Barbell Shrugged

How to overcome an injury

Doug Larson

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  • I do a lot of twisting with my hands and wrists at work. I would occasionally feel a sharp pain in my wrist while doing that on the same side as my thumb. Lately I can not put any pressure on my hands or it hurts. Can not get in front rack position and can only do push-ups on my fist. Any suggestions on how to mobilize it or should I go and see my doctor. Thx

    • If your pain is severe I would definitely see a doctor. Wrist pain is tricky as there are a lot of bones there. I would be more concerned that there is no damage to the scaphoid bone and then work with your sports doctor on proper rehab. In terms of continuing to front squat/back squat I would suggest using straps on the bar and holding the straps, also try paralettes or rings for the push-ups so your wrist can remain more neutral.

    • Hey Rey
      I have had similar issues as over the last year and a half of crossfitting, being an electrician I was having a real bad pain in my wrists cause from always gripping thing and twisting screwdrivers etc and having over tight forearms, every body is different but the things that help me was wrist/tendon stretches and massage on the forearms, I also bought an Armaid which helps you massage your own forearms, and used elastic wrist wraps,
      I’m now at the point that the only exercise I have problems doing is HSPU which I do off DB’s instead,
      Definite have a Physio look at it and then you can reflect off them and find what works for your body

  • any knowledge on sciatica? I tweaked my lower back ion a snatch pull about 6 months ago. Still dealing with tingling pain on the outside of my left thigh

    • Hey Justin! I would say it could be caused by impingement of the SI Joint but I would see a chiro. It could be as easy a fix as one adjustment or it may require some more attention. The chiro can definitely give you guidance on what to do going forward. Sometimes back extension on a GHD machine can help realize the hips and take pressure off of the symptomatic area, a set of 10-15 back extensions has helped be relieve pressure on my SI in the past.

  • After experiencing a stress fracture in my right foot last month, my training has been limited to almost exclusively upper body exercises ever since as I am confined to an orthopedic boot. This drastically changed my gym experience as I typically use Crossfit Football’s programming, but thank you for this article. It is informative as well as inspiring.

  • Thank you for this post!! I suffered a Webber B fracture of my fibula 4 weeks ago. I underwent surgery 2 weeks ago where they put in a plate, pins and reconstructed the ligaments. I haven’t let it stop and like you have been focusing on what I CAN DO rather than the limitations. You have listed some movements which I hadn’t thought of so I can not wait to get into the gym this afternoon and give them a go!!

    Thank you! All the best with your recovery and upcoming comps 🙂

  • How did you ease back into training? How do you know it’s okay to go back to your previous training?

    I’ve been struggling with recurring tendonitis in my posterior tibial tendon on and off for a year now. When I get flare-ups I’m usually pretty good about backing off the things that trigger it for me (typically jumping and/or running), but I can’t seem to get the timing right on when to re-introduce movements. I either come back too early and increase inflammation/irritation, or I wait way too long out of fear. How did you re-introduce weight-bearing exercises for example?

    • Hey Mandy! Good question. I was really slow and steady when I reintroduced movements and I never went straight to the most complex of the exercises. For example, when I was ready to reintroduce the snatch i stuck to muscle snatch with no movement of the feet and little weight transfer to the toes. I would do the same with jumping – start with a low box, step ups, jumping up and stepping down, etc. The key is that you are not searching for pain/irritation/inflammation at the time you are doing the exercise but more so afterwards like later that night or the next day. Even though I felt like maybe i could do more it is better to be safe than sorry!

  • Great Article! I tore my achilles heel about 5 weeks ago and for the first week I could not really walk (it wasn’t diagnosed as a tear until last week) but I also knew that I could not sit with my legs up the entire time and reading about it I knew I could not do that for 12 weeks. I basically got up and started going to the box and maintained the same routine that I had prior to getting injured. My coaches quickly modified my programming so that it concentrated on upper body and core work that did not involve my feet and calfs. Maintaining your routine, determination and resolve is very important in the road to recovery!

