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Ruthless Sailor
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I have been off the bike for ten days now after developing some pain and swelling in my achilles. I have seen my doc, been taking 800mg of ibuprofin 3x day, and following R.I.C.E. as well as doing my best to keep it active with walking and hiking. I've done my research and found the stretches and exercises recommended. Now that my strengh is nearing 100% and the pain is nearly gone, I am wondering when it will be safe to start some easy spinning. Any advice / experience would be greatly appreciated
 

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BS the DC
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Fastgaijin said:
I have been off the bike for ten days now after developing some pain and swelling in my achilles. I have seen my doc, been taking 800mg of ibuprofin 3x day, and following R.I.C.E. as well as doing my best to keep it active with walking and hiking. I've done my research and found the stretches and exercises recommended. Now that my strengh is nearing 100% and the pain is nearly gone, I am wondering when it will be safe to start some easy spinning. Any advice / experience would be greatly appreciated
Based on the information provided, I think you can start with easy spinning. Progress slow and steady. Back off if pain or swelling increases.
 

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bsdc said:
Based on the information provided, I think you can start with easy spinning. Progress slow and steady. Back off if pain or swelling increases.

I completely agree here. 2-3 months ago I had steadily been increasing weekly mileage, when suddenly i got pain and slight swelling in my left achilles. I basically ignored this and did a 3 hour indoor ride the next day. Needless to say, this made the swelling worse. So i took 2 weeks off, didn't touch the bike, and my first ride back did 60 miles on the flats and could hardly walk afterwards because the achilles was so sore and tight. This time I took about 3 weeks off, did some swimming and lots of stretching. When I finally decided to ride again, I got on the mountain bike and just did some easy spinning for an hour or so on local roads. For the next 2-3 weeks i steadily increased my ride times, not going over 2.5-3 hours, slowly incorporating the road bike back into my rides. With this progressive increase in intensity, the achilles did fine. The last couple weeks I have been doing 5-6 hour rides with no problem whatsoever.

My advice is: FEAR that injury and act accordingly. Give it as much rest as you can stand, because if you push it before it is ready, it will only get worse. By the way, a good strengthening technique is sort of a reverse calf raise. Standing on the edge of a step, start at the top position of a calf raise and, on one leg, slowly lower down. Do several sets. As you get stronger, put some weight in a backpack to increase the load.
 

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Ruthless Sailor
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Discussion Starter #4
Patience is a virtue...

amygdala said:
I completely agree here. 2-3 months ago I had steadily been increasing weekly mileage, when suddenly i got pain and slight swelling in my left achilles. I basically ignored this and did a 3 hour indoor ride the next day. Needless to say, this made the swelling worse. So i took 2 weeks off, didn't touch the bike, and my first ride back did 60 miles on the flats and could hardly walk afterwards because the achilles was so sore and tight. This time I took about 3 weeks off, did some swimming and lots of stretching. When I finally decided to ride again, I got on the mountain bike and just did some easy spinning for an hour or so on local roads. For the next 2-3 weeks i steadily increased my ride times, not going over 2.5-3 hours, slowly incorporating the road bike back into my rides. With this progressive increase in intensity, the achilles did fine. The last couple weeks I have been doing 5-6 hour rides with no problem whatsoever.

My advice is: FEAR that injury and act accordingly. Give it as much rest as you can stand, because if you push it before it is ready, it will only get worse. By the way, a good strengthening technique is sort of a reverse calf raise. Standing on the edge of a step, start at the top position of a calf raise and, on one leg, slowly lower down. Do several sets. As you get stronger, put some weight in a backpack to increase the load.

Thanks to you both for your input. I have been doing those eccentric calf raises you mentioned, thanks, and they seem to work. I've also found heat and compression to be very helpful whenever the healing gets stubborn. Still taking Motrin, but considering tapering that off now as there's little pain or swelling left.

I think the root cause for me, other than perhaps overtraining, is a lack of respect for stretching. Now I am taking this seriously, and not only am I learning every stretch possible for the achilles, calf, soleus, etc, but I've been doing a little yoga/pilates as well -- this stuff is great! I highly recommend it as I have learned stretches that I never even considered before that do absolute wonders.

I will continue to take your recommendations to heart and be patient in returning to riding -- I've been riding all winter here in Japan, but it has been cold lately and thankfully it's made it a little less depressing not being able to ride. Think summer...
 

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After a couple of months away from cycling I have begun soem indoor spinning daily - I have noticed an awkward tightness and sharp pain in my left achillies area of my ankle. Most noticiable in the AM (walking up and starirs) but becomes better as the day goes on and streches out. In reading your posts is this an injury that became worse over a period of time or did it become and injury farily quickly? Should I be concerned with my pain (although now it seeems minor) that this could be the start of something bigger?
 

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Ruthless Sailor
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Discussion Starter #6
Eccentricities...

DJF said:
After a couple of months away from cycling I have begun soem indoor spinning daily - I have noticed an awkward tightness and sharp pain in my left achillies area of my ankle. Most noticiable in the AM (walking up and starirs) but becomes better as the day goes on and streches out. In reading your posts is this an injury that became worse over a period of time or did it become and injury farily quickly? Should I be concerned with my pain (although now it seeems minor) that this could be the start of something bigger?
This injury, for me, showed it's symptoms somewhat suddenly, and I aggravated things by -- ignorantly and with a touch of denial -- continuing to train. The sooner you back off, assess your root causes, and make a plan for recovery, the faster you will be 100% again.

I highly recommend searching this forum using the keyword "achilles". There are many posts with very good advice, info, and links. Some things I have addressed include saddle height (found mine was a bit high), cleat placement (moved them back), rest, and stretching (now my biggest focus). It's hard to find cycling specific information as runner's seem to have the franchise on achilles injuries, but here's a site where you can learn the popular "eccentric" exercises many say are beneficial:

http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/achilles-tendinitis.php

Good luck to you...
 
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