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Pain in Ball of Foot: Help!(8 posts)

Pain in Ball of Foot: Help!serbski
Mar 20, 2003 4:54 PM
I've been experiencing pain in my right foot where the ball of the foot meets the arch. It's only the right foot and I pretty much attribute that to being right side dominant (though any other theories would interest me). I've moved the cleat back a bit, monkeyed with saddle height, removed the shims that I had been using for pronation, tried multiple aftermarket insole set-ups, even moved the fore/aft saddle position, yet it is still there! It comes and goes during rides from 50 to 100+ miles and is most evident when just pushing it along flats whereas it's generally not an issue when doing extended climbs (which is when I would expect such a thing). I'm most bummed about this because when I run (I'm an ultramarathoner/newbie cyclist) on the trails I now feel the foot pain when doing steep climbs and running on the, no surprise here, balls of my feet! Any suggestions would be most helpful and appreciated. Thanks. By the way, I'm using Sidi Genius 4's with LOOK pedals w/float and I'm pretty light if that matters at all...
Consider: is the pain from cycling or caused by running? (nm)Kerry
Mar 20, 2003 5:42 PM
See a podiatrist....DINOSAUR
Mar 20, 2003 10:41 PM
You haven't had good luck with self treatment, at this point you are just experimenting. Consider visiting a podiatrist who specializes in sports related injuires. I went through a similiar ordeal years ago and I had a stress fracture and continued running until I injured myself permanently. My guess is that (note-guess) you need to change the position of your foot by using shoe inserts, but you have already tried this. You probably need orthotics.
Most guys don't like the idea of seeing a doctor as they are afraid of hearing the "rest" word. But pay now or pay later. Is the pain from running or cycling (or both)? Do you have narrow feet with high arches? It could be a lot of stuff but anyone would be guessing. See a professional, preferably one who is a runner or a cyclist who can relate what you are going through. If you are a ultra-marathoner I'm sure you can get a recommendation from someone you know. Foot injuries are common for runners.....
See a podiatrist....kevinmd
Mar 20, 2003 11:58 PM
Here, here!

As a physician, I see plenty of athletes (I am the weekend warrior type, a pseudo athlete) who push and push, until they just can't. Unfortuantely, sometimes, they have pushed so hard that the injury has now created other problems and they are done with the sport. Take for example a runner I treated (I am not an ortho guy) who kept running despite my advice. Couldn't figure out the problem, and he didn't see the specialist. Turns out had a Morton's neuroma causing his foot pain and since he had run on a bum foot for so long he now had knee, hip and back pain. Herniated a disk that required surgery and his running days were numbered.

Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. Listen.

-- Kevin
Beware the podiatrist....Snyder
Mar 21, 2003 4:41 AM
Many podiatrists seem to want to cut a little to quickly.
Suffered with similar problem until last summer.dzrider
Mar 21, 2003 6:18 AM
Lon Haldeman, former RAAM winner, suggested I move my cleat back as far as possible and ride wearing my orhtotics. Some ultra-riders redrill their shoes to position the cleat even further back. The goal is to distribute the weight on as much of your foot as possible. I took his advice and the hot spot improved over the next few days of 100+ mile rides and has since become a memory. When I moved the cleat, I had to move my saddle forward as well.

The podiatrist suggestion is a good one also. That's where my orthotics came from. The pain I felt was similar to plantar fasciitis, except it was near the ball of the foot rather than the heel. Orthotics do help lots of people with p.f. and I'm not sure why it hadn't occurred to me to wear orthotics for cycling.
Post-Podiatrist Visit: They Amputated...serbski
Mar 21, 2003 7:06 PM
Well, of course they didn't. I did, however, heed the advice given earlier here and headed straight for a podiatrist recommended by my long-time P.T. so that I might, to quote Barney Fife here, "nip it in the bud" as I've monkeyed around with injuries in the past and did not want to let this get out of hand. After giving him all the info about my running/cycling history he examined the foot in question and took some x-rays from various angles. Long story short, I have narrow feet/high arches which aren't as efficient at distributing pressure/absorbing shock and that, coupled with lots o' running/cycling miles, has resulted in an overuse injury (I can't recall the latin-sounding diagnosis but he likened it to tendonitis). No fracture/bone spur etc. which is always a load off of the worrying mind. He fitted a temporary orthotic-type pad that is meant to take some pressure off of the ball of the foot so we'll see how this weekend's running and riding go and I've got a follow-up in a week's time. It's nice to have some piece of mind after a doc visit and, yes, I will *try* to take it easy for a bit though I imagine that I'm not the only Type A personality on this board!
Move the cleat back until the axle is past the ball of the footol
Mar 21, 2003 8:57 PM
I had exactly the same problem as yourself for a few months. It materialised when I bought a new pedal system (speedplay), when riding after about 50 miles I started developing burning sensations around the ball of the foot, this pain was particularly evident on long flat rides. I tried pretty much everything, new inserts, loosening the straps etc. If you have a really wide foot the the sidis might not be appropriate.