  • Thank you for posting this article. I ruptured my Achilles tendon 2 weeks ago while doing double understand. I’m in a hardcast and non weight bearing for 3 more weeks. I still go to the box everyday. Its therapeutic for me. I just cross fit for lifestyle, not to compete. But I find myself mourning the fact that I won’t be able to squat weight for probably 6 months. I’m trying not to focus on that. But its difficult. Thanks again for the article.

    • Hey Koiki! You will always be sad that you can’t squat! It really is hard to stay positive but you have to be a good teammate, box mate, and every time you are there you remind everyone else they have no excuse! Find other ways to PR!

  • Thank you so much for this article! I fractured one of my vertebrae and herniated a disc 1 1/2 weeks ago and it’s really been getting to me. I haven’t been able to do much since the injury due to the pain, but it’s slowly starting to lessen so I’m hoping to make it back to the box next week. I know it’s going to be a long recovery back but like you said “everyone loves a good comeback.” Thanks again! Love following your IG page also! 🙂

  • I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury for about a month. Been going to PT, Chiropractor, massages, and some acupuncture. Been a slow process and had to modify a lot of my training. Definitely been focusing a lot more on body weight activities and staying away from overhead lifts.

    Injury started on left side and now developed some right side issues, probably from overcompensation through recovery process, but hey gonna make it through. About to start working through Pavel T’s simple and sinister KB training. If anyone has some excellent stretches to suggest, I’m all ears.

    currently doing:
    sleeper stretch
    seated isolation over head press (with pvc)
    chest/shoulder opener (upside down fingers/palm flat against wall and rotate shoulder )
    Laydown shoulder opener (supinated grip on pvc, start at nose and press to floor and up to full extension)
    laydown shoulder mobility (cross leg on ground, roll over til knee touches ground. With opposite arm extend to maximum reach – try to press shoulder blade to ground and while keeping pressure down rotate arm up to highest mobility and back like a windshield wiper in slow motion)

    Any other stretches are welcome if you have em.

    • Hey Tony,
      I’m a physio and I see lots of shoulder injuries in my practice. I see that you are doing lots of stretches for it. Normally I would ask a bunch of questions and get you to move the shoulder through range and observe and test mechanics, however I cannot 😉
      So, I suggest you try a new and simple stretch that many of my ‘shoulder’ clients have responded well to. Here it is:
      In the standing, extend your arm straight back as far as you possibly can with your palm facing the ceiling. Try to avoid it deviating out to the side as best you can. Return it to your side after 1 second and repeat this 20x. You will feel a stretch at the front of the shoulder. I would recommend you try only this for 1 or 2 days and take a break from the other ones, just to see if it makes a difference.

  • Just diagnosed with patellar tendinitis in both knees, a few days of CF Open, and more painful for me, unable to do Weightlifting, how you feel, you could recommend me to do to not lose what I have gained in my Weightlifting

    • I would suggest lots of treatment! Make sure your quads are stretched because a tight rec fem can exacerbate the issue. I would drop the volume of squats down if you are squatting a lot.

  • Hi, thanks for the article, i needed to know that it was ok to maintain my intensity. I believe i injured one of my tendons in the right hip doin snatches, still learning the technique. now i have trouble with full squats and hip flexion. im worried though that i might overtax my upper body. how often did you train and how did you approach this if you worked out everyday?

  • Thank you for your post. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this. I have a severely sprained right ankle as well (multiple tendon tears and plantar fasciitis). I am a bartender and doctors told me I would be able to walk in my boot and back to work almost immediately. 3 weeks in and I’m still not quite there and have been finding myself feeling hopeless. I’ve been falling off my diet and feeling unenthusiastic about my modified Crossfit workouts. I battle with feelings of isolation, depression and envy. I know that I am the only person who has control over my recovery experience. I am trying my best to remain positive and be grateful for everything I do have but there are good days and bad days. Thank you for sharing your experience. It reminds me that this is only temporary and will make me stronger mentally and physically.

  • Hi Adee,

    In a similar position (peroneal tendonitis) so I’m in a boot for a few weeks,
    I really want to prevent atrophy of the calf that is in the boot – do you have any suggestions??

    Jonah Young

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