How CrossFit can help you after an injury

Every day we talk to someone who has a serious injury in their past. Often it is recent and still something being dealt with.

We work with people that have had knee replacements, shoulder reconstructions, disc herniation, fractured wrists, and much more.

You may be wondering to yourself, “wait a minute, CrossFit is really intense, how can people with those injuries do that stuff?”

Let me tell you my story.

When I was 34 I found out I had a herniated C4 and C5 vertebrae and a degenerative C6 in my neck. To keep the story short, I had tons of pain, couldn’t sleep, and my right arm kept going numb.

When I got an MRI the doctor told me my neck was 60 years old. FUN

I did a lot of things over a  6 year period to try and get my neck to feel better. Chiropractic was the best solution but even that wasn’t permanent. I had to keep going back every couple months to keep the pain away. Then I found CrossFit.

I was introduced to the concept of scaling and progressive development. These seem obvious now but at the time it was a revelation.

Scaling is when I made an alteration to a movement or exercise to accommodate an injury or physical limitation I had.

Progressive Development, is just a fancy way of saying, starting to work where I was and then building from there. No one expected me to walk in the door and workout like everyone else in the place.

I learned 3 things:

  1. I am only limited by my desire to improve. If I wanted to get over my injury I needed to keep working within the ability that I had. If I did something that hurt, then I needed to ask a coach for a scaling option to help me get a workout in without aggravating the issue.
  2. I had to be patient. I’m a little competitive and I tend to push myself too hard sometimes. Thankfully the gym where I started had some good coaches who “encouraged” me to take my time and let my body work itself into shape. When it came to healing my neck, developing strength and mobility overall had a longer lasting effect than anything else I have tried. If I tried to rush it I would never have seen the results I have today.
  3. Coaching is the most important. Coaches kept me safe. They made sure I moved properly and taught me the importance of executing movement safely for the most effective results. I learned that doing half-assed reps, or incomplete movement because it felt “easier” was doing me more harm than good.

What CrossFit taught me was that If I was patient, listened to my coaches and stayed consistent, I could get myself back to where I wanted to be.

This is me 4 years later. The only thing I have done for my neck during that time is CrossFit. Not only is my neck pain-free, but I am now 45 years old and in the best shape of my life.

If you are recovering from an injury the worst thing you can do is nothing. As soon as your doctor or physical therapist clears you, go find somewhere you can start working on getting better. Proper movement, scaled intensity, patience, and experienced coaching can work miracles. In time, at the right gym, with the right coaching, you can successfully move from rehab to living and enjoying life again.

This is just my story, we have several members at Ellicott City Health and Fitness who have similar stories. Feel free to come in and find out how we can help you with your situation. You can set up an appointment here



-Coach Bronson

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