Over the years, CrossFit has had it’s fair share of critics. Many reporting that injuries sustained while engaged in the sport, far outweigh the norm for physical exercise. While these claims have been disputed, and there is evidence to the contrary, injuries still occur.
A 2018 study from Feito et. al, surveyed a total of 3049 CrossFit participants over a four year time period, from 2013-2017. Of the CrossFitters surveyed, 30.5% of them reported having experienced an injury in the previous year due to their training in CrossFit. There wasn’t much in the way of comparability to other sports, nor a comparative to injury rates of an active population. Which is where a 2018 study by Beuno et. al comes into play.
This study surveyed Danish citizens about their participation in activity. Of the 3498 participants to have responded, 2884 reported being physically active in the past year, and 21.5% of them reported being injured within the last year. This study included CrossFit in it’s list of activities, and the injury prevalence rate was 8% of those that participated in CrossFit. When compared to the 19% while running, 38% while playing football (soccer), and the 39% while playing handball; CrossFit ended up helping to bring the average injury rate down quite a bit.
The 2018 study by Feito et. al, found that the most commonly injured body parts were the shoulders at 39% of the injuries and the back at 36% of the injuries. Knees came in at 15% while elbows and wrists followed closely behind at 12% and 11% respectively.
NOW that we’ve got all that fun information… What do we do with it?
For those of you just getting started, before beginning participation in the Sport of CrossFit, it’s suggested that you get to a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist that specializes in preventing and treating sport related injuries. These professionals will be ale to test and screen you for movement deficiencies. These deficiencies can come in the form of specific mobility and/or strength deficiencies. Both of which can be worked on and improved upon by a qualified professional. Based on the individuals results, specific exercises, mobilizations, and movement queuing will be given to help you avoid any future injury as well as avoid aggravating any past injuries.
For those of you currently participating in CrossFit who may be worried that their lack of shoulder mobility could lead to an injury, or perhaps those deadlifts last week are still causing some increased low back pain; you too would benefit from being evaluated by a Chiropractor or PT to prevent future injury.
Here at Adventure Sports Medicine, we have a package for those of you who feel you fall into one of the categories above. We take our patients through a CrossFit movement health screening, checking mobility and strength, and go over specific lifts to teach proper form. We will also give you at home exercises to help to strengthen and stretch the tight and weak parts of your body.
If you’re reading this a bit late and you’re already injured, we specialize in sports injuries and whether it be a shoulder, hip, foot, or neck; we will get you feeling better faster so you can get back to doing the things you love! Don't hesitate, reach out today to start moving in the right direction!
Written by Dr. Charles Fradella
Feito, Y., Burrows, E. K., & Tabb, L. P. (2018). A 4-Year Analysis of the Incidence of Injuries Among CrossFit-Trained Participants. Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine, 6(10), 2325967118803100. https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967118803100
Bueno, A. M., Pilgaard, M., Hulme, A., Forsberg, P., Ramskov, D., Damsted, C., & Nielsen, R. O. (2018). Injury prevalence across sports: a descriptive analysis on a representative sample of the Danish population. Injury epidemiology, 5(1), 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-018-0136-0