Swollen ankles & feet on long rides

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by rocketman1, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. rocketman1

    rocketman1 rocketman1

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    Just done 7,000km in 2 weeks and have noticed that my ankles have started to swell up, not too bad, but enough to notice.
    I have heard that I should be wearing special motorcycle adventure pressure socks to prevent this quite common occurrence.
    Has anyone had this happen and if so what is the remedy.
    #1
  2. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    No you don't need to buy motorcycle compression socks. They are just plain compression socks. They are really tight and go up to just below the knee.

    Walgrees does have them. I shattered my foot and for the first year wore Jobst. There are different degrees of compression, with the jobst you probably don't need the real tight ones, measured in mg.


    Circulation is permantally damaged in my foot. But I haven't been wearing them. Even on my trip to AK, I didn't. End of the day you could see and feel rings in my foot from the boots. I probably should wear them.


    They recommend them for people on international flights too. If you are standing all day there not bad either.


    Wear a regular sock over them.
    #2
  3. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    I had this problem for the first time this past summer. A change of seating position corrected it for me. In your normal riding position, are your knees higher than your hips?
    #3
  4. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

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    I pre-medicate with aleve or advil on all my long rides. 12 hour duration makes it convenient.
    When the bad ankle was really bad a number of years ago, I'd ice it down every night also. Makes the vodka taste odd but, whatever works:rofl
    #4
  5. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

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    While I have been known to use ibuprofen for back issues while on long rides, just be careful as to the some of the blood thinning properties and other side effects of some pain killers. I know that in these parts, the hospitals want to know whether you've taken anything like that before they begin treatment or surgery...
    As for footwear, I generally wear Techsox or some technical ski socks when I'm riding. These usually provide me with whatever support I need.
    #5
  6. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Compression under shorts work remarkably good for the butt burn too. $25 Nike or UA at any sports store. Half that at a big box discount store.
    #6
  7. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    Compression socks are tight, they allow the blood to flow out, but restrict the blood flowing in.

    when your muscles aren't moving, there not pumping blood out as fast.

    I was on blood thinners for 6 months. I had to keep my feet elevated for 12 weeks, until I started walking and the muscles started pumping blood.
    #7
  8. oldmanjob

    oldmanjob OMJV7C

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    At my age (was there when the command was given "Let there be Light:rofl)
    I make it a point to stop at least every 100 miles if it is possible to stretch my old legs and walk around a little for circulation. For me riding should be enjoyable not painful:eek1

    Bill
    #8
  9. ianbh

    ianbh Been here awhile

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    I had this problem several years ago. I went to my internist and blood tests indicated some health issues. Got them taken care of and all has been well since them. Ian, Iowa
    #9
  10. oyster

    oyster Been here awhile

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    Made a long trip this Summer avaeraging about 750 miles per day for several days straight. My feet were swollen like balloons:eek1. I think the compression sock idea would be a good one.
    #10
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    I wear compression socks (non-motorbike specific one) when riding offroad all day. Being stood up and the force of shocks coming up from the bike underneath me are enough to warrant the discomfort of wearing them for me.

    I won't wear them when flying, even on long haul.

    Even for multiday trips, so long as it's predominantly road riding, I've never had a problem not wearing them. Only thing odd in that region is that after long days of riding, my calf is swollen a bit, just above where the top of the boots is. It doesn't hurt, just looks a bit funny. Ten minutes later and it is back to normal, so it doesn't worry me.
    #11
  12. Tor

    Tor Norwegian Viking

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    Try not to eat too much food that's chuck full of sodium. It tends to retain your fluid. Don't be riding for hours on end without getting off the bike and move. (None of this Tank to tank riding :D) This is from my wife / ICU nurse going on 25 years / riding partner.
    #12
  13. RMZMZM

    RMZMZM Not adventurous

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    Pay attention to your hydration. Not all liquid is equal for this purpose, some contribute to dehydration and water retention (not in a good way). The human body will try to hold on to the water is has if it is not getting enough.

    2 liters a day is the recomendation for daily activities. It should probably be increased when riding long distances due to the wind (good gear reduces, but does not eliminate the effects)

    If you follow that rule, you will have to take more frequent breaks to stretch your legs :evil
    #13
  14. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Drink a little through out your riding & try not to play catch up by drinking a lot in one small time period.
    Some of the so called health drinks are full of sodium & sugar.
    Pass on these & w/ the sweetners additives. Some of these will only increase you need for a personal pit stop.

    Not knowing your age nor health issues & would not say anything about compression socks.

    This could also be a sign of something starting to show it unhealthy head so consider seeing a sports MD. & that is not a guy hanging out at the gym.

    I'm 67 & want to keep riding, so I listen & watch what is going on w/ the only device I have that could stop me from doing what I want to do.
    #14
  15. danedg

    danedg Horizontally Opposed

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    Having had 2 heart attacks in the last 16 month's, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that swollen ankles, lower legs, feet are a real warning sign that that area is not getting proper circulation for whatever reason....
    Could be your seat...seating position...riding gear...hydration control...
    Could be your right coronary artery...peripheral artery disease...arterial fibrillation...
    Motorcycle riding is a cure for swollen ankles, not a cause....
    I'd suggest you talk to your doctor about your condition...it's a warning sign for bad stuff....
    #15
  16. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    They make lower compression compression socks. They market them for people sitting for long hours. Cabelas has them for hunters, I have heard of them for people on international flights. Walgreens has them.


    After my accident I wore one for 7 months. Highest amount you could get without a prescription, based on advice for doctor and physical therapist. I really didn't find it that uncomfortable
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  17. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Every ride is an ADV

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    I just did a search and found this old thread. I've had this problem for some time now. Back when I used to ride 600-700 miles a day it started. Now that I'm over 70 it happens more often. Even if I ride in a car for a long period of time. I did a little research on Webmd.com and found that it can be a circulation issue. I'm going to try the compression socks and stop wearing the bicycle shorts. I read that they can restrict the blood form returning. I don't have any pain from this but it's just uncomfortable and requires elevating my feet afterwards. Just wonder how many other old guys have this condition?
    #17
  18. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    I'd certainly not wear compression recovery gear when you're riding - it restricts the flow of blood and can aid in recovery but it's not meant to be worn for hours at a time.

    Assuming you're not pregnant :evil, or on medication that causes stuff to swell up, I'd suggest that you're correct, it's probably "just" circulation and that you'd benefit most from taking regular breaks and walking around for a few minutes.

    If you're really concerned I'd have a chat with your doctor before strapping on anything that restricts blood flow, especially when it's to extremities.

    FWIW I do a lot of running, and both my ankles and knees are prone to swelling, especially post run. I find a pack of frozen peas (cost €1) strapped to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time does wonders for recovery. As does elevating the area above my heart (just "putting your feet" up does little good) for 10 minutes. Longer and you risk slowing down recovery times.
    #18
  19. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Every ride is an ADV

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    Actually what I'm going to wear are tall Sokz brand MC socks, but I've read that compression socks allow the blood to flow out and restrict some blood from flowing in. I will be talking to my Doc on my next visit in Oct.
    #19
  20. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    Let us know what he says eh? As long as you don't mind that is.
    #20