the pad is best done by a professional foot specialist.
Custom foot orthotics may also be required to address any biomechanical issues that you may have. Addressing these issues can help you ride more efficiently. As you push on the pedal, your foot needs to be locked so that it can function as a rigid lever. That is how you will generate the maximum force. If your foot is pronated in your shoe, and therefore unlocked, more muscles will need to be recruited to stabilize the foot. At this point energy is being wasted.
The position of the cleats can also help reduce foot pain. Purchase shoes that have adjustable cleat positions so that you can experiment with the placement. In general, moving the cleats back into the arch area helps to reduce the direct stress on the forefoot and may be all you need to do to ride comfortably.
Don’t let foot pain keep you from doing the things you love! At Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic, we can help you determine the cause of your pain and then provide a variety of treatments to stop that pain. Call our Collingwood foot clinic today (705) 444-9929 or schedule an appointment online.