Crossfit and Chiropractic

January 28th, 2014

Constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement – or CrossFit in its simplest form, is a popular form of exercise for folks these days. It combines elements of complex Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics movements, and intense aerobic exercise.  Those who have ever (or regularly) step/ped into a “box” know just how beneficial the “sport of fitness” can be for increasing your strength, coordination, overall function and health in general.

CrossFit, like any other high-intensity activity, has benefits as well as risk. Overuse injuries like tendonosis and tendonitis as well as strains and sprains are common obstacles that the average CrossFit athlete will encounter and overcome on their way to reaching their goals. The good news is that there is a way to effectively treat, manage, and prevent injuries like this all while optimizing the capability of your body through regular chiropractic care.

Chiropractors (like me!) who focus on function and understand the importance of soft-tissue care are a great asset to recreational and competitive CrossFitters alike. We are well equipped with a host of techniques and tools that are used by athletes at the highest level of many sports to recover quickly from injury, and identify and correct biomechanical faults that compromise performance. Chiropractic care not only helps athletes and other active people (like you!) get back into the game, but puts them at the top of their game when they get there as well.

Let’s talk specifics though. Below are a few of the treatment options available to you at Assurance Chiropractic and exactly how they can help you stay in the box, hitting PR’s like a champ!

  • Chiropractic Adjustments – Adjustments of the spine and extremities can help keep your joints in proper alignment and free of restrictions. Over time if joint dysfunction like I just described goes untreated it can cause uneven wear and tear on your joints as well as altered biomechanics that can cause your form to suffer (and your power, strength and efficiency too!), which over time could lead to pain and time on the sidelines.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy – Manual techniques like myofascial release, trigger point work, assisted stretching, and Graston technique work well for treating the ills of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When your muscles are gummed up with scar tissue or loaded with trigger points they will not only be painful, but they won’t function correctly which can also lead to problems with form, and you guessed it – increased risk for injury! If you do happen to injure yourself, we also have a lot of great physical therapy modalities like cold laser, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation and Kinesio tape that can assist in decreasing the amount of time it takes for those injuries to heal, getting you back to your WODs more quickly.
  • Movement Assessments and Corrective Exercises – Any person who is just starting Crossfit up to a seasoned vet who finds themselves struggling with any of the movements should get screened with a functional movement screen. This tool can help identify subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) dysfunctional and asymmetrical movement patterns that rob your performance and increase risk for injury during activity. The results of this screen and other assessments you will receive while under care will also help identify what sorts of mobility and stability work you can benefit most from.

Getting care like this on a regular basis can help keep painless eggs of dysfunction in your joints and muscles from hatching into painful angry rage-chickens down the line. As CrossFit mobility guru Kelly Starrett put it in his book “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” you shouldn’t need to blow your engine up to find out that you needed an oil change.

That being said, I highly encourage that you find a chiropractor, like me, who is actively involved in the CrossFit community and WODs on a regular basis. Chiropractors and manual therapists as just described will be better suited to assist you as they understand the movements, philosophy, and culture of the CrossFit lifestyle. If you do CrossFit in Denver and are looking to get back into the box after injury, or are looking to get more out of it while you’re there then give us a call to set up an appointment!

Dr. Steve Rash is a CrossFit savvy chiropractor in Denver, CO. He has multiple years of experience working closely with CrossFit athletes as the staff chiropractor at CrossFit DeCO and preferred chiropractor of CrossFit Omnia. He sponsors and treats teams from these gyms at local competitions as well as individual CrossFit athletes from many gyms in the Denver Metro area.