Before signing up for Crossfit classes, it is important to know the most common Crossfit injuries and how to heal them properly. Then go get your sweat on!
You know the problem, you set out to improve your fitness and then stop at how. Do you improve your mobility, your endurance, your strength? Crossfit answers this with a singular, “Yes.”
We don’t need to go on about how Crossfit has hit the world hard since 2005 and opened tens of thousands of gyms. Clearly, there is something going on inside and outside of those loud and busy locations.
Unforatunrealy, one of the things going on is a host of injuries. Injuries are so common that ‘Crossfit injuries’ has become its own brand of fitness peril shorthand.
Avoiding injuries is always the goal. However, we’ll lay out the most common injuries and what to do to recover quickly and fully from each.
Crossfit Injuries (And Their Treatments)
Crossfit gets a bad rap for being a place with low supervision and a competitive atmosphere which practically begs for injuries to occur. This attitude circulates through media articles and is a staple health and fitness talking point.
The numbers don’t bear it out, though. Compared to other high-intensity exercises and training routines, injuries occur less often.
The following explains the scope of each injury. We’ll also discuss the immediate treatment and recovery of each.
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1. Tennis Elbow
Your joints do a lot of work when exercising. They also don’t exactly build up like muscle tissue. Once a joint becomes strained, it becomes inflamed and will swell.
Swelling causes pain and limited usability in the affected area. Inflammation also blocks blood flow, making it more likely to get cramps and bruises in the forearm.
Ice the area until swelling reduces. Continue to ice and extend carefully until the pain subsides. Tennis elbow can become chronic if not treated thoroughly each time.
You also want to perform stretches before an exercise that was the proximal cause of the injury. This allows the ligament to stretch and avoid repeating the injury.
2. Achilles Tendonitis
Damage to the Achilles tendon comes from strain when extending the calve and foot. A lack of proper stretching, impact under load within a short interval can seriously strain the tendon.
Once the tendon begins to deteriorate it causes stiffness and pain. Swelling may also occur. Strain after that can rupture or detach the tendon.
Ice the tendon and do light stretches to keep it flexible. You want to avoid repeated strain on the injured area but you also want to keep it from binding up.
A blown or detached tendon needs to be surgically reattached. That means weeks to months of recovery.
3. Anterior Knee Pain
Tennis elbow rarely moves into more serious injury. The same is not true of anterior knee pain. While the onset is basically the same, a strain on the ligament that results in swelling, the aftermath is different.
The knee, unlike the elbow, has a movable part in the kneecap. Dislocation of the nee cap can be hard to detect because of the swelling.
Ice the area and avoid putting weight or pressure on the knee. Continue to stretch during icing and recovery. You want the ligaments to remain flexible and not tighten.
After a knee injury, cut back on weight and impact until discoloration fades and the joint moves without pain.
4. Lower Back Strain
This stands in for a whole set of things that can go wrong in the lower back. the ligaments along the spine can be strained and swell, as we’ve seen in previous injuries. The disks can become compressed or pinched.
The vertebrae themselves can crack, sheer, or break from sudden force and trauma.
As you reach failure in a set of reps with a weight, shaking in your frame can lead to sudden injury. Proper lifting and movement techniques reduce these risks by keeping everything in line.
Full recovery from a back injury takes the right combination of stretching, rest, and build up. OFten people overdo one and under do the others.
Given the complicated mechanisms within the back, you may want to discover more by consulting a chiropractor.
5. Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
Lifting weights over the head or pressing the bulk of the body above the shoulder level causes strain in the rotator cuff. Too much weight on a tendon that hasn’t stretched and warmed up can cause tearing.
As usual, tearing and inflammation restricts motion and leads to further injury if pushed.
Once again, you will ice the affected area and stretch as it heals. One thing to avoid is too much stretching in-between icing intervals. AS the muscles bind from the injury they will pull on the neck and ribs, which can lead to cascading pain.
The more you stretch your neck or side to relieve that tension, the more you cause further damage.
6. Labrum Tears
Adjacent to the rotator cuff is the labrum. This mass of cartilage keeps the ball of your shoulder joint in place. When it becomes damaged your shoulder can pop in and out.
Strain here ruptures the seal and causes pain when the ball is in place while also allowing an area for it to slip out.
Labrum tears don’t heal on their own and often require surgery to repair. If you suffer a tear stop everything (not that you will be likely to continue) and seek help.
This most severe of exercise injuries doesn’t happen in a single location. Short for rhabdomyolysis, this is a large release of myoglobin into the blood after muscle breakdown.
Myoglobin proteins get filtered by the kidneys and the process damages them. It can be deadly.
Severe fatigue and unlocalized swelling are some of the signals of this condition.
Immediate and long-term medical treatment is required. They will need to filter the blood and protect your kidneys.
Avoid this one by knowing your limitations and taking rest days. Keep your hydrations and nutrition in check as well to reduce risks.
Put in the Work
The bottom line remains, injuries are always a possibility when active. the best way to avoid Crossfit injuries is to know your forms and know your body. You know how it goes, you put in the work and you get a result.
Knowledge is power and a smart athlete is a fit athlete.