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Re-grouping after injury?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 01, 2012 at 6:07 PM

The short of it: Last week I 'tweaked' a nerve in my neck/shoulder doing bicep curls. It's the third time in 2 months that this has happened, and this time is much worse. I probably need to accept reality and take a few weeks (or more) off from the gym (or at least my current workout), especially lifting heavy weights. This comes at a bad time -- I was on a solid 5x5 lifting program and finally feeling like I was making noticeable gains in strength and size.

I'm a little depressed that my training is derailed, but perhaps this is a good time to re-assess and re-group. I'm thinking this might be a good opportunity to up the cardio and lean out? Or try a new workout program? How have other people re-grouped after an injury and seen a silver lining? What strategies have you used to get re-motivated and continue to improve?

Longer story: I'm M, 30, 6', 165, probably around 12-14% BF. I've gained about 10-15 lbs of muscle in the last 1.5 years though it's taken a while to find a training program that worked (i'm a hardgainer, small build, and not super strong or athletic by nature). Paleo + 5x5 (stronglifts) + HIIT was really the only thing that worked over a long term and didn't lead to a quick plateau. 5x5 program was squats, benchpress, barbell row, overhead press, deadlift, pushups, pullups, occasional bicep and tricep work. Since the injury is to shoulder/neck, it's going to directly affect my ability to do most of these -- esp the upper body exercises -- which is the part of my body that I wanted to build the most (I have pretty strong legs and core).

Any advice would be much appreciated!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 13, 2013
at 01:28 PM

Agree on the PT. My wife is a yoga instructor and had a chronic pain in her wrist that limited her ability to do inverted poses. The third PT person she went to diagnosed it as an atrophied muscle next to her shoulder blade, prescribed exercises for about 6-8 weeks, and completely eliminated the pain and restored her ability to invert. We found it fascinating that a weak muscle in the upper back affected the wrist, I think it takes a good PT to diagnose an imbalance like this.

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c

(427)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:22 AM

You're definitely right about that last part. This is a good opportunity to focus on the overall health fitness goals. hanks for the advice!

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c

(427)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Yes, exactly -- the point was that since this is the 3rd time, it definitely didn't heal properly and it's time to let it heal for real. I'm thinking about seeing a PT if i can find a decent one w/in price range. Thanks for advice!

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4 Answers

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 02, 2012
at 05:14 AM

I recommend seeing a PT once to get a diagnosis, then study it on your own and cure it. Maybe even go back once or twice to get some direction in person. They definitely will try to rope you in to as many visits as they can... you don't have to go as much as they say, though.

You might really enjoy seeing a chiropractor first, too. For immediate relief.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 13, 2013
at 01:28 PM

Agree on the PT. My wife is a yoga instructor and had a chronic pain in her wrist that limited her ability to do inverted poses. The third PT person she went to diagnosed it as an atrophied muscle next to her shoulder blade, prescribed exercises for about 6-8 weeks, and completely eliminated the pain and restored her ability to invert. We found it fascinating that a weak muscle in the upper back affected the wrist, I think it takes a good PT to diagnose an imbalance like this.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:20 PM

"the third time in 2 months that this has happened, and this time is much worse"

You either did not heal properly the first time, or you have developed a major muscle imbalance. My guess is the first, but over the summer I herniated three dics in my lower neck/ upper back -- and when I finally went to a physical therapist I found out the my problem was a muscle imbalance. I suggest working with a pt to diagnose why this has happend twice in a row.

Time off? For me it turned into 14 weeks. Sucks, but worth it to be healthy. The good news is that it only took 3 weeks to get back to my previous lifting level.

Try out Cardio? Probably shouldn't running is harder on the back then lifting

Good luck!

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c

(427)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Yes, exactly -- the point was that since this is the 3rd time, it definitely didn't heal properly and it's time to let it heal for real. I'm thinking about seeing a PT if i can find a decent one w/in price range. Thanks for advice!

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 02, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Where's quilt at? Cold therapy Cold Therapy COLD THERAPY.

Get in that Ice Bath, Take that cold shower and sleep in the snow.

But srs, don't sleep in the snow, lol.

It's new standard treatment that if an nfl player gets a neck injury like the first thing they do now is ice it with some sort of special shot, but it's basically cold therapy abcnews article.

Dr Kruse has some article about some gymnast he helped who had a crazy spine injury but after a bunch of cold therapy recovered and was able to still compete in '12 Olympics in London. Srs, cold therapy is like crack for your CNS, try it!!

Yw.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on December 01, 2012
at 07:59 PM

In March I dropped a 45lb weight on my toe, absolutely destroying it, and a month or two ago, I tore my rotator cuff. In both instances, I did take one-two weeks of absolute rest, but I went back to the gym and did what exercises I could do. With my toe, I couldn't do deadlifts, planks, leg press, but I could do curls, extensions, and upper body work. When I had my shoulder injury, I did more leg stuff. In both instances, as I felt I could, I slowly worked back in the exercises I was missing. But slowly, taking good rest after and really paying attention to my body.

My fear is that whether I go or not, either choice will become habit, so I go, even if I'm deloading for a week, or sick, I just do a modified, lighter program. Adapt your program while you recover, but make sure you do fully recover, or you will just do it again. Even if you aren't working on the parts you really want to work on, you still are getting a psychological and physical benefit, an overall benefit. I think that if you allow all this to get to focussed on one thing or one area, then you might give in too quickly when your plans hit a snag.

E2d885a66875eb01e931d369fac7353c

(427)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:22 AM

You're definitely right about that last part. This is a good opportunity to focus on the overall health fitness goals. hanks for the advice!

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