CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Starting
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Starting For newcomers to the CrossFit methodology

Thread Tools
Old 08-10-2014, 03:21 PM   #1
Scott L Jenkins
Member Scott L Jenkins is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Jose  CA
Posts: 12
Working with injuries, what can I do?

Where to start? The past 14 months for me have been a broken mess. It started with a forearm and quad injury, and 14 months later i'm struggling with a new (possibly re-tear of old) forearm and 2nd quad injury. Between these there have been bouts with ankle sprains, lingering tendinitis, misc. irritating issues. What led to this is a combination of taking a 10 month hiatus from fitness, a less than average genetic platform, poor mobility, and simply getting older.

All "woe is me" aside, here I am - partially torn common flexor tendon in the forearm and a seriously challenging case of quadricep tendinosis. The tendinosis went undiagnosed for several months and it's 9 months and counting, although I'm halfway through a rehab stint which is generally going well.

Depression, frustration, and regret aside, I can't sit back and wallow in self pity too much longer because I have things to do with my life and they revolve around being very fit, as I once was, and hope to be again. Acknowledging that I am limited with the injuries and I need to rehab them appropriately, there has to be something I can do as far as general core activation and baseline strengthening while things work themselves out.

I'm trying to come up with ideas for exercises which won't aggravate/cause further harm to current injuries, avoid re-injury, and start to establish some sort of foundation of fitness; here's what I have so far: planks of all variations, various low impact exercises to help strengthen my weakened core (bridges, leg raises, ab work, etc). I'd like to incorporate swimming and yoga, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea at the moment. Basically, I'm not touching a barbell for a while, at least until I have baseline core strength re-established, everything's working properly, and I'm pain free.

Thoughts? And ....
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2014, 06:58 PM   #2
Andrew G Parker
Member Andrew G Parker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Afton  WY
Posts: 114
Re: Working with injuries, what can I do?

It tends to be my go to recommendation, but talk to a good physical therapist, talk the medical specialists that have a reputation you can trust. Find out what the limits are, and what you need to do to pace yourself as you take a strategy of healing and building strength over time. Then you must scale accordingly according to your body's needs. This could require you to settle for less than your muscle strength is capable of until you build the strength in the ligaments and tendons. Proper warm up before, and stretching after a workout, as well as a lot of mobility work is a must.

You aren't saying how you are injuring yourself, but odds are you've over done it in what you are doing. Continuing to re-injure yourself is not going to do you any favors in the long haul.

You don't say how old you are, but there is often a discrepancy in strength, mobility, and joint and tendon strength as we move into middle age (I am 50 now). If you have some history over the past several years of limited activity or more sedentary lifestyle, it puts you at a higher risk.

As for, "I'm not touching a barbell for a while, at least until I have baseline core strength re-established, everything's working properly, and I'm pain free."

Not touching a barbell until pain free makes sense. However, if you want to build core strength, Olympic lifts will lend strongly to it. The 'bar' can be a wooden dowel or PVC pipe initially. From there a light weight training bar, as you build up. It is a great opportunity with no or light weight to build on technique. This is of course, only as you've healed enough to complete the movements without pain or aggravation of healing. Just going through the motion of squats, cleans, jerks, and snatches with good form will contribute to strength. Later when you start adding weight, you will have adherence to the form that will prevent injury.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2014, 05:58 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
Affiliate Brendan McNamar is offline
Brendan McNamar's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Glendale  AZ
Posts: 2,216
Re: Working with injuries, what can I do?

Join a masters swim team. Swim 5 days a week.

Best possible workout while recovering from what you describe.

The core work will come back quick when everything is healed.

You seem to be suffering from several overuse/push to hard type injuries so maybe it is time to take a hard look at your approach and beliefs around exercise?

Broken is not part of the definition of fit.
Nomadic CrossFit Coach
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2014, 01:55 PM   #4
Dakota Base
Member Dakota Base is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Wichita  KS
Posts: 394
Re: Working with injuries, what can I do?

Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
You seem to be suffering from several overuse/push to hard type injuries so maybe it is time to take a hard look at your approach and beliefs around exercise?

Broken is not part of the definition of fit.

When the Thread Title is "Working with Injuries...," it's pretty straight forward what is most likely your root problem. It ain't physical, it's mental. You shouldn't be asking, "what can I do?," you should instead by asking, "what SHOULD I do?" Your question by itself is asking how to continue hurting yourself, rather than asking how to quit hurting yourself. 180degrees in the wrong direction.

There is a difference between "being hurt" and "hurting," and an athlete really needs to be able to be self aware and honest with themselves about when they are "hurt." It sounds like you're not properly rehabbing your injuries, and/or you are over-training in the same way and refusing to listen to your body as it tries to tell you NOT to keep doing the things you do that are hurting it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
Scott L Jenkins
Member Scott L Jenkins is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Jose  CA
Posts: 12
Re: Working with injuries, what can I do?

