Riding a bike for leisure or fitness is a great way to keep in shape while enjoying the outdoors. This exercise is less stressful on your feet and joints than other types of exercise but it can also lead to foot injuries and pain if you do not take precautions.
Types of Bicycling Foot Injuries
It is common to suffer pain or an injury to your foot while biking. Some injuries that can occur include:
- Achilles tendinitis. This condition is the result of overuse. Achilles tendinitis happens when your calf muscles contract as you pedal. It can cause pain and swelling at the back of your leg above your heel.
- Foot or arch pain. You may feel pain in the balls of your feet, heels, or your arches after a long bike ride due to the pressure you place on the pedals. You may also experience tingling or swelling due to the same reason. Foot or arch pain can occur if your shoes are too tight or if you are riding in a gear that is too high for the terrain.
- Stress fracture. The pressure you place on the pedals of the bike can lead to a stress fracture in your foot or ankles. This is due to overuse and can develop over time.
Avoiding Foot Injuries While Bicycling
To avoid foot pain or injuries while bicycling, consider the following:
- Shoes and socks. Wear shoes designed for biking and make sure that they fit properly. You will want shoes that have room in the toes and do not fit tightly. Socks should be made from a moisture-wicking material that can prevent friction which can lead to blisters. Socks can also prevent swelling from riding.
- Foot positioning. The position of your feet on the pedals is important while bicycling and can help prevent pain and injuries to your feet. Since pedaling causes force to your feet, you will want to make sure that the force is evenly distributed.
- Seat height. The correct seat height can help prevent heel and foot pain. Make sure that you are seated in a position where your heel can make full contact with the pedal.
- Rest. Be sure to rest your feet if you begin to feel pain or your feet get tired. Enjoy descents so you can reduce the pressure of pedaling.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you have injured your foot while bicycling or are experiencing pain, Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry can help. We offer a free initial consultation and can create a customized plan to address your concerns. To set up an appointment, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET.