There are currently over 13,000 CrossFit gyms worldwide, which demonstrates the popularity of a fitness trend that has exploded over the past decade. CrossFit members engage in workouts that vary daily and incorporate high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, running and other fitness activities.
As a physician and CrossFitter, here are five things I’d like to share about patients who enjoy CrossFit but are dealing with a musculoskeletal injury.
1. Patients often fear that their doctor will tell them to stop doing CrossFit.
Don’t do this. Your patient is participating in a very challenging exercise program and is very motivated to improve their health. Support them in their efforts with prompt diagnosis of their injuries and a detailed rehabilitation plan.
2. Experts are available to help your patients return to CrossFit training.
An osteopathic sports medicine physician can play a key role in your patient’s recovery. Many physical therapists and DOs enjoy CrossFit training. Many are affiliated with a CrossFit Box (CrossFit gym). Talk to your patients about available options and help coordinate their care team to get them back to their full level of training.
3. The nature of CrossFit allows patients to participate while recovering from an injury.
Be sure to outline do’s and don’ts. Many patients will choose to rehabilitate at their Box. Outline specific movements and activities that should be avoided, but also offer plenty of options to help patients stay active.
4. Mobility is necessary to avoid injury and succeed with CrossFit-level training.
DOs can improve their patients’ mobility with osteopathic manipulative treatment and offer a quicker return to normal activities with less restriction.
5. The CrossFit athlete is typically very receptive to lifestyle advice.
Spend time talking about proper sleep, nutrition and increasing daily movement while at work. CrossFitters will often take sound advice to heart and comply with your directions.