Thanks for all the great replies, I appreciate the advice. I suppose I didn’t offer enough info to paint the whole picture, and the title doesn’t accurately reflect my intentions. I full well understand the difference of injury v. pain/hurting; 6 years in combat arms taught me about being in pain, the past 2 years have taught me about being injured. What directly led to this was stopping all strength oriented exercise for a good stretch of time; I backpacked around the world for 8 months, and when I got home I took a job which had me working 350+ hrs/mo, and fitness fell to the wayside. All said and done, I had not strength trained for 16 months before ramping up again May of last year.

I started off at what I thought was a cautiously slow pace, which turned out to be not even slow enough, as my connective tissue really took a dump in the year+ that I was off. That’s when I had the first quad/forearm injury. I’m going to partially defend myself against the notion of pride getting in the way and training too hard, as bad luck was a factor; the first quad injury happened while I was doing a samson stretch during a dynamic warm up, and the most recent forearm tear happened while doing a band assisted hamstring stretch.

To clarify my intentions: what I’m not looking to do is PR lifts, bang out max rep pull ups, and see if I can beat my old Fran time. I haven’t lifted weights in 14 months, I haven’t ran since October. I gave the injuries time to heal, did a rehab stint, felt ready to go, and bad luck struck again with the tendinosis out of no where and the new tear. What I am looking to do is not simply sit back and do nothing/the minimum. I can’t accept losing another 3-6 months of what strength remains and letting my connective tissue further degrade, which is why I’m looking for options - anything which is positive for my overall health and mobility.

I'm really considering the swimming option and I’d like to pursue that. I suppose the only way to see if it aggravates the current issues is to try. Rowing and cycling are out for the time being. Working back into the lifts with PVC/training bar under professional supervision sounds like an excellent idea.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2014, 12:52 PM   #6
Steve M Herman
Member Steve M Herman is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Peoria  AZ
Posts: 45
Re: Working with injuries, what can I do?


I won't even pretend to be qualified to tell you want to do. I'm probably not even able to really explain the difference between tendinosis and tendonitis. You can also write off what I am about to say as ridiculous. In fact I can't say for certain if it even helped me.

Stealing quotes from Wikipedia the online source for many people pretending to be an arm chair doctor with strangers on the web...

"Classical characteristics of "tendinosis" include degenerative changes in the collagenous matrix, hypercellularity, hypervascularity, and a lack of inflammatory cells.

Further described as...

"Tendons are very slow to heal if injured. Partial tears heal by the rapid production of disorganized type-III collagen, which is weaker than normal tendon. Recurrence of injury in the damaged region of tendon is common."

Taking things a step further type-III collagen is...

Collagen alpha-1(III) chain is a fibrillar collagen that is found in extensible connective tissues such as skin, lung, and the vascular system, frequently in association with type I collagen.

Type-III collagen is a fibrous scleroprotein in bone, cartilage, dentin, tendon, bone marrow stroma and other connective tissue; yields gelatin on boiling.

So my over the top logical way of thinking wonders...

Have you tried increasing your collagen intake? (I know crazy)

I have started to drink homemade bone broth a few times per week. I purchase some grass fed beef bones and boil them in a crock pot for 24 hours with some spices (you can find a recipe online). During the boil I was scooping out the bone marrow to try and break the bones down as much as possible. The result (after straining, cooling, and removing the hardened layer of fat) is something that can best be described as meat jello. I know it sounds gross. It looks kind of gross too. My family won't touch it even after I have heated it back up into a liquid broth.

I then filled up some mason jars and freeze it. I take out a jar to heat back up and drink. It really tastes just like beef broth. I haven't added meat or vegetables to make it into a soup, but you certainly could. I just drink it as a broth, because making a soup would take more time.

The biggest issue for me is that you just can't unsee the meat jello and it is in the back of your head.

Anyway you can chalk it up to overzealous CrossFit Paleo cult nutrition voodoo, but it certainly isn't harmful. I don't know if it will heal your tendinosis. Yet if the references I stole from Wikipedia are correct it makes sense to me to increase your collagen intake if that is what your injury involves.

As we get old our bodies produce less collagen so maybe try it? Worst case scenario is maybe your skin, hair, and finger nails grow super strong and shiny and the females in your life want to know your secret. Meat jello!

Last edited by Steve M Herman : 08-13-2014 at 02:02 PM.
  Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your injuries... Brian Strump Injuries 0 04-30-2012 11:08 AM
Two injuries that just won't go away Dan Titus Injuries 8 05-25-2011 12:20 PM
Injuries, injuries, everywhere... Van Roberts Injuries 8 12-13-2009 09:01 AM
Working out around injuries? Peter Lavigne Injuries 1 10-12-2009 10:01 AM
What causes injuries? Seral Mehmet Injuries 2 02-17-2006 07:44 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.