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Patrick Dalton 12-06-2007 05:35 AM

A crossfit novice's joint talk
Hi there.

31/m/220/5"10' been xfitting for about 4-5months (the dedication to it has been getting more and more of late) A little personal history, I played goal in hockey for nearly 20 years, Taekwondo for about 10-15, and the last 6 years bodybuilding, switching to xfit in the last few months (It's much more fun than doing "bi's and tri's" ;)

Just about every joint in my body snaps creaks and cracks... After an evening of a hard workout, I seem to stiffen up, relaxing on the couch for an hour or two and I feel like I"ve seized up.

Even from the other day, with the clean and jerk, my ankles the next day were extremely stiff. I can also partially dislocate my right shoulder on will, not to the point of Mel Gibson in lethal weapon, but when I extend my arm from a "salute to hitler" position, keeping my arm straight and sweeping it to the right, you see the "clunk" where it pops into joint. I've seen a surgeon on this and he asked to bring his students in. To where he told them, "Never ever operate on this." It's not such a big problem, it just aches a little as the weather changes (handy!) and sometimes when benchpressing it locks. Whenever I go heavy I have to get a spotter. ;)

Anyhow, I"m more concerned with the rest of my joints. Is anyone here using glocosamine and chondotrin (sp?) and if so, how do you find it? I really enjoy crossfit, but I feel like an old fart with my snappy creaky joints.. Plus when I get up in the morning, I feel like I can barely walk.

Thanks xfitters! You are all awesome.

---Patrick "AngryDalty"

Jacob Levin 12-06-2007 05:43 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk

Welcome to Crossfit!

I'm only twenty, and believe me, I understand your worries about joints all too well. The best advice I can give you (and take it with a grain of salt until some of the smarter folks on this forum back me up) is to go easier for awhile. Build up the muscle around those joints, so that they're more protected when you move back onto heavier weights.

I have chronic shoulder problems, and Crossfit has really helped me with protecting my left shoulder - so long as I've been careful with the weight, left my ego at the door, and acknowledged the limitations.

Now, I'm not saying to ramp down your intensity. If you have lighter weights, I expect you can power through that much more quickly. But just go easy on yourself. If your whole body's hurting after a workout, it's trying to tell you something. Listen to it. :)

Allen Yeh 12-06-2007 06:21 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
I would recommend looking into fish oil and a good joint mobility routine.

I'll list some, and put if I have personal experience or I've heard good things about:
Pavel's Joint mobility stuff - I liked it, it's a bit basic but basic is good sometimes
Scott Sonnon stuff - I've heard decent things about this
Z-health - I've heard great things about it
Magnificent Mobility - I've heard great things but the common complaint is that it's mostly lower body and you have to get Inside and Out to get the whole body
Diamond Dallas Page's Yoga for Tough Guys (I'm serious) - The person whose review of this I've read I hold in very high regard.

Core Performance - Not a mobility book per se but has the stuff included into it's routines.

Davis Hart 12-06-2007 07:26 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
Hey Patrick - I've had a history of knee problems from doing improper squats and of shoulder impingement. Coming from a bodybuilding routine, I had some muscle imbalances developed through overuse of the mirror, which shows me only one side of my body. At any rate, I was using knee braces for a long time to do squats, but found that my joint pain was not going away. On the suggestion of a bodybuilding article I read about a year ago, I ditched the braces, and reapproached my lifting with more dedication to form, using lighter weights. Through doing exercises with strict form, I am now able to do squats and full squat cleans with no pain.

I'd suggest that you pay close attention to your form, and be aware of which exercises cause more of the popping, and any pain. Be very careful with those kipping pullups to keep your shoulders active at the bottom, and don't let all your weight come down on the joint. I try to keep my shoulder blades pinched together at the bottom of the pullup to stabilize the joint.

If any exercises causes pain and you are doing proper form, stop doing that exercise - it's not worth an injury! Good luck.

Ben Kaminski 12-06-2007 08:38 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
Glucosamine chondroitin is at most grocery stores, walgreens, etc.

Steven Low 12-06-2007 01:39 PM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
Not sure if it's been said but if you have a history of subluxation I would definitely work up your rotator cuff strength with extra exercises after workouts.

+glucosamine and chondroitin recommendation

Fish oil will probably help out some too.

Jason Homesley 12-11-2007 11:15 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
I am a male 190lbs 6' 34 years old. I had a bad shoulder problem and still do at times. I was bodybuilding for about ten years... and army for about 6 years. I hurt it grappling with a buddy before entering the Special Forces selections and Assesment course (SFAS) I was put on medical hold for three months and then went to SFAS twice and was not selected, and I strongly believe because of my shoulder slowing me down.I started CrossFit when I got out of the Army in 2005 and was afraid of re-injuring my shoulder, I just went light weight for a long time especially when doing anything overhead or cleans. Also I started rolling out my shoulders on hard foam rollers (actually rolling on lat muscles). So good form and light weight will help build your shoulder strength. Remeber blood flow is what heals muscles joint and ligaments.
Now I have a problem, I cannot slep on my shoulders unless I am perfectly oplaced in my wifes pillow top mattress. I cannot sleep on my back because of my snoring keeping my wife awake. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Aileen Reid 12-11-2007 02:44 PM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
When my shoulder got to that stage I had it operated on, they tightened the joint capsule and shortened the tendons. It is now wonderful! That was about 14 years ago.

Patrick Dalton 12-12-2007 05:53 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk
Aillen, what was the recovery time for something like that?

I've started glocosamine/chondotrin as of monday night. I haven't noticed any difference yet. Although, maybe I should be stretching for 20 minutes in the morning. I'm also taking those one-a-day weight smart multivitamins. (Don't take them on an empty stomach, lest you wish pukie to visit.)

Sitting at a desk all day has it's benefits (can spend all day on facebook and the xfit site) but generally it sucks because of not moving.

I'll keep y'all posted on the gluc/chon results.


Allen Yeh 12-12-2007 06:13 AM

Re: A crossfit novice's joint talk

Originally Posted by Patrick Dalton (Post 227125)
Aillen, what was the recovery time for something like that?

I've started glocosamine/chondotrin as of monday night. I haven't noticed any difference yet.

Typically a person needs to take it for 6 weeks (uninterrupted) to get any benefit.

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