How to Treat Foot Pain Caused by Cycling

feet bicycle photo

Cycling can be a great form of exercise, plus a fun way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. But it often comes with foot pain in the form of Morton’s neuroma. This can lead to tingling, tightness, and extreme pain in your forefoot. You might feel pain in just one foot, or you could feel it in both feet. Either way, it’s something you need to take seriously so you can treat your foot pain before it gets worse.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to relieve foot pain caused by cycling so you can get back on your bike, pain-free.

What is Morton’s neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot. It’s caused by a thickening of the tissue around the nerves that lead to your toes. You’ll feel your Morton’s neuroma on your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints, which are the joints that connect your toes to the other bones in your foot.

It can be caused by a number of things, like wearing shoes that are too tight. When cycling, you can get Morton’s neuroma because of the repeated pressure you put on your feet as you pedal. You might feel pain in between your toes while cycling, to the point that you might even need to stop pedaling because the pain is so intense.

How do you treat Morton’s neuroma as a cyclist?

The best treatment for Morton’s neuroma is good prevention. If you are a cyclist who hasn’t yet experienced the pain of Morton’s neuroma, take some time now to make sure you’re taking the best preventative measures to avoid it in the future. If you are experiencing foot pain due to cycling, you can ease some of the pain with these steps and still enjoy your daily ride.

The good news is that, while painful, Morton’s neuroma is benign and will often go away on its own. Here are some things you can try to relieve the pain as quickly as possible:

  • Use larger pedals or cleats.
  • Adjust the side-to-side position of the cleat on your shoe.
  • Adjust the forward-backward position of your shoe relative to the pedal axle.
  • Put a metatarsal pad or bar on the top of your shoe insole, behind your MTP joints.
  • Get cycling shoes that have either a wider toe box or an adjustable strap tension in your forefoot.
  • Tilt your inner forefoot by putting a shim on the inner part of your forefoot that’s either on top of or under your shoe’s insole.

When to see a doctor for your foot pain caused by cycling

If you still have pain after taking the above steps, talk to your foot and ankle doctor. Sometimes a Morton’s neuroma needs medical treatment, including surgery, to get rid of. The doctors at Colorado Foot and Ankle can take a look and give you a treatment plan so you can get back outside without dealing with foot pain from cycling.

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