posted May 03

    Crossfit has been called “the sport of fitness.”  Sport.  That’s the key word here.  Has anyone ever played a sport without getting a little banged up?  I don’t think so.  Unless you sucked and warmed the bench all the time, you’ve no doubt had an injury or two.  This goes with the territory.  When we are pushing ourselves to the limit on a constant basis, we will no doubt end up with some aches and pains.  Hopefully it doesn’t go past that point into something more serious, but in the event you have an injury, you need to be smart and take care of it.  I’ve had a few interactions with clients lately that led to this blog post. I deal with aches and pains on a regular basis.  My shoulders always seem to hurt for one reason or another.  I have chronic tendinitis in my left elbow from years of guitar playing and kettlebell work.  And for some reason, my knees will hurt for no particular reason and then be fine in a couple days.  Ahh, the joy of aging.  You young’ins in your mid 20’s may not know what I’m talking about yet, but you will :)

    So, what do you do when all of a sudden something hurts?  As simple as it seems, ice is your best friend in these cases.  Within the first 24-48 hours of any injury, your focus should be on decreasing the swelling with ice.  The age-old method known as R.I.C.E. is a great rule of thumb.  R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  I would also add fish oil to that equation.  So I guess we could call it F.O.R.I.C.E. Fish oil is a great natural anti-inflammatory and helps with tons of other stuff.  You should already be taking it daily.  If you don’t know how much to take check this out http://whole9life.com/2010/03/robb-wolf-fish-oil-calculator/ So, let’s break this R.I.C.E thing down a bit.

    First, rest.  This doesn’t mean inactivity.  Just take it easy on whatever part you’ve injured.  You’d be amazed at what you can do in the gym with an injury.  Talk to a trainer.  We can advise you on what to do. I like to look at injuries as an opportunity to focus on a weakness in another area that may have never focused on had you not been limited.  Second, ice.  Apply an ice pack or bag of ice to the injured area for no longer than 15 or 20 minutes at a time, a few times a day.  Right before you sleep and immediately after activity are the best times for this.  Be careful to protect the skin.  Make sure it’s not too cold.  You can actually give yourself frost bite if you’re stupid about it ;)  Third, compression.  Wrap it up.  If you sprained your ankle, wrap it up when you walk on it.  Compression also helps prevent swelling.  Last we have elevation.  Try to get the injured area above your heart.  Gravity will keep too much blood from building up and causing swelling. It seems simple but following these steps will help immensely. Next time you get an ache, try it out.  And start taking fish oil.  Now.

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