Joy and Pain

Posted: February 11, 2013 by Uncle D in mobility

Joy…and pain, sunshine…and rain.

Now that, I have planted that little ditty in to your brain, let’s get on with the topic of this post. First the disclaimer, I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice, these are just some of my experiences. You are responsible for you!

Joy and pain, pretty much sums up crossfit. Lots of really great moments and accompishments married to a truckload of pain and soreness. So you need, I repeat you NEED to be able to do some self maintenance at home to get the most out of your exercise program. Crossfit is a sport, and if you apply yourself you will have nagging soreness, and tight muscles, it is your responsibility to work on these at home. There are only so many things that can be squeezed into an hour class, so Uncle D is here to help you with your body maintenance and care at home program.

Step 1 – Get yourself in the habit of watching TV and stretching. Most everyone watches a couple of TV shows or sporting events during the week, use this time. You can still relax, watch TV, and do some light stretching that will do wonders for your daily workouts. The basic rule for stretching, especially cold, is light and easy. In theory, when cold you should only do dynamic stretching which are things like arm swings, and v-roll outs. However, if you go slow and easy a little static stretching is still better than doing nothing.

Step 2 – Get a foam roller! The roller does wonders, no it’s not relaxing, yes it hurts, but it is the best thing for your smashed up muscles.

Here are some video links for how to use the roller to its max advantage I try to do all three in one sitting a couple of times a week, it’s a huge help!

Step 3 – Go to there is a ton of great self maintenance information here.

Step 4 – Be able to do self massage, do it as often as possible! This doesn’t replace going to see a quality massage therapist like our members Steve and Lisa on a regular basis but it does help.

Finally some TOP SECRET INFORMATION – Here is what is totally counter intuitive, pain does not always manifest itself at the actual point of injury/tightness. Stop. Re-read that last sentence and commit it to memory. A couple of examples for you:

1)    Your knee is really bothering you, you are sure something is busted and you need an MRI or you have seriously damaged something. Remember pain does not always manifest at the actual problem, try pressing your thumb at the place where the outer calf-muscle connects to the shin. Run that thumb all the way down the shin, if this causes you to jump out of your chair, you could have an excessively tight calf muscle that is pulling on your knee and making it hurt. You do not have a knee problem you have a calf problem, get your lacrosse ball out, sit on the floor and put your weight on the ball and start breaking that calf muscle loose. This may also apply to the big muscles in your upper leg like your quad or IT band. Explore, press on muscles, if you jump when you press, you might be on to a problem area. It’s your body get to know it!

2)    Here is something that has recently happened to me, I have a surgically repaired right shoulder and it has given me problems occasionally throughout my time in crossfit. I have had pain in my shoulder recently and I thought it was actually in my shoulder, I stretched and rolled it out and it wasn’t getting any better. The pain was so clearly in my shoulder that I didn’t even think to check anywhere else, but after a week of no progress I started poking around at the surrounding muscles. Finally I started digging my thumb into the muscles of my inner bicep, OUCH, and hello major contributing culprit. So now two days of working on it and I am seeing significant improvement.

So here is the moral of the story kids, don’t forego the doctor if you really think you did damage to a muscle, joint, or tendon. Always better to be safe than sorry. But if you have pain in a particular area, always probe the muscles above and below the area of pain. Muscles are strong, when they get tight and start pulling on a connector or joint 24/7 that area can really start to hurt. Just remember the real culprit may be the tight muscle not the joint or connector.

You choose to do crossfit and manage your diet to live a healthier and more fit lifestyle, do the same for your recovery and care by learning more about your body and trying some of the items listed above.


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