At Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation, we regularly treat people that participate in CrossFit and have developed some type of injury. Does this mean CrossFit is bad for you? Does this mean that you are more at risk for injury while participating in CrossFit? These are questions we get all the time...and the answer to both of them is generally "NO".
In many of the patients that we see with CrossFit related injuries, the problems that have are related to old injuries that were never fully rehabilitated (or in some cases, NEVER rehabilitated). The start a new CrossFit program and when their body is asked to do more intense exercise, or move through a greater range of motion than it has in a long time, that "old injury" all of a sudden becomes the "new injury".
In this month’s Sports Health Journal, there is a research study that takes a look at the incidence of shoulder injuries in CrossFit participants. What the study shows is that yes, there are a number of shoulder injuries in the participants. What it also discusses is that the rate of shoulder injuries in CrossFit is no different than the rate of shoulder injuries in many other sports that people are participating in. It also discusses that many of the injuries that people have are actually re-exacerbations of old injuries (but we knew that at Blue Hills).
Although there is absolutely no way to prevent injury in sports, having the correct strength and flexibility to perform your sport safely is key. Starting a new sport, or returning back before an injury has been fully rehabilitated can lead to problems down the road. That is where the help of a good physical therapist comes in. So, before you start a new sport, or return to your regular fitness regime, make sure you have seen one of the experts at Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation to make sure you are really ready to go!