So you are injured, now what?


Injuries happen. From work, leisure, gym life. I have had my share, a couple minor ones from working out, several major ones from just daily life.

Some are acute, like a car accident. Some are chronic, like sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day developing overly tight quads and rounded shoulders.

First off prevention. The easiest way to avoid injury is listen to that little voice in your head. If something feels weird, stop. You had a bad nights sleep, woke up with a horrible kink in your neck, while warming up your cleans even 50% of your 1rm feels heavy. We have all had those days, for me it's almost every Monday. Perhaps this is not the best day to try and go for a new 1rm. Instead, maybe a 5k row is in order. Just because it is programmed, doesn't mean you have to do it. Talk to your coach.

Personally I measure my heart rate every morning. If it's up by more than 10 bpm from my baseline, then it's a low intensity day. Fellow strongman Rob Orlando inspired me with a great programming idea. I have a general idea what my week will entail. But as he says "I drive by brail". This means I go by how I feel. If my legs are completely shot and squats are on the agenda for the day, I will sub it out for something else. I'm not in a position to be having to force myself to follow a rigid program. My fitness is not paying the bills, I workout to be better at life and to be a positive influence for my son.

The previous advice didn't work and you got injured. Find a good therapist/Doctor. On my opinion if they don't workout, find another one. I believe that is the professional doesn't have interest in their own health, they won't have as much care for yours. Next step is find one who specializes or deals with athletes. Many therapist/doctors will want to restore normal function. This is great, but athletes are not normal. We often require more range of motion to perform properly. Again, talk to your coach. We often work hand in hand with some great therapists/doctors and can recommend one that will take your recovery and fitness goals to heart.

Depending on what your therapist/Doctor says, try to keep moving the injury through the full range of motion, unloaded of course. It's often uncomfortable but this will prevent adhesions and scar tissue from laying down and making everything stiffer.

Besides listening to your body. How about getting some maintenance done every once in awhile. I will use my car analogy. You could just keep driving and putting in gas until it breaks down, then tow it to the garage. Or, you could get regular maintenance and oil changes. Go see a good chiro or massage therapist a couple times a year. This can be expensive, but it is worth every penny. If you have benefits, you have no excuses.

Don't quit your fitness routine. It's is always hard to get back into it. Almost any injury can be worked around, you can even incorporate some of your physio into the workout. I remember being in the hospital in a wheelchair with two broken legs. Going crazy. So I started being the weirdo running up and down the hallways in my wheelchair to try and get some cardio in. When my arms were too exhausted to do that, I would practice trying to balance on the two back wheels. You can spend the time working on mobility, which we almost all need. Injured upper body, squat program time. Injured lower body, time to work on your press. Even injuries like back can be worked around, doing plank and core work.

My general rule of thumb regarding getting back to training is the following. If after your injury it took 4 weeks to feel 100%, wait at least 4 more weeks before pushing it 100%. Too many people try to jump back in and reinsure themselves.

Why were you injured. Many people don't think of this aspect. Was it from a movement restriction, poor form, unstable joint? The injury probably had warning signs which you didn't listen to.

Unfortunately injuries are part of the game. It's hard to find someone who has been active for a long period of time and has not been injured. It's about avoiding them and trying to recover fully from them.

Your in health,

Coach Everett

Crossfit Bytown