CrossFit isÂ arguably the biggest craze in fitness todayâ€”in fact, Forbes called it â€śa global phenomenonâ€ť with thousands of locations and â€śhundreds of thousands of diehards.â€ť 60 Minutes reported that â€śIn just 15 years, the king of CrossFit has created the largest gym chain in history.â€ť But are there dangers associated with CrossFit that may do more harm than good? What if you have a back issue or are afraid you may be at risk for one?
â€śCrossfit isnâ€™t for everyone. It is a hard, fast and often brutal system that requires a certain mindset. And simply because it is the latest fitness trend doesnâ€™t mean that it is something simply anybody can do. Despite its apparent accessibility and great PR,â€ť said Fit Nation Magazine. â€śPeople get hurt in CrossFit more often than in any gym style workout. And we are talking blown shoulders, crapped out knees, strained wrists and rocked-out backs that take weeks to recover.â€ť
Itâ€™s possible that back injuries from CrossFit could be serious or permanent. Forbes points out two concerning studies related to a higher incidence of injuries, many to the back.
â€śThis 2013Â study, published in theÂ Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, was designed to look at the frequency of injury in CrossFit athletes during routine training. Of the 132 people who responded to the survey, 97 (or nearly three-quarters) reported getting hurt during CrossFit training, and most injuries involved the shoulders and spine. These respondents reported a total of 186 injuries; nine led to surgeries,â€ť they said. â€śSimilarly, aÂ studyÂ inÂ Orthopaedic Journal of Sports MedicineÂ concluded that shoulder and low-back injuries were most common, followed by knee injuries.â€ť
If youâ€™re considering the workout, youâ€™ll want to take a few precautions.
- Take your time getting up to speedâ€”â€śSome new participants are out-of-shape homebodies who probably shouldnâ€™t be jumping into intense workouts,â€ť said Forbes.
- Donâ€™t be so intenseâ€”â€śIntensity isn’t something you add right away,â€ť said Shape. â€śWithout proper form, there’s no point to add speed or volume because you wonâ€™t make any fitness gains and may injure yourself.â€ť
- Listen to your bodyâ€”â€śIf something feels weird,â€ť said Shape, speak up. A trainer wonâ€™t know how youâ€™re feeling. â€śSame goes if something is too heavyâ€”simply donâ€™t lift it.â€ť
- Know your limitsâ€”The old saying, â€śNo pain, no gain,â€ť isnâ€™t necessarily a good one to follow when it comes to CrossFit. If youâ€™re out of breath, in distress, or in real physical pain that goes beyond discomfort, itâ€™s time to stop.
- Resist the peer pressureâ€”â€śThe CrossFit culture is one of pushing your body to the point of near exhaustion. It is a system of punishing exercises built on a platform of peer pressure,â€ť said Huffington Post. â€śExercisers regularly urge fellow CrossFit members beyond the point they want to go.â€ť
If you do overdo it and end up suffering with back pain, there are steps you can take to fix back issues quickly and easily. Todayâ€™s minimally invasive surgical techniques can mean outpatient treatments instead of a long hospital stay, in addition to small incisions and a quicker recovery time.
For more information, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain.