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Question re. Exercise Bikes

Posted by Aly on 1/15/04 at 16:49 (142127)

Hi guys,

Quick question for those of you who've tried using an exercise bike with your PF - I'm starting physio on Monday for my post tib tendonitis and I'm pretty sure he's going to want me to get on the bike (I've seen him before for something else & I know his style!) I know somebody here once posted about the importance of foot positioning on the pedals, to ensure you don't do more harm than good. Also, I'm wondering how important footwear is, if at all, during this activity. Can someone please re-post about this, so I know what to do?



Re: Question re. Exercise Bikes

AndrueC on 1/17/04 at 05:19 (142257)

I'm not an expert but here's my take on the situation.

Advice on PF often says that mowing a lawn and pushing a car can trigger it. Runners often suffer from it. All these and other PF triggers have one common factor:Pushing with the toes/ball of the foot.

It seems to me therefore that PF sufferers should avoid any activity that involves pushing with the toes. If you cycle 'properly' you will be doing just that:pushing with your toes (or at least the ball of your foot).

The term 'properly' can be called 'good cycling technique' but you might wonder why cyclists encourage this if it can harm the plantar fascia - shouldn't we be seeing loads of injured cyclists? Shouldn't cyclists be as at risk as runners?

Well here's a thing:If you go into a sports store and look at cycling shoes you'll find that they have a rigid sole. I have a pair. The only way you could bend the toes upward would be to break the shoe.

This is surely evidence that cyclists /know/ the risks of cycling and arch strain/PF. They use shoes with a rigid sole because that sole can take the load off the plantar fascia.


Re: Answers from me

Carole C in NOLA on 1/17/04 at 22:49 (142293)

Aly, I've had trouble with my exercise bike causing PF and achilles tendonitis both the first and the second time. I think I'm the only one who has this trouble. Here are my comments.

Be sure to wear good, supportive shoes. I was barefoot the first time (Don't try it!!! I got PF from that). The second time, I was wearing my Birkenstock Arizonas and they moved around on my feet too much. I'm just starting again, after recovering from my second case of PF. This time I'm wearing my custom orthotics in good, supportive shoes. I'm hoping that works.

Make sure that when you pedal, you don't let your feet go 'all over the place'. That may have contributed to my getting PF, and now I'm careful to ride with reasonably good form.

Put the resistance on very low. I had it as high as it could go the first time I got PF, and that is hard on the feet.

Make sure that the seat and pedals are adjusted appropriately. You don't want to be stretching your Achilles tendon each go-around. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent at all times, at least at first until you are sure all is going well.

Do the very gentle Yoga stretches Julie taught us (click on the word Yoga to read them).

If you feel any pain, stop! And if your PF gets worse but you don't know why, stop riding the exercycle immediately and see if that helps. My first case of PF was quite severe because I continued riding for two months after I first got it; I didn't know that the bike was causing it.

I hope this helps you!!! And wish me luck, too, as I try again for the third time.

Carole C

Re: Answers from me

Buck T. on 1/18/04 at 13:06 (142314)

Aly: I would like to see one of the doctors comment on stationary bike and other exercises physicial therapists use for pf.

When I attempted to tell one therapist that wall stretches, bike riding the the sled thing were making me worse, she called doctor and said I had a low pain threshhold.

However, others in there for pf wern't complaining. One wanted to know when he could run 10 miles again. I could barely walk from car to her office. So, maybe it depents upon degree of injury.


Re: Answers from me

Carole C in NOLA on 1/18/04 at 15:26 (142318)

I think that we have to take responsibility to some extent in figuring out what aggravates our PF.

I don't know if it depends on degree of injury or what, but it seems like quite a few people here ride exercycles with no problem. I did have very severe PF (and achilles tendonitis) initially, but my severe PF was caused by riding the exercycle. My doctor and I agree on that.

Maybe I'm just unlucky. :(

I'm in the process of trying once again to ride it; I posted in the social/support section about what I'm doing.

Carole C

Re: Answers from me

john h on 1/19/04 at 09:17 (142360)

Carol over the past 8-9 years I have tried very hard to associate increased pain with weather, specific activity, shoes, or what ever After all is said and done I really cannot be sure why I am better or worse from one day to the next. My feet were feeling bad last week. When that happens I usually fall back on some things I think might work such as taping or a change of shoes. Yesterday I walked a couple of miles on concrete in 20 degree weather. For what ever reason my feet are better today.When they get better like this you never know how long it will last or why they might get worse. It continues to be a M Y S T E R Y----- One of the things that makes PF so frustrating is you can go a few weeks and think I am finally on the road to recovery and then wham! for no reason you know of you have the dreaded setback. If there was ever a disease you need to take one day at a time it is PF but that is much easier said than done.

Re: Answers from me

Kathy G on 1/20/04 at 14:47 (142460)

Oh, isn't that the truth, John? I'll do something and figure that I'll really pay for it in the next couple of days with increased foot pain and nothing happens.

Then, sometimes out of the blue, for no apparent reason, foot pain will increase. When I had that stupid strep throat, I rested a great deal for a day. I did do my stretching exercises, however. The next day, my feet were killing me! And I hadn't done anything to speak of the day before.

Or how about when you're doing something mundane and feeling perfectly fine and out of the blue, it feels like someone has just stabbed you in the heel?

PF: it's always lurking, ready to strike without notice. Ugh! It sure gets tiring, doesn't it?

Re: Question re. Exercise Bikes

Aly on 1/20/04 at 16:34 (142472)

Thanks everyone for your posts. For some reason my email notification isn't working - and I only just got back to the site today. Great link AndrueC! :)