After suffering from a shoulder injury and doing modified workouts at Crossfit, the last thing you probably want to do is a *boring* rehabiliation exercise program, right? Well if you want a long career in Crossfit, you better get used to it. Otherwise you are likely to re-injure yourself again, inevitably causing an even longer hiatus from the sport you love.
There are different phases of rehabilitation: acute, recovery and functional with different goals and type of exercises for each phase. It is important that you fufill certain criteria of each phase before moving onto the next to enable a smooth transition back into training. One of the biggest problems I encounter is that people tend to only do the exercises prescribed for a short period of time. You need to keep in mind that although the shoulder may not be painful or niggly, chances are good that it is not 100% repaired unless you have put in 100% to rehabilitate it. Proper rehabilitation takes time and effort on your part. Consider it part of your training and treat it with the same level of importance as you do your training and I can promise you that it WILL improve.
Starting a rehabilitation program should be done under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist or exercise physiologist and for best results I would recommend they get in touch with your Crossfit coach so your coach knows what you can/cannot do. At the beginning it is important that your pain is well under control. This is essential as pain will alter the way that your shoulder functions and you may even hold your shoulder in unnatural positions which can lead to muscle inhibition. Exercise should start within pain-free range of movement and then progress onto larger ranges of movement as pain is controlled.
All in all, shoulder injuries suck and can take a long time to recover from. But if you get it diagnosed properly in the acute phase (i.e. not waiting 6-12 months for the problem to “go away on it’s own”), get adequate physiotherapy treatment and be compliant with rehabilitation, there is no reason why you can’t return to Crossfit at 100%. Get it fixed RIGHT the FIRST time, otherwise it will take you out of the game for longer.
And who wants to miss out on Crossfit for any longer than we have to?