Common CrossFit Injuries

CrossFit has become a popular means of getting in peak physical shape, although the fitness regimen has been around for nearly two decades.

By combining calisthenics, high-intensity interval training, plyometrics, power-lifting, and more, CrossFit challenges participants in ways they never experienced before.

Although when you first start out you may experience what is known as Crossfit soreness, there is a big difference between muscles that are being thoroughly worked for the first time versus an injury​

Tens of thousands of people praise the exercise program, but it’s important to remember that CrossFit isn’t something that a person can begin on the fly. Proper training and technique are crucial, or else the risk of injury goes through the roof. Here are some common Crossfit injuries injuries that could be caused by your “workout of the day.”

Common CrossFit Injuries

1. Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon stretches from the back of the calf muscle down to the heel. It’s the largest tendon in the body and a crucial one for completing your daily workouts. It helps us with walking, running, and just bending our legs in general.

When it gets overused due to excessive workouts and rigorous training, it can lead to Achilles Tendonitis, a tear in the tendon that leads to pain, stiffness, swelling, and weakness.

It’s important to catch this injury early on so that you can rest your body and allow the tendon to repair itself. Failure to take it easy can result in the entire tendon tearing and splitting, which will require surgery and lots of downtime.

2. Back Strain

This occurs particularly in the lower back, but CrossFit trainees can experience the pain in any part of their back region.

A typical workout of the day can involve a variety of movements that have people bending forward, twisting, lifting, and jumping.

Without a proper warm up for Crossfit and cool down, as well as the right form throughout these exercises, the chances of back strain increase exponentially. This could be a minor annoyance that lasts a day or two or a serious injury that threatens their ability to work out for the long term.

Unfortunately, the CrossFit attitude (and the fitness trainer attitude in general) veers more towards pushing through the discomfort and reaching new personal records. Nothing’s wrong with stepping outside your comfort zone and doing your best, but you should never ignore pain.

3. Elbow Injuries

Sometimes referred to as “tennis elbow,” this is an injury in which the ligaments and tendons in the elbow get overworked and swollen.

Thanks to all of the calisthenics and power-lifting of CrossFit, these kinds of elbow injuries aren’t unheard of in fitness circles and gyms all across the country.

4. Knee Pain and Dislocation

The knees take quite a beating during a CrossFit workout thanks to all the jumping, lifting, running, and squatting.

A meniscus tear is one of the most prevalent knee injuries that athletes experience. It happens when the meniscus, or cartilage, in your knee tears, sometimes getting caught in the knee joint.

If you hear a popping noise from your knee during exercise, stop what you’re doing and take a break. You’ll want to get that knee checked out before delving back into your rigorous training.

Knee dislocation is also common and could result from failing to take care of knee pain at the first sign that something is wrong.

Another knee injury among athletes is a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which can happen when they run and quickly stop to change directions. It’s a major condition that often requires lots of rest and even surgery to fix.

Even if knee pain doesn’t feel that bad at first, if there is any kind of pain, you need to slow down and get things checked out. A proactive approach can save you a lot of aggravation and discomfort later on.

5. Shoulder Injuries

It’s not uncommon for CrossFit enthusiasts to experience shoulder injuries including rotator cuff tendonitis, a torn labrum, or inflamed tissues. Injuring the muscles and tendons responsible for your shoulder movement can lead to inflammation and pinched nerves.

It’s an injury that tends to develop over a period of time, especially among people who repeatedly do the same actions, such as lifting weights over their heads. This is why it’s such a common occurrence in the CrossFit space.

If you experience clicking, pain, or stiffness when you try to raise your arms, get yourself checked out before you do further damage.

Along the same lines, a torn labrum is often the result of repeated actions that involve throwing things overhead. The labrum is the cartilage that goes around the rotator cuff, allowing the arm bone, or humerus, to move freely.

A telltale sign of a torn labrum is if your shoulder catches or locks up as you lift your arms. Even if you don’t experience these more serious injuries, you could still end up with inflamed shoulder tissues due to a lack of stretching, preparation, and proper technique. This is why you always need to train with a certified CrossFit or fitness professional before starting the exercise.

6. Exercise Rhabdomyolysis

Also known as ER, this condition comes about when an individual puts too much strain on their muscles over a short period of time.

All of that movement eventually breaks down the muscle tissue so much that myoglobin, or muscle protein, seeps into the bloodstream. This protein is rich in iron and oxygen and gets broken down by the kidneys before making its way to other vital organs, where it inflicts further damage.

This is a severe injury that requires immediate medical attention and hospitalization. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, kidney failure, muscle swelling, and seizures.

ER can come about as a direct or indirect result of a muscle injury, which is why you should always pay attention to any discomfort or pain you experience during exercise. When individuals start performing vigorous exercises without the proper training and supervision, they can end up doing irreparable damage to their bodies.

Even though CrossFit is wildly popular, that doesn’t mean that anyone can start doing it today. They need to determine if it’s the right fitness regimen for them, and then they need to get educated on how to perform the movements safely and effectively.

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