May is National Bike Month! Where are you headed on your bicycle? Perhaps it is to work, a ride around the neighborhood with your family, a trip downtown to explore new places, or a race to accomplish a goal you set a while ago. Whatever the reason, grab a bike and get out there—it is a great form of exercise and fun way to enjoy the outdoors. There are a few pitfalls for which regular riders at risk, and biking with metatarsalgia is one of them.
Sometimes called “hot foot” in the riding community, metatarsalgia is an injury that can have you off your bike and onto the sidelines without the right care. This foot problem develops when nerves between the heads of the metatarsal bones in your foot are squeezed. You will feel the symptoms in the ball of your foot just behind your toes and it is usually described as a burning, hot pain that radiates into the toes. It isn’t fun at all.
Your feet are the point of contact that provides the energy to the pedals. The ball of the foot absorbs a lot of stress, but a few changes should help avoid metatarsalgia. First, invest in some wider shoes that give your feet and toes plenty of breathing room. Loosen the toe straps or laces if necessary as well. A good tip when shopping for new shoes is to take the insole out and put it against the bottom of your foot. If your foot goes beyond the border of the insole, you need a wider shoe. You can also add cushioned insoles and wear thinner socks. It may help to switch to a wider pedal to distribute the pressure over a larger area. You may also need to monitor how long you ride, and how many hills you conquer, should you start feeling the burning sensations in your feet.
If you need more information or require treatment for foot pain that is affecting your enjoyment on a bike, contact Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. today. Call our office in Massapequa, NY at (516) 804-9038 or request an appointment online. Happy two-wheeling!
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