Treat the cause, not just the symptom

There are two major motivating factors for bikefit clients.

One: Performance gains. Two: Injury prevention or cure.

Now, that’s a sweeping generalisation of the kind I try to avoid, but they’re the biggies.

I’ve waxed almost-lyrical about performance fits before, so now it’s the turn of the broken and the almost broken.

I’ve seen two clients this week, both of whom have significant injury issues.

In both cases, it’s been ruining their riding, to the point where, at times, they’ve been forced off the bike altogether.

In terms of cause and effect, both clients are very different.

But they’re very similar in a significant way.

Both have had extended periods of physiotherapy, but both felt frustrated by a lack of what they perceived as progress.

In one case, they landed on our doorstep as a result of their physio’s recommendation.

In the other, they had already arrived at the conclusion they needed to eliminate not just the symptoms, but the cause.

And that’s the crux.

There’s a reason for most cycling injuries. Sometimes it’s well hidden, sometimes not so much. But it’s normally there if you look hard enough.

And treating the effect without treating the cause is potentially going to have you going round in circles.

So if you do have a problem, whether it’s major or minor, get treatment. But also be motivated to get curious about why you need that treatment, especially if the issue is a chronic or recurring one.

For the record, in both the cases above, relatively minor adjustments to cleats and saddle position made significant and very visible differences immediately.

Will it fix those riders in the longer-term? Hopefully, but it remains early days. No one is claiming any miracle cure.

They’ve started the process though and there’s every chance that the multi-disciplinary combination of treatment and fit will pay dividends for them.