I’d like to share a story with you. About 6 years ago I had ongoing issues with my left shoulder, it was non training related (car accident when I was 18). During the time I had a lot of frustrations with my shoulder, it wasn’t getting better. I didn’t have the guidance or a proper diagnosis of what was wrong. All I knew was that whenever I tried something on my shoulder I would hurt it. I learned the hard way and it only got worse. In the end, I had to get a full reconstruction.
The reason why I am sharing this with you is that I made every single mistake under the sun on how to handle an injury. It would feel good so I tested it, I hurt it, it felt good again, I re-tested it and bam! I hurt it again. A constant cycle. I had no other option but to get the shoulder fixed and then rebuild it from scratch.
After my surgery, I needed to know why my shoulder was so prone to injury. I had massive instability through my rotator cuffs and shoulder blades. I found this out because I went and searched for the answers. I sought out the best people I could to tell me what was wrong. I was searching for the answers to get myself better.
During my rebuild phase, I was in a heavy rehab protocol for my shoulder. I used resistance bands, light dumbbells, massage and triggering. The main contributor to my rebuild phase was training, specifically CrossFit at the time.
I would squat heavy 3 times a week using a safety squat bar. I would use 1 arm for dumbbell work and do bodyweight movements that wouldn’t involve my injured shoulder. I can say this sped up my recovery time not only physically but mentally. It was the mental break I needed and the confidence I needed to get me back into training. If you have ever experienced a major injury, you know it takes a toll on your confidence and mental state.
I want you to note that during my recovery phase I never once trained through my injury, I trained around it, I never once tested until it was 100%, not 95%, not 99.9%, 100%!!! It’s not worth taking 3 steps forward in progress and then 5 steps back. That wasn’t just my 100% confidence, that was my specialists and my exercise physiologists 100% confidence.
Fast forward 6 years, I had never had a problem with my shoulder, in fact, it’s stronger now than before I injured it. Why? Because I did the research. I sought out professional advice and not just your average professional advise, but the BEST and people who actually understood training and injuries.
My advise to you if you have an injury or a niggle that won’t go away, look for best to get advice. If someone ever tells you to stop exercising all together then run far away from them because resting all together is one of the WORST things you can do in my opinion.
Look for someone who will give you a plan and not just dangling the carrot in your face to give you false hope and take your money.
And lastly my best piece of advice, be smart and train around your injury.
When I share my experience, my aim is to save you time and not to make the same mistakes I did.