Today’s question is about a tendonitis issue from cycling and what could be causing it…

How to fix Achilles tendonitis?

I am have a tendonitis issue with my right ankle. I have a Specialized Tarmac, Carbon shoes and ride with zero speed plays…any ideas??

Tender Timmy

Hi Timmy,

I don’t have any personal experience with this, but generally, ankle issues like Achilles tendonitis are caused by poor pedaling form (which could be a physiological or a bike fit issue).

If you were having problems with both ankles, then I’d think it was most likely your pedaling style. (I answered a question earlier this year about shin splints from riding, and that was caused by poor pedaling form.) It could also be from a basic bike fit issue such as having your saddle too high or your cleats too far forward.

But, since it is only one ankle, it leads me to believe the issue stems from poor bike fit in a less noticeable way. That could be anything from a single misaligned cleat to an undiagnosed leg length discrepancy.

Your plan of action

My plan of action would be two things:

1. Get checked out by a sports therapist

Get checked out by a sports therapist, especially one familiar with runners and cyclists, to see if there is something they can do. They should be able to check you out for leg length discrepancies and any muscle imbalances that could be changing the mechanics of your right leg.

They may also be able to help out with some sort of massage, stretching, or special exercises to ease the pain you’ve experienced thus far.

2. Get a bike fit from a qualified professional

Get a bike fit from a qualified professional that has the knowledge and equipment to do a good job. This will probably cost $250-350, but it is much, much better than the typical $50 bike fit at the average shop.

A good fitter will fully analyze your pedaling mechanics, so they will be able to diagnose any leg length discrepancies and account for them.

3. Use KT Tape

To improve stability without having a wear a brace, try wrapping your ankle with KT Tape.

Hopefully you get this resolved!

[Continued below…]

I got this response:

Thank you for your response. I do have a leg length issue.. I will look for a sports therapist.

For anyone else out there with some sort of pain like this, I highly suggest getting a good bike fitting and/or seeing a knowledgeable sports therapist. I can assure you, it’s better to spend the money and get it fixed now, rather than deal with it and end up not being able to ride!

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