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Foot numbness on longer rides(9 posts)

Foot numbness on longer ridesAllez Rouge
Nov 19, 2002 12:22 PM
When I have been riding for two-and-a-half to three hours, I'll often get a severe tingling sensation on the bottom of my right foot. It's a lot like the feeling you get when your foot has gone to sleep and is "waking up," only it's a lot more intense, and it's confined to the very bottom of my foot, right above the pedal. And it happens ONLY with the right foot, never the left.

I've tried thicker socks, and thinner socks. I've made sure my shoes aren't laced too tightly (including loosening them slightly during the ride, to allow for swelling). Nothing seems to make a significant difference. Someone suggested that the trouble might be higher up, meaning pinched-off circulation because of my saddle, but I'm skeptical of that one since the pain/tingle is highly localized.

Anyone else experience this? Anyone have a cure?
Try moving cleat on shoe -- fore/aft . . .mja
Nov 19, 2002 12:29 PM
This was an earlier post, by a seemingly (?) knowledgeable person:
Numbness in the feet is due to a nerve crush under the third metatarsal head, called Mortons neuroma. Try to move your cleat on the shoe back [1 mm at a time] some to take the pressure off the the metatarsal head. or put some Dr. Sholes in your shoes to help cushion this area. This will be helpful especially if it is the middle toe that gets numb. If it is the outside of your foot, don't tie your shoes so tight, or get new ones -- they don't fit right.
Clarification on Morton's NeuromaKerry
Nov 19, 2002 4:43 PM
Morton's Neuroma is a condition that develops with time as the major nerve that runs between the toe bones gets irritated, swollen, and finally permanently enlarged. You can get one between toes 2/3, 3/4, or 4/5, though 3/4 is most commont. It gives a feeling of wanting the foot to be arched left to right for pain relief. The problem is caused by too much squeeze of the forefoot. Most typical sufferers are women, due to wearing narrow toed, high heel shoes. Prevention is wider shoes and/or adding a metatarsal arch support (Dr. Sholls). First treatment is steroid injections to reduce swelling and enlargement. Final treatment is surgical removal. Morton's Neuroma is not the cause of foot numbness, though foot numbness may be an indication of too-tight shoes that could cause a neuroma.
re: Foot numbness on longer ridesmainframe
Nov 19, 2002 12:44 PM
Might you be creating what is often described as a "hot spot" whereby (in your case) excessive pedal force is applied by a dominating right foot? In other words, the right foot runs the show. I had exactly the same symptom, albeit not as severe as you report, worked on the stroke and bingo, pain is long gone. Just a thought.
maybe you have two different sized feet NMrightsaidfred
Nov 19, 2002 2:59 PM
Combining my replies here ...Allez Rouge
Nov 19, 2002 3:14 PM
mja: Experimenting with the cleat position is certainly easy enough. I'll try that. To clarify, the pain/tingle is on the sole of my foot, on the ball of my foot ... not the toes, not the side. It's directly above the cleat so it might well be that the cleat needs to move a little.

mainframe: I've wondered about what you describe. I'm left-handed, but right-footed (so to speak: if I kick something, my left foot is clumsy but my right is reasonably coordinated). Late in this season I got a new cyclocomputer with cadence, and was pleased to learn that I have typically, and naturally, been pedaling at around 92-95rpm. That's higher than I would have guessed, but I immediately began to work on increasing my average to 100-105. This seemed to help limit the tingling, so maybe continuing to concentrate on a smoother and more "equal" spin will indeed help.

rightsaidfred: I don't understand your comment, unless you mean my feet are different enough in size as to require a different-sized shoe. If so, I don't think that's it ... the Brannock device shows the usual small variation from one to the other but it's not enough to change the size.
some more thoughtslonefrontranger
Nov 19, 2002 5:11 PM
* do one-legged drills to isolate your spin and figure out where issues in your pedal stroke reside. OLDs will isolate problems faster than anything else because there's nowhere for the bad spots in the weak and/or uncoordinated leg to "hide".
* which is your "chocolate foot"? by this I mean which one do you use for your initial power stroke getting out of the saddle, on a sprint or pulling away from a stop. If you get hotspots on your "chocolate foot" it's usually indicative of pushing harder on a dominant leg.
* I went to stiffer soled shoes and that fixed my hotspot issues, but mine were pretty even on both feet.
* do you pronate more with one leg than the other? The friction of pronation can cause hotspotting
* leg length. The "long" leg will often hotspot by virtue of simply having more pressure on it.
* Since I broke my left ankle, I've noticed some tingling / hotspotting on that side; it's related to proprioception / nerve problems and will eventually go away (acc. to my PT).

Here are my solutions;JS
Nov 19, 2002 7:09 PM
1. wider shoes, it turns out that my foot flattens quite a bit when putting downward pressure, this widening in narrow shoes ended up pinching the nerves in between the toes.
2. Arch supports(orthotics). By running these I was able to distribute the downward force over a larger area of the foot resulting in less pressure on the forefoot and less discomfort.
I get it in my non-dominate footUncleMoe
Nov 20, 2002 9:40 AM
My left foot goes numb, but not my right. The cleat set-up is near identical and I suspect my left leg is a little longer than my right. I've tried a ton of things, moving cleats, inserts such as Dr. Schols for padding, than superfeet inserts for more support, improved my spinning technique, switching to a very stiff sole.

My next purchase is going to be Peterson Powerbeds to get a firmer platform. The superfeet inserts are firm in the arch and heel, but not up front.

I'm hoping it works. I've learned to deal with it but sometimes it just really bugs me.