Injury and Bike Fit

I recently read a blog posted by a long time bike racer (Pro road racer since the 80’s) where he discussed a current injury that he has been battling with for a while.  An unfortunate crash early in the season left him with a separated shoulder which lead to him being out of commission for a bit.  Like many of us when we are injured he jumped back into it as soon as he felt the slightest bit better.  Unfortunately he wasn’t as lucky as many people who do this and found out quickly that it was a bad idea and his health went downhill. I am not sure exactly the draw for each individual to get back on the bike so quickly but I have a feeling it is either anxiety about weight gain, concerned about losing fitness that has taken so much work to gain or simply a “need” for the endorphin rush.  Either way this driving force is capable of keeping you out of commission even longer.  What many don’t realize, even this long time pro racer, is that all of the body’s parts are interdependent upon one another.  Just like a car that needs tires, a motor, gasoline and so much more to operate if one of them fails, even the smallest part, you can be stranded on the roadside calling AAA, so too your body is dependent on even the smallest parts. With that in mind there are several things to ask yourself whether you have something as catastrophic as a crash or an overuse injury.  Is your injury severe enough to seek medical attention, how does this affect you position on the bike, how much time do you take off and how could this affect you long term.  Some of these you might not be able to answer at that moment and could take days weeks or months to come to a clear decision, however, much like aging injury can lead to necessary changes to a rider’s position.  Whether these are compensating for permanent physical limitations due to structural changes or temporary changes that need to be made to compensate for wounds that are merely uncomfortable on the bike.  Either way, this is a very important decision to make.  Keep in mind that bike fit will not make your broken arm or separated shoulder feel better on the bike, only time can heal that, but it can help to reduce the discomfort of some less extreme issues.

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