Thursday, 07 November 2013 19:55

Cross Fit injuries and Chiropractic

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Rise in Crossfit injuries a boon for chiropractors

Crossfit, the high-intensity power-training workout, has rocketed in popularity, but has also come under fire for its link to the potentially deadly kidney condition rhabdomyolysis.

During the past two years, chiropractors say they've seen an increase in Crossfit patients who are suffering overuse injuries.

"I've gone from never having heard of Crossfit to having a number of regular Crossfit clients," Dr. Robert Hayden said in an exclusive interview Nov. 6.

"From a business perspective, these folks make great patients because they're recurring customers."

Dr. Hayden, a Georgia-based chiropractor who's a rep for the American Chiropractic Association, said his colleagues have also experienced an influx of Crossfit patients.

Physical therapists have noticed a similar trend. Eric Robertson, an assistant professor at Regis University, said he and his colleagues have come across more Crossfit patients in their physical-therapy practices during the past year.

There's no doubt Crossfit can be an excellent workout, as long as there's proper supervision and it's not taken to an extreme.

Dr. Hayden said he's impressed with the athletic conditioning of some of his Crossfit clients, but is concerned about their stress injuries.

Many of them have insanely chiseled muscles. The muscle tone and development on these patients is tremendous, and their aerobic capacity is outstanding. Unfortunately, along with that is a lot of wear and tear on the muscles and the skeleton."

Hayden said the most common overuse injuries he has observed are tendonitis, muscle strain, flat-foot injuries, skeletal misalignment, and sore joints.

In his opinion, some of the injuries could be avoided or minimized with proper technique during workouts (which requires proper supervision by trainers), adequate sleep, and lots of stretching.

"Doing these types of strenuous workouts without proper stretching or flexibility training is an injury waiting to happen," he said.

And injuries have happened. In 2008, a Virginia jury awarded $300,000 to former U.S. Navy technician Makimba Mimms for injuries he sustained during a Crossfit workout in 2005.

Mimms was allegedly hospitalized for a week, urinated blood, suffered rhabdomyolysis and swollen legs after being poorly supervised during his workout by a gym employee who was not certified.

Mimms testified that rhabdo was diagnosed after his 2005 workout, which consisted of 90 repetitions of lower-body exercises. He said he was never told to rest, stop for water or slow down by a ruthless employee who oversaw the routine but was not a certified trainer."

Mimms, now 34, said he's permanently disabled as a result. Crossfit responded to the lawsuit by sarcastically renaming the WOD (Workout of the Day) that injured Mimms the "Makimba" and recategorizing it as a children's workout.

Crossfit headquarters has typically reacted to the injury issue by saying critics are suggesting that people should lie on the couch, not exercise, and get fat (as if the only alternative to Crossfit is couch-surfing). Or they take aim at critics through petty verbal attacks and lame threats on Twitter.

Interestingly, Rich Froning, the three-time winner of the annual Crossfit Games, recently revealed he's considering retirement. At the ripe old age of 26.

Meanwhile, Crossfit founder Greg Glassman has openly boasted that WODs "are designed to exceed the capacities of the world’s fittest athletes." He admitted the rigorous workouts can cause serious injury or even death.

"If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don't want you in our ranks," Glassman, 56, told the New York Times. "[Crossfit] can kill you. I've always been completely honest about that."

Read 57239 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 November 2013 20:00
Dr. Scott MacAdam

Dr. MacAdam is the owner and operator of Ladera Family & Sports Chiropractic. For over 20 years, he has been treating his patients with world-class care and service.