Forum home Mountain biking forum Health, fitness & training

Left foot going numb after 45mins

I'm quite perplexed with an issue I've just developed in the last couple of weeks. I've been riding for 4 years now and I'm a strong cyclist. I've covered over 6000 XC miles on my current hardtail and have had it set up the same way for over 2 years.

I've very recently started developing foot numbness in my left foot about 45 mins or an hour into riding. I'm using the same pedals I've always used, same saddle and it doesn't matter which of my shoes I use the issue is happening conisitantly regardless of footware.

Only thing that's happened is a couple of weeks ago I feel off trying to get out of a rut and slid in the mud. It was a very low speed fall, but I landed on the side of my left knee. I was sore initially on the side of my knee for that day, but by the next day I felt normal. However I do think that ever since then I have been noticing this 'pins and needles' feeling which starts in my toes and ball of my left foot. If I cycle through it - it just spreads to my lower shin and my foot feels completely dead.

Like I say I've been riding my hardtail for long while now and been properly into cycling again for the last 4 years, I spend roughly 7 hours a week on a bike. I don't experince the problems on my Hybrid when commuting, but I think that's just because I'm only cycling for 30 mins at a time then.

I'm feeling quite concerned and frustrated by this as its starting to ruin my pleasure rides. Does it sound like I have an injury from my fall? I'm amazed if such a low speed and realativly un painful accident could cause such problems now about 2.5 weeks on.

My shoes are just skate type shoes and trainers. I know they aren't MTB/cycling specific, but for the last 4 years I've never had a problem.

Sorry for the long post. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Perhaps I should see a sports physio?


  • I'd go and see the doctor or physio if it were me, it is possible that your fall has caused a slight bit of swelling on the inside which is then pinching a nerve.

    You could try taking ibuprofen for a few days and see if it makes any difference, but please know i am no doctor or physio this is just what i would do, if no improvement i'd go see the professionals.
  • robert88robert88 Posts: 2,696
    My feet sometimes swell once I get going and the left one being slightly larger than the right is more likely to go numb. I have learnt to avoid tightening shoe fastenings too much before a ride.
  • It could be stressed related. Different people physically store their stresses in different places which can be exaggerated when using said body parts.

    You could try stretching our your feet and toes before riding.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Which part of your foot, I have a problem with my toes going numb, this has been diagnosed as the nerve getting pinched where it runs between the joints at the base of my toes.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    I tend to injure my shoulders, because mostly when I fall off it is sideways. At one point I could not get my arm out of the car window to pay a toll! Enough was enough, so I went to see a physio. I got a bollocking for leaving it so long and then a full examination and a diagnosis. Then some treatment and some special exercises to do. Nothing to get sweaty about, just movements to make and hold, in order to relieve pressure on a ligament under my shoulder blade. After carrying that injury for several months, I was as right as rain in two weeks! I have been a fan of early physio ever since.

    Go see a physio, it makes sense. :)

    If you see your GP, if you are lucky they may prescribe sessions with a physio, but mostly they will just prescribe painkillers. I'd already been down the painkiller route to no effect. A physio will cost you £30-40 for the diagnostic session (probably more if you live in London), less for subsequent sessions. But what value do you put on good health and being able to ride your bike pain free? 8)
  • Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I haven’t really updated on this since first posting it back in October. I haven’t been to see anyone about the problem as it has gradually improved on it's own.

    I was wanting to wait and see how I got on during the summer, as this is when I spend more time on the bike doing longer rides. Although I’m not completely free of the numb feeling, it does take about 2 hours of consistently hard effort to start becoming numb now. If I stop and get off the bike for a few minutes to take a short food break it goes away again completely.

    I’ve changed my footware to FiveTens flat pedal shoes and I have also started using DHB trail socks and DHB Flash Light socks. I’m honestly very surprised how much more comfortable my feet are in cycling socks compared to regular socks!

    I think the tingling pins and needles feeling is just being caused by how much pressure I’m putting on the ball of my foot and I think I may have a slight leg length imbalance. However at this stage I’m prepared to deal with just getting off the bike to take the pressure off every 30 mins or so to eat a banana or have a gel to keep fuelled on longer rides.

    I can now comfortably go for an hour to an hour and a half with no issues. The more I pace my effort instead of riding hard the better it is too. I just find it odd that for the previous couple of years I’ve not encountered any such problems.
  • blokie13blokie13 Posts: 93
    If it's still not cleared up after 8 months I'd still highly recommend a session with a Physio. Initial consultation should be about £40, and it's likely that as it's improved (albeit slowly) they will be able to tell you what the issue is and give you some exercises to do to sort it all in that single session, so no ongoing cost.
    Boardman Pro FS 650b | Boardman Team 29er HT | Specialized Tricross Sport
Sign In or Register to comment.