People who want to get into the best physical shape possible often look to CrossFit. This diverse program has helped people get into shape and become more physically agile for more than a decade.
As popular as this program is, however, health care experts advise people to be aware of some of the more common injuries and ailments that are now commonly experienced with it. When they want to maximize the potential of this program and enjoy the physical benefits associated with it, people should safeguard themselves against these associated risks.
Lower Back Pain and Strain
Given the range of this program, it is little wonder that people who participate in CrossFit sometimes experience pain and stress in their lower backs. As they bend, lift, flip and jump, they put their lower backs at risk of being injured, sometimes seriously.
When they experience pain and distress in this part of their bodies, people should immediately halt their training. They should be checked out by a qualified sports trainer or doctor and follow this professional’s recommendation about how soon or even if to resume their training.
Anterior Knee Pain
The knees are also vulnerable to injury in this program. Sometimes this pain is associated with overuse and strain; other times, it signals a more serious injury, such as a dislocation.
People who have this injury should avoid putting pressure on their knees if they are experiencing swelling or observe a dislocation of their knee cap. If the injury is relatively minor, they should:
- Ice their knees
- Lower their physical impact
- Do stretches to keep the knee limber
Like the knees, a person’s elbows also are key body parts required for full participation. With all of the lifting, bending and stretching found in this program’s exercises, people often put their elbows in harm’s way.
Tennis elbow is an ailment that people experience throughout their training. Tennis elbow is the strain of this joint and results from overuse of the tendons and ligaments in the elbow. People should ice their elbows and rest as much as possible until the swelling goes down and they can put strain on this part of their bodies without experiencing pain.
Overusing the tendon in the back of one’s heel can lead to a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle in the back of the leg to the person’s heel. When it is strained and overused, a person experiences pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty bending their feet.
If this injury is allowed to persist, a person risks blowing out this tendon and having to go through surgery. It is critical that people with this injury rest and allow the damage to heal before resuming their program. After icing the tendon, they can do heel lifts to help keep it limber and flexible. However, they should avoid putting strain on it until properly healed.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
A significant part of this program requires that people lift heavy weights above their heads. If they are not warmed up or new to this training, people risk injuring their rotator cuffs. Rotator cuff tendonitis is like other forms as it is painful and involves swelling and stiffness.
Also like other forms of tendonitis, the most typical way to heal from this injury is to rest the shoulder, avoid lifting heavy objects or putting strain on this part of the body, and do mild stretches to keep it limber. In between stretches, people should ice their shoulders until the injury is sufficiently healed.
One of the most severe injuries suffered is known as rhabdomyolysis. Due to the significant strain people put on their muscles during training, they could suffer a severe breakdown of their muscle tissue and experience a release of myoglobin into their bloodstream.
This protein is then filtered out by their kidneys, which in turn can cause damage these vital organs. People who suffer this ailment often must be hospitalized and undergo extensive medical care. Many people cannot return to training for quite some time after their release from the hospital.
This deadly condition is hallmarked by symptoms like:
- Severe fatigue
- Joint pain
If someone suspects that they suffer from rhabdomyolysis, they should seek immediate medical help. As popular as CrossFit is, people should be aware of some of the physical risks associated with this program. They can protect their bodies and participate better by knowing for what signs to watch.
*Image courtesy of CrossfitPaleoDietFitnessClasses