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Orthotics for Cycling

Written by Michelle Champlin BSc Pod., M.Ch.S., S.R., Ch., (UK)

At Dubai Podiatry Centre, some of our patients come to see us because they have developed numbness, tingling and other neuritic symptoms while bicycling. There seems to have been a rise lately, perhaps due to the current triathlon and ironman season here in the UAE. Happily, treating these problems with a combination of custom orthotics and shoe changes has been very successful.

The neuritis type symptoms seem to occur due to the particular forces placed on the foot when cycling, and sometimes due to the cycling shoes themselves too.

• Cycling shoes that are too narrow, especially across the toebox, combined with the feet swelling during longer rides.
Pressure from the pedal directly under the metatarsal heads leading to inflammation and compression of plantar nerves of the toes.

At Dubai Podiatry Centre, we carry out a full biomechanical lower limb assessment, medical history and discussion of your sports participation. Bring your cycling shoes with you to your assessment. If we conclude that orthotic treatment would be beneficial to the patient, we make specific orthotics especially for cycling and to address the pedal and footwear issues. Typically, we focus on reducing pressure under the metatarsal heads. Cycling shoes do tend to be very tight fitting compared to other sports shoes, such as running shoes, and some orthotic modifications specific for bike shoes are necessary. By improving the functionality and efficiency of the foot, patients tend to report not just pain alleviation but improved cycle times/performance too.

All of our orthotics are custom made in our clinic laboratory, by us, using advanced medical grade materials – this is a rarity in most clinics, who tend to send away to external manufacturing companies or just modify generic orthotics. By making our own orthotics, we have much greater control over treatment and outcomes and can speed up patient treatment by making them in-house, as well as making prescription updates during patient reviews as foot posture improves. We’ll ask you for your cycling shoes to fit your orthotics to at your fitting appointment too – when we check that the desired prescription is correct to the exact degree.

Cyclists’ feet may swell considerably on a long ride and it is critical to avoid forefoot compression if they are going to avoid neuritic symptoms. To combat this, cyclists can try purchasing their shoes after completing a long ride, or wearing an extra pair of socks when trying on the shoes. When they ride, they can wear the extra pair for the first part of the ride and then take off the extra pair later in the ride.
If you are experiencing foot or leg pain during or after your bike rides, contact the UK trained Podiatrists at Dubai Podiatry Centre

Call: + 971  4 3435390
WhatsApp: + 971  50 355 3024
To book online: Click here

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