7 Ways CrossFitters Can Benefit From Chiropractic Care

By Dr. Philip Cordova

May 1, 2024

More than 5 million people a year do CrossFit, and with it’s intensity and many CrossFitters having sedentary jobs and then doing intense exercise, they will inevitably get injured. This doesn’t have to happen. Stretches, foam rolling, and other mobility work can go a long way. Chiropractic care can also benefit CrossFitters in several ways:

Injury Prevention

CrossFit workouts often involve high-intensity movements that can strain muscles and joints. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help ensure proper alignment of the spine and joints, reducing the risk of injuries during workouts.

The primary reason people get injured is by using bad form during lifts and workouts. No one is trying to use bad form, but if your joints aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, that can lead to unintentional bad form. Chiropractic care improves the functioning of the joints, increasing range of motion and improving your form.

Improved Performance

Proper alignment of the spine and joints can enhance biomechanical efficiency, leading to improved performance in CrossFit exercises. When the body is in alignment, muscles can function optimally, allowing athletes to generate more power and strength.

It’s not uncommon for our patients to suddenly start seeing PR lifts following chiropractic care. This is due to improved nervous system functioning along with better movement in spinal joints and the joints of their extremities.

crossfitters can benefit from chiropractic

Faster Recovery

CrossFit workouts can be intense and may result in muscle soreness and fatigue. Chiropractic adjustments can help expedite recovery by promoting better blood flow, reducing inflammation, and facilitating the body’s natural healing processes.

Additionally, PEMF and HEIT therapy use pulsed electromagnetic fields to help heal on a cellular level. Typically, patients dealing with muscle tears, rotator cuff pain, or knee pain benefit from these therapies. We set them up to target the area of pain to speed recovery. PEMF therapy is often used as a general recovery therapy, with patients coming in for sessions just to recover more quickly from a particularly challenging workout.

Enhanced Range of Motion

Chiropractic care can help improve flexibility and range of motion, which are essential for performing CrossFit movements with proper form and technique. By addressing restrictions in the joints and muscles, chiropractors can help CrossFitters move more freely and efficiently.

Since most people work in front of a computer all day with bad posture, expecting that you’ll have full range of motion when you start working out isn’t very realistic. Seeing a chiropractor will improve range of motion.

Individualized Treatment

Chiropractors often tailor their treatment plans to meet the specific needs of each patient. They can address any underlying issues or imbalances that may be affecting an individual’s performance or predisposing them to injury.

In our office, we start off with a consultation. This is primarily to learn what conditions you are experiencing and to make sure chiropractic can help. Additionally, we are listening for aspects of your lifestyle and daily activities that may be contributing to their issues. All patients do a lot of exercise see many benefits, but they also tend to have similar causes for their injuries.

Leg Length Discrepancy

Leg length differences can play a part in frequent one-sided injuries. For example, you always seem to get injured on the same side of the body. Your right hip, right knee, right ankle are your “bad side.” This can occur when one leg is anatomically different from the other.

One patient noted that during overhead squats, he had to “fight” to keep his body from rotating. We later determined one leg was 10 mm shorter than the other. That would be like trying to do a WOD with just one shoe on, it would be very difficult (and unbalanced)!

During our evaluation, x-ray analysis helps us determine if leg length discrepancy is likely, followed by a leg length x-ray to determine the amount of an anatomical short leg down to the millimeter.

Additional Therapies That Can Help

Considering the heavy lifts and spinal loading that can occur during many WOD movements, spinal decompression therapy can have a huge benefit. On x-ray examination, we commonly see decreased disc spaces, especially at the bottom of the lumbar spine. This frequently leads symptoms like low back pain and sciatica.

Decompression therapy helps to increase the disc space, and is available for both the cervical spine (neck), and lumbar spine (low back).

Overall, chiropractic care can play a valuable role in supporting the health and performance of CrossFit athletes by addressing musculoskeletal issues, promoting faster recovery, and optimizing overall function. However, it’s essential for athletes to work with qualified chiropractors who have experience working with active individuals and understand the unique demands of CrossFit training.

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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