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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 08-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #1
Kyle Berlinski
Member Kyle Berlinski is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Scranton  PA
Posts: 3
Neck Injury

Hello everyone! I'm finishing up my second month of crossfit after about 3 years of conventional "bodybuilding" style weightlifting with a focus on running. I must say I absolutely love the WOD's and hope to do crossfit in the years to come.

On July 5th's WOD I substituted hand stands for time instead of hand stand walks for distance. I felt no pain during the hand stand but after I came out of it
I had pain and tightness in my neck and lower trap near my shoulderblade. I proceeded to finish the workout(never a good idea) of weighted pull-ups and very light snatches as the muscle was getting tighter.

Over the next 2 weeks I did sub optimal workouts to the best of my ability trying to allow my neck to heal. I got side to side motion back but still had pain when pushing my head forward, back very far, and down + to the right. I decided to take a full week off, with no exercise at all, and lots of ice and massages and it felt great. I still however, had 2 pressure points on a cervical vertebrae in my lower neck and thoracic vertebrae in my upper back.

I started doing WOD's last week again and was fine for the most part. I completed 5x5 shoulder press with 115lbs on 7/31 which is very close to the weight I would use if I was not injured and felt OK on 8/1. I ran 5k on 8/1 and than on 8/2 I woke up and the muscle was very tight so I skipped the WOD. Today was a rest day and although the muscle feels pretty good, I still decided not to workout, as I have the same pressure points on my vertebrae as I have had from the beginning. If I look down very hard it also pulls on the muscle.

I always do the "official" crossfit warm-up and the WOD as my workouts, with occasional 5k runs added in when I have the energy and time.

When the muscle flares up, it feels like a very deep/burning sensation from my middle left trap(about even with my collarbone) to the middle/lower region of my neck. The muscles in my middle/upper neck do not burn but are tender, and certain vertebrae have very sensitive pressure points on them. No exercise directly causes the pain,(except trying to push my head back against resistance VERY hard) it is just chronic throughout the day once it flares up.

What should I do for workout schedules? Exercise when it feels good, and rest when it does not? Exercise but avoid engaging my neck muscles? Or just take a long period off and wait for absolutely no pain in the area?

As for treatment the only thing I have been doing is ice and massages, I am afraid to stretch it far in case of further injury.

This is also not the first time I have injured myself doing handstands, but in the past, it wasn't the same injury(different movements caused me pain).

I appreciate any feedback as I can not afford another doctor visit for the time being and the injury is not life threatening to me just very aggravating and demoralizing. If I was unclear on anything just let me know and I will elaborate or provide a photo.


Last edited by Kyle Berlinski; 08-03-2013 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #2
Daniel Pope
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Location: Waterford Works  NJ
Posts: 492
Re: Neck Injury

Hey Kyle,

I know its tough to pay for professional help but that's going to be your best bet.

That being said it sounds like you're healing. I'd probably avoid exercises that really exacerbate your pain and slowly start to incorporate/progress more as you feel better.

I think the issue with these injuries is they take time and it's frustrating not being able to go full boar in workouts.

Continue being smart about your training and maybe think about adopting a program more specific to your needs/goals/injuries.
Physical Therapist, Coach, Athlete - My website: Injury Prevention Info so you can continue to enjoy crossfit pain free
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:25 AM   #3
Peter Gan
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vancouver  BC Canada
Posts: 17
Re: Neck Injury

Hey Kyle,

Hope ur neck is fully recovered by now.

I have had similar injuries from hand stand for time. It turned out my midline wasn't in line. During my recovery I had stopped doing WODs completely and it hurt real bad I laid on a hard surface. My back healed within a week.

Second time I did hand stand for time I paid extra attention to have my midline in check (spine in straight line). No more pain! Hope that was the issue for you.
Peter Gan
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:48 PM   #4
Michael Hollister
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boulder  CO
Posts: 20
Re: Neck Injury

Hi Kyle,

Your problem sounds similar to mine--I've had to deal with spasms in my neck, trap, and rhomboid (left side) when doing overhead CF stuff.

Do you have any history of injuries to your neck/shoulder? Sometimes those muscles spasm because they remember the trauma of a previous injury. is your posture? The reason I ask is, my poor posture contributed to my continued neck/upper back problems when going hard in CrossFit. (I worked as a military admin officer so rode a desk for 12+ hrs/day). Therapy to correct my posture & alignment helped immensely.
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