How to Best Manage Injuries


“I’m injured so I can’t work out”  I hear this all the time – and it is rarely ever the correct approach.  Let’s walk through the important steps to managing an injury!

0. Prevention.  The best things you can do to avoid a gym injury in the first place are train at an appropriate level for your body and dial in your daily recovery (How to Recover Best from CrossFit Workouts

But what if you were pushing your limits and you ended up injured, or you got an injury outside the gym?

1. Keep training on your usual schedule (with scales and modifications). It might seem counterintuitive at first, but prolonged rest actually delays recovery.  Let’s see why and cover a big caveat.

– Why: “Movement is medicine.” The repair and recovery processes in your body require circulation to bring fresh nutrients to the injury and remove the byproducts.  Getting your heart rate up and your muscles pumping accelerates those processes.

– Why: The stronger and more fit you are, the more resilient you become to injuries – you’ll be injured less often and recover more quickly when injuries do occur.  Resting for prolonged periods reduces your strength and fitness.  

Studies have shown that even if you completely inactivate an injured extremity while continuing strength training in the other extremities, the injured and inactive extremity itself actually maintains more muscle mass as a result of the modified training.  

Maintaining as much strength and fitness as possible while recovering is critical to minimizing recovery time and chances of future injury.

– Caveat: Your training shouldn’t cause significant pain or make the injury worse in the meantime.  This is where scaling and modifying your workouts is critical! 

 Our coaches will always have scaling and modification options available so you can keep exercising and maintaining your fitness without impacting the injury. 

2. Be patient.  As the injury heals and pain decreases, slowly build back to your full training on the injury point. During this process, take careful note of any movements that cause increased pain during or after the workout and adjust your timeline of ramping back up accordingly.  Your coach is here to help!

3. Work with a good physical therapist. If the injury isn’t getting better on its own after 2-3 weeks of following the process, or it recurs, or you want the quickest solution to return to full training and reduce the chances of reinjury, it’s time to find a GOOD physical therapist. We will refer you!  

Assuming you are following your coach’s technique guidance, overuse injuries are usually a result of a lack of strength, stability, or flexibility somewhere in the complicated chain of joints that is your body.  

A good physical therapist will perform a holistic assessment and identify the most likely root cause of the injury and prescribe a plan to correct the weakness as well as a plan for how to train in the meantime up until you are back to 100% pain-free ability. 

Injuries are frustrating and can take the fun out of going to the gym.  Avoid them in the first place by training at the right level and prioritizing recovery.  When injuries do occur, follow the process to heal as quickly and effectively as possible and maintain your strength and fitness along the way!


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