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Tel: +27 (0)21 910 - 0441 
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024 Cyclists Foot - Your Argus 2002 Achilles Tendon

Cyclists Foot - Your Argus 2002 Achilles Tendon

Argus 2002 will again be finalised over 109 km and Ou Kaapseweg (Silvermine).It is 25th anniversary of The Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the outcome for cyclists will be determined by their fitness , pre-Argus training, motivation etc. But it could be a nightmare for you if you suffer from sore feet. Read on for more information about sore feet related to cycling in general and how it could affect your Argus time.

Footstrain, is a major and disabling problem following overuse in veterans and seniors. Ageing plays an important contributing role. In most cases the foot pain and discomfort are accentuated by standing professions-especially on hard floors. Although cycling is not weight bearing, the grinding action of the pedals and drive chain erode your body and joints. The result is inflammation and joint pain. Night pain follows and may lead to insomnia. Sore feet can knock you of the Argus and result in a painful tour, even a premature retirement.

In most cases, problems occur because the foot is simply ignored by the cyclist. It is taken for granted. The folly of youth!

Incorrect bike and cyclist setup, saddle height, and incorrect footwear are the big culprits. If you are a serious cyclist, forget about riding with slipslops and takkies. Your best advice can be obtained from Francois du Toit, who has a cycle boutique in Rosendal. To prevent cycle- induced foot problems call him on Tel (021) 9100441 or cell 0832731986. Buy proper riding shoes and increase your speed!

Areas of foot pain:
Under the ball of the foot
Under the arch of the foot
Under the back or side of the heel
Front of the ankle joint, where the lower leg joins the foot

Common causes of foot pain
Old feet!
Underlying plantar fasciitis ( very common after 50 )
Dropped arches
Excessive riding and overuse ( very common)
Arthritis in the small joints of the foot ( unusual)
Tendinitis and joint bursitis
Riding big gears when the legs and feet are cold
Excessive interval training
Excessive hill training
Straining old legs on a heavy bike
Incorrect diet and suboptimal supplementation to make up for body attrition following exhaustive training.
Poor and unscientific footwear.
Incorrect position of the ball of the foot and metatarsal heads on the pedal.

Other conditions predisposing to foot pain
Pes planus ( flat feet)
Valgus deformity of the foot
Congenital talipes equino-varus ( club feet)
Pes cavis
Medications used to treat high bloodpressure
Old foot and ankle fractures
Diabetes mellitus
Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle and small foot bones
Osteochondritis of the navicular bone
Calcaneal apophysitis
Arthritis of the subtalar joint
Calcaneal paratendinitis
Tender heel pad syndrome: atrophy of the heel pad
Stress fracture of metatarsal head ( more common with runners)
Anterior flat foot ( quite common)
Plantar digital neuritis
Plantar wart
Hallux valgus ( bunion)

Cycling Tips
Visit Francois du Toit at his cycle shop well before the Argus, and have yourself properly fitted on your bike. Make allowances for ageing. Avoid overuse .Rest is also needed to facilitate recovery. Consider a new pair of riding shoes that lend support to your feet. If necessary, fit an innersole. This does not always work, but give it a try. Avoid thick socks that can constrict your feet in the riding shoes. Avoid excessive hill climbing and stress if you suffer from sore feet. Expect chronic discomfort if you have plantar fasciitis. Elevate your feet as much as possible. Cold foot soaks and ice help temporarily. Massage your feet. Stretch the foot and calves very gently twice daily. Orthotics don't always work and are expensive, but give them a bash. Good luck with your cycle training and have an enjoyable Argus 2002. See you on the road somewhere between Smitswinkel and Sun Valley or at the top of Silvermine on 10/03/2002 at 11.00 am!

Reference: Adams and Hamblen. Outline of Orthopaedics. Churchill Livingstone.1990.
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