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Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Lifting and Crossfit, Master, Mobility, Music and Rants, Rant, Recovery

Discomfort vs. Injury

Discomfort vs. Injury

I should preface this post by saying I have no profession degree’s or certifications outside of Neuroscience, so if your doctor told you to do something – listen to him! That said, I have a fair deal of experience nursing my own injuries through the years whether it’s patellar tendonitis, epicondylitis, foot problems, or my most recent maladies involving my AC joint. Through all these injuries, being the bear headed person I am, my chief question was – “Can I train today?” This is a huge distinction, when does discomfort become and injury, and when is it safe to say that you’re okay to keep going? For me the answer was a simple one, if whatever I’m dealing with actually forces me to compromise my mechanics or stop a movement altogether; then it’s an injury. On the other hand, if you’re using some discomfort as a crutch, or an excuse – well then I think it’s obvious. The trick is being honest with yourself; which I know first hand can be very difficult. I lie to myself on a daily basis; it’s something I’m working on.

So here’s my attempt at an injury vs. discomfort cheat sheet…

  1. If it’s at all related to mobility – MOBILIZE, don’t use it as an excuse to scale
  2. Don’t be afraid to scale, but do it because you need it, not because you want it
  3. If it forces you to compromise mechanics, find a replacement movement or go home
  4. Do something else! Crossfit has hundreds of movements, if you can’t do one, find a similar one and scale it appropriately, there’s almost always something you can do
  5. RICE is your friend (no not the grain!) – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate; this solves at least 75% of my “discomforts”
  6. If you’re not sure, or it persists, see someone with letters after there name
  7. Don’t ask the resident gym bro (like me) what you should do if your shoulder pops, or why your knee hurts, we don’t know, but if you ask – we’re gonna try and answer, and that’s bad for both ends
  8. Get to know yourself, figure out which pains are real and which are tolerable, some will make you stronger, others will put you on the couch for a month
  9. Don’t forget the big picture, I hate taking days off for injury, but two days versus four weeks is a big difference, the last thing you should do is make something worse
  10. Being injured doesn’t make you less badass, but staying injured makes you an idiot –Me

Big picture!



  1. Outlaw Way 121016 (w.Videos) | Grizzly Strong - [...] morning I wrote a post about injury vs. discomfort and how to tell the difference, along with the basics…
  2. Mental Clarity: An Over-thinker’s Dilemma | Grizzly Strong - [...] – Again, this is something I’m not great at, I touched on it in my Discomfort vs. Injury post…

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