It is no secret that the popularity of CrossFit has exploded in recent years. Since it was founded in 2000, it has taken the fitness world by storm. CrossFit workouts (known as WODs or workout of the day) combine elements of high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics (body weight exercise), and strongman exercises. While all CrossFit gyms, or boxes, differ in the structure of the daily workout routine, most consist of a warmup, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, then a cool down. If performed correctly and under the supervision of a knowledgeable, skilled coach, CrossFit offers a variety of physical, mental, and emotional advantages. Not only do individuals get in better shape, but they leave the box each day knowing they gave it their all while surrounded by a close-knit community of friends. However, like other sports and activities, there may be situations that arise that put CrossFitters at risk for injury. Unfortunately, since its inception, CrossFit has been scrutinized for putting people at a higher risk for injury. Common injuries include shoulder impingement, low back pain, FAI or hip impingement, and various forms of tendinitis.
Factors that may lead to some of these injuries include:
Common CrossFit Injuries include:
How can Physical Therapy help?
A PT will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the structure that is injured or painful, but more importantly why it is injured or painful. Your past medical history will be reviewed to determine any possible underlying causes of pain. The problem is often coming from another non-painful part of the body. For example, shoulder impingement is not simply rotator cuff tendinopathy. Why is the rotator cuff not functioning properly? It can be due to a variety of reasons such as shoulder instability, scapular weakness, tightness in the pecs, cervical and/or thoracic spine. Your PT will design a treatment program to correct any of these underlying mobility or strength deficits, so your problem doesn’t return once the painful structure is healed. Your PT will also communicate with your CrossFit coach to establish progressions and a plan of care.