Just like everything else, fitness has its own trends, and the latest and most popular trend nowadays is CrossFit workout. Right from fitness enthusiasts to beginners, everyone is attracted to this fresh, unorthodox style of exercising. Also, gyms and fitness centers are convincing people around the globe to try out CrossFit workout plans, and thereby break free from usual boring gym workout routines.
However, it is essential to understand that CrossFit comes with a price. It is observed that CrossFit workout routines bring along back pain and other body aches for almost everyone who follows it. As per a 2013 study, 97 out of 132 athletes following CrossFit admitted that it caused them one or multiple injuries. It was concluded from the study that most common injuries were low-back and sciatica.
Now, the question is if the CrossFit routine is so tough that it causes injury to most individuals, why is it promoted so much? Well, the obvious answer is it gives desired results. It is that one workout which is packed with several benefits like –
- It burns calories faster
- It helps in managing weight better
- It helps in gaining muscle strength
- It increases your stamina
- It enhances balance, flexibility, and agility
Well, you can see that the benefits of CrossFit workouts are quite alluring. So, isn’t it more fitting to follow the exercise without injuring ourselves? For sure, it is. For starters, you can do it the right way using the correct techniques. To understand this better, let’s see what causes injuries as well as what can be done for crossfit back pain relief.
What exactly causes CrossFit injuries?
Stiffened Hip Flexors
Most people love the idea of spending a few hours at the gym right after being in the office sitting in their respective chairs for hours. They usually do this thinking it will help them stay in shape as well as enhance their overall stamina and strength. Well, yes, it will help you maintain your shape and weight, but when you start working out suddenly after sitting for hours in a chair, it will increase the chances of injuring your lower back.
The sudden and dynamic movements of the CrossFit workout can hurt your hip flexors, and tighten them. For this, you can blame the psoas and iliacus. These are the two major muscles of hip flexor. Psoas is a longer and deeper muscle that starts right from the lumbar spine to the thigh bone, and iliacus is a shorter and flatter muscle that connects the pelvis to the thigh.
Tighter hip flexor will lead to pain in the lower back. You can control this by improving your stability and doing proper stretch exercises pre and post-workout. Some couch stretch, along with a little PNF stretching, can help significantly.
Lifting Excess Weight
CrossFit enthusiast keeps on increasing their weight lifting capacity. While this is fine, it should be done with the correct technique and along with maintaining proper form. When you lift more weight than what your muscles can handle, you will gradually experience lumbar strain.
The thing is, when you lift heavy weights, your muscle gets too stretched or too contracted, and this causes tears in muscle tissues. As a result, lifting weight becomes more challenging, and it gives more stress to your lower back. If not taken care of immediately, with time, it will limit your range of motion as well as decrease your performance.
Symptoms of lumbar strain differ from person to person, but common symptoms are sudden pain, and severe illness leading to stiffness and soreness. It is advised to seek immediate treatment to avoid further damage.
Reduced Core Stability
Strengthening the core is inevitable, and it should be a part of your training plan right from the beginning. After all, weak or poor core stability is one of the biggest reasons why individuals following CrossFit workouts experience lower back pain. On the other hand, a strong core will help you keep your spine and pelvis stable while lifting heavy weights during the exercise.
Sadly, most individuals care way too much about their abs rather than their core stability. Keep in mind that your true strength is a stable core. If your core is not stable, sooner or later, you will end up hurting yourself. So, don’t just work on your glamour muscles, but your entire core.
However, even after working out with all the right techniques, you experience sore muscles, simply give your body some time to recover. Going for CrossFit workouts under pressure will simply put more strain on your core and lower back.
The strong and vigorous movements of CrossFit workout may look like fun, but they can cause several serious injuries, including Sciatica. Sciatica is a symptom related to leg pain. An individual suffering from sciatica may experience a bad leg cramp to severe and shooting pain, making it impossible to sit or stand.
The condition can either occur suddenly or develop slowly. Now, how to figure out if you have Sciatica? Well, it is simple if the pain stays from lower back to the backside of your leg on a single side, it is sciatica. Also, you might experience numbness, weakness, or tingling and burning sensation in your leg.
There are several conditions which cause symptoms of sciatica, and this includes – disc herniation, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis, etc. Basically, when there is too much pressure or irritation on the sciatic nerve, it causes pain right from the spine to down the leg.
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Disc herniation is one of the unfortunate results of sudden and dynamic movements of the CrossFit workouts. When too much pressure is placed on spinal discs, it can break spinal discs causing excruciating pain. This usually happens when one does more than regular number of squats or deadlifts. Also, this happens when one doesn’t maintain proper form while working out.
It is possible to treat the condition with the help of a chiropractor. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing difficulty with muscle function or bladder control, the situation is probably much worst. In such a case, it is advised that you seek immediate medical attention.
How to prevent or reduce CrossFit injuries?
No wonder, most individuals who follow CrossFit workout suffers from some sort of injury, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can avoid getting injured while following your favorite workout routine. Let’s see what you can do about it…
- Getting a massage
Different massage techniques can help in relieving pain by many folds. For instance, in Visceral massage therapy, different body organs like liver, kidneys, intestines, urinary bladder, etc. are massaged and stimulated gently. Now, all these organs are related to other body parts like muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. and thereby help in relieving stress and pain.
You can try getting a sports massage as it directly relieves pain. Firm pressure is placed on injured areas, and thereby healing process is quickened. Also, with a proper massage, blood circulation can be increased in sore muscles, and thus one can experience immediate pain relief.
All in all, you need not wait for an injury to get these massages. They can be taken as a preventative measure as well.
- Focusing on Holistic Treatment
At times, addressing the core issue of the problem is the only way to treat an injury. Now, this doesn’t precisely mean treating the injured body area. It means dealing with the issues in the brain and working with stems from where movement and pain signals are originated.
By merely focusing and treating the sympathetic nervous systems, doctors can treat chronic pain and injuries. The treatment is kept holistic. Most of the injuries and conditions mentioned above are possible to handle with the help of such treatment.
- Using anti-inflammatories
Not all injuries need medications, and some can even be treated with simple home remedies or with some in-between treatment options. Using anti-inflammatories will help in reducing swelling as well as ensure faster healing. For this, you can incorporate some food items like turmeric, ginger root, tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, cherries, hot peppers, dark chocolate, green tea, etc. which poses anti-inflammatory properties.
Nevertheless, if you are experiencing severe pain, it is advised to see a doctor immediately. Many different types of treatment can decrease the pain and prevent the injury from reoccurring. Usually, treatment and techniques are chosen depending on the symptoms of your injury. Only after performing a detailed evaluation, your doctor will identify the best possible treatment for you.
CrossFit is a fun and community building activity. However, you must exercise a lot of caution while following a CrossFit workout plan. If you are one of those, who have or are experiencing some injuries due to CrossFit, consulting a professional like ReVITALize Rehab Club can prove to be helpful.
If your spine is not in a perfect condition, professionals at ReVITALize Rehab Club will work on it. They will develop a personalized plan of treatment for you, and get your muscles right where they should be. So, if you are in pain and CrossFit workouts are the culprit, book an appointment with revitalizerehabclub.com in Bixby Knolls, California today.