Call to Schedule
(720) 651-0674

What You Need To Know About Shoulder Injuries In CrossFit 

Group Of People Doing CrossFit 2

What You Need To Know About Shoulder Injuries In CrossFit 

Is your shoulder feelings sore after a CrossFit session and it doesn’t seem to be going away?

Shoulder injuries in CrossFit can develop for many reasons and leave you in agonizing pain for a long period of time and can even stop you from going to your CrossFit sessions for weeks on end.

We know the last thing you want is to miss out on your CrossFit sessions, so we’ve put together this blog that tells you everything you need to know about shoulder injuries in CrossFit, from why your shoulder may be hurting to how you can prevent CrossFit shoulder injuries.

Group Of People Doing CrossFit 2
Group Of People Doing CrossFit 2

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt After CrossFit?

Your shoulders can hurt for many different reasons. Many of the movements of CrossFit demand a lot from your shoulders, so it is easy for the shoulders to get overwhelmed.

For example, swings, push-ups, snatches, and kettlebell swings can be hard for shoulders and can sometimes cause CrossFit shoulder injuries.

Your shoulders can suffer with these exercises due to being weak, tight in certain areas, or due to inefficient technique.

How Do You Prevent Shoulder Injuries In CrossFit?

First, the shoulder needs good mobility to be able to access all the planes of motion required during CrossFit movements.

Commonly, the challenges with mobility are fully overhead (think RX for push press).

Limited shoulder mobility overhead can be commonly either lat tightness or upper back tightness, so loosening up those areas is a good place to start.

Second, the shoulder needs a great deal of strength to be able to keep up with the demands of CrossFit.

Commonly it’s the rotator cuff, upper back, and lats that aren’t strong enough and shoulder injuries in CrossFit would occur less frequently if these areas were more robust.

Third, and most importantly, is movement efficiency.

You can have advanced mobility and strength, but if you are not performing the movements efficiently, it can still overwork the shoulder.

The best way to know if you’re moving efficiently is to check in with a CrossFit coach, or even better, see a qualified physical therapist who can analyze your movement and break down where you might need more mobility, strength, or control with certain movements.

How Do I Stop Shoulder Pain From CrossFit?

This entirely depends on how severe the pain is, but in general, you need to calm the shoulder down first, before diving into the core issue as to why it became painful in the first place.

To calm the shoulder down, you need to get the pain to the point where it is tolerable, does not hurt at rest, and the pain does not linger.

How we do this is very dependent on the individual and the specifics of the CrossFit shoulder injury. In general, the shoulder needs low pain or pain-free movement, and to be careful with fast motions and reaching too far overhead or behind the back motions.

PTs also have a lot of tools (like soft tissue massage, dry needling, joint manipulation, cardio exercise, and others) available to help pain calm down quicker.

What Is The Fastest Way To Cure Shoulder Pain?

Recovery from CrossFit shoulder injuries is going to happen on a spectrum. You will gradually be ready for more and more activities over time.

The fastest way to recover is to remain active in whatever way the shoulder allows you to, and to listen to feedback from the shoulder in that you’re challenging it but not overworking it.

For example, if an overhead press hurts, do a landmine press in low pain range of motion to continue to work the shoulder.

The best way to know if you’re challenging the shoulder appropriately is to see a qualified coach who can help with scaling activities or a physical therapist who can analyze movement and help build up the system more robustly.

While working on appropriately challenging the shoulder, there are strategies to get the pain to calm down a bit to allow more challenge to the shoulder and therefore faster progress.

Some of those strategies include soft tissue massage, dry needling, joint manipulation, and cardio exercise

Should I Stop Doing CrossFit If My Shoulder Hurts?

There are a variety of movements in CrossFit, and some of them are more demanding on the shoulders than others.

You should not stop CrossFit, but you should not do the movements that further aggravate the shoulder.

Every CrossFit workout should be able to be scaled, so the best way to treat the shoulder and body is to scale the workout so that it does not further contribute to the shoulder pain, while also getting the shoulder pain addressed by a professional.

CrossFit shoulder injuries can definitely get worse quickly and can be very debilitating, so it’s the best idea to dive into what changes you need to make in order to get the pain to go away and continue striving to meet fitness and health goals.

How Can We Help With CrossFit Shoulder Injuries?

If you’ve been suffering with a shoulder injury from CrossFit, you’ve given it time and followed our steps above and it’s not getting any better, it’s time to come and see us.

If you want some advice about your specific kind of shoulder pain, click the Ask About Cost And Availability button below and we can set up a time for you to talk to a member of the team to see how we can best help you.

You can also arrange a Free Telephone Consultation or call us on (720) 651-0674 if you prefer to speak to a member of the team from the comfort of your own home.

Other Free Resources To Help You Recover From Injuries Quicker 

Download your Free Shoulder Pain Report and discover How To Use Sleep To Help With Your Injuries And Recovery

Grab A Copy Of Our Founder’s Book For Free – Just pay postage! – Adding Insight To Injury – The Ultimate Injury Recovery Guide To Help You Reclaim The Life You Love

Follow Us On Social Media – KinetikChain Denver Physical Therapy Facebook and KinetikChain Physical Therapy Instagram


Ask About Cost & Availability

KinetikChain Physical Therapy

We Help People In Denver Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active In Their Favorite Sport/Hobby, Continue Exercising, And Get Back To What They Love To Do.


Where does it hurt?"
Tell us and we'll send you our best advice in a FREE tips report. Look below and find the one that's best for you:

jb low back pain orig
jb achy knees orig

Get Your Free Tips Report On TMJ / TMD

Privacy Policy: We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will NOT be shared.