This segment of the blog series will discuss shoulder injuries, the movements that will aggravate the problem, how to prevent injury and when to seek help. Once again we reached out to Andrew Sabarre, Owner/Physiotherapist at Pivotal Health, who helped shed some light on issues surrounding shoulder injuries.
How does the injury start?
Often with shoulder injuries, the first sign of a problem is a pinch in the front of the shoulder. This can often progress to a deeper ache throughout the entire area.
What movements should be avoided?
There are a number of movements that can aggravate a shoulder issue that an athlete should avoid. For instance, an athlete should steer clear of any pushing movement when they have problems with their shoulder. This would include: push-ups, dips, shoulder press, burpees, jerks, push press, thrusters, bench and hand stand push-up. Swinging movements, including kipping pull ups, toes-to-bar and muscle ups can also worsen the injury and should be modified.
How to prevent injury?
We use our shoulders often in workouts, so it is important to practice proper technique in order to prevent injury. Set your shoulders and make sure you have proper lower trap engagement before performing any movement. It is also important to roll and stretch the shoulders. Keeping on top of proper maintenance will help prevent injury and mobility exercises should be performed regularly as the shoulder is used so often.
When should you seek help?
If you are finding that your shoulder injury is not going away on its own, or if you are prone to injury and want to prevent it, make sure you seek the help of a physio. Physiotherapists can provide treatment, as well as exercises that you can do on your own to help fix the issue. Both Andrew Sabarre and Gretchen McLennan are qualified physiotherapists, with extensive experience in treating CrossFit athletes. As CrossFitters themselves, they understand the importance of proper technique and can help you get back on the training floor.
While the shoulder is a big problem area and affects an athlete’s ability to perform many movements, you can still find ways to work around the issue. Ask your coaches for modifications and let them know you are injured. Your well-being is their main concern and they will help you modify, while enabling you to still enjoy a great workout.