Cycling presents unique challenges when designing orthotics.
The more common use of clipless pedals whereby the the shoe becomes attached to the bike has improved energy efficiency, however it also creates a direct link with the bike increasing the importance of the mechanical positioning of the body from the foot to saddle to handlebar.
Poor foot positioning within the cycling shoe can have a direct impact on pedalling performance and can also affect the whole body/bike interface, creating unwanted high forces at the knees and hips as well as a muscular inbalance.
Also a common occurrence with cycling is hot spots under the soles of the feet. The ball of the foot is very important as the pressure applied to the pedals originates from this area. With certain foot structures the pressures created over the ball of the foot can be uncomfortable and create high localised pressure points.
Obviously the longer you ride and the harder you pedal these problems can become more of an issue meaning that you might not be cycling to your full potential or at risk from injury.
Some of the common conditions that can affect the cyclist are demonstrated below:
- Over Pronation
- Over Supination
- Pes Cavus
- Achilles Tendonopathy
- Plantar Callous
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction
- Leg Length Discrepancy
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Patella Maltracking
- Valgus Knee/Varus Knee
To continue to enjoy your sport it is important that you remain injury free. Many of the conditions listed can be prevented by a thorough biomechanical assessment and the provision of corrective orthotic devices.