Fighting Back From Injury: Darren Freeman, Train (Manchester, UK)

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I had an impingement to be right shoulder for which I was given Cortisol injections (3 in total). After the 3rd injection I was then sent for a X-ray, followed by a MRI scan. This revealed I had a spur on my bone that was shaped like a tigers tooth and this was causing the inflammation. Upon surgery it became known that my supraspinatus was torn.

My injury wasn’t a sudden incident, it was more wear and tear through bad practice of years of poor technique training on my own.

My first reaction was to seek medical advice and follow physios advice. Once I was given injections I preceded to carry on with training program and ignore the rehab part of my training.

Initial treatment was given to me through the hospital which I didn’t find helpful at all as they have a “one size fits all” approach to rehab. So I sought professional treatment through recommendation in the Crossfit community and through friends in the fitness industry.

As a Crossfitter I really struggled with the mental aspect after surgery because I really thought I was missing out, I really worked hard on the rehab side of things but this just lead me to go back to training way too soon.

My shoulder is definitely on the mend after 18 months (probably would of been sooner had I not been so keen to compete). Because of my experience it as made me a lot wiser regarding listening to my body rather than just training through the pain.

Think the best advice I could give people is listen to the experts… If they say it’s gonna take 6 months to recover then except it. Don’t tell yourself you are fitter than normal everyday people and recovery will be faster because you are superman/woman.

Also 6 weeks after my shoulder op I was in the gym doing Squats…Squats…Squats because I could get away with it… I didn’t and my knee finally gave in.


Impingement refers to mechanical compression and/or wear of the rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff is actually a series of four muscles connecting the scapula (shoulder blade) to the humeral head (upper part of the shoulder joint). The rotator cuff is important in maintaining the humeral head within the glenoid (socket) during normal shoulder function and also contributes to shoulder strength during activity. Normally, the rotator cuff glides smoothly between the undersurface of the acromion, the bone at the point of the shoulder and the humeral head.

Any process which compromises this normal gliding function may lead to mechanical impingement. Common causes include weakening and degeneration within the tendon due to aging, the formation of bone spurs and/or inflammatory tissue within the space above the rotator cuff (subacromial space) and overuse injuries.


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