CrossFit Focus Rehab
REHABILITATION FOR THE CROSSFIT ATHLETE
(As of 11/18/18--I am now a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer!)
CrossFit is fun and empowering! There is a huge misunderstanding in the medical world about CrossFit. If you do CrossFit and have been injured you were likely told by your friends/family (who do not do CrossFit), as well as told by your physician, that you should stop and that it is bad for you.
CrossFit is truly not the demon that it is made out to be.
I personally do CrossFit on a regular basis and find it challenging yet invigorating. I have experienced a WOD and know what your body is going through and can appreciate the satisfaction and adrenalin rush from attending CrossFit. I know you don’t want to stop attending due to an injury and will do everything you can to keep going, including participating when you are injured.
My goal as a therapist is to promote longevity in the sport you choose, whether it be CrossFit, running, golf, tennis, Barre, Pilates or yoga. My therapy protocol for CrossFit Athletes is to assess what is the issue, what other factors may be affecting your WOD and ultimately how these factors may have led you to injury. CrossFit involves head to toe body movement and if one region of the body is not mobile or strong then another region of the body may be suffering. If you have poor neck, shoulder, wrist, thoracic mobility or poor core or scapular stability then your ability to progress in your workouts may suffer. A common error in athletes is that if they feel pain for example in their hamstring, they assume they pulled their hamstring, when it could be pain emanating from the lumbar spine. You can stretch the hamstring for months on end and will not ease that hamstring pain. You need to see a movement expert such as me, a physical therapist, to get to the root of the problem and fast.
I utilize the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) which are comprehensive evaluation techniques being used though out the professional athletic world. So I examine your complete head to toe mobility, assessing every joint for proper range of motion, and determining where you need joint mobilizations, soft tissue flexibility, and/or better motor control. Based on use of these specialized evaluation tools, I develop a treatment plan suited for your injury and will apply hands-on care, implement a joint specific stretching and strengthening home program, and work closely with your trainer to modify and progress your WOD. There are solutions vs completely quitting. Your CrossFit work-out can be modified by adjusting volume, frequency, intensity and/or substituting other exercise on a particular day. Our goal will be to keep you working out as much as we can and as long as possible.
So…Please don’t stop doing CrossFit! But… Please don’t keep doing CrossFit injured!
If you work-out injured you will compensate for the pain and develop imbalances in other regions of your body, further perpetuating improper body mechanics, making it much more difficult to change these bad habits. You have heard of muscle memory? This isn’t just a term that exercise professionals throw around loosely. It is real and in many cases I will find that an injured athlete’s body has adapted to the pain by choosing other movement paths to get the movement done without pain. These paths are then grooved in to the nervous system, making it very difficult for you to recognize these imbalances and change them. Your brain has set up these pathways to protect you and will not let go of these patterns until you change them. I seek out those patterns, uncover the imbalances and “clean them up”, setting your body off onto a new path. We will work together to establish a new movement path that you will need to practice and learn to set it in stone…making it a new muscle memory.
Not so sure you want to modify a WOD during the class and want to have some privacy rehabbing your injury and modifying your lifts? I have CrossFit equipment in my clinic to assist with you learning these movement pathways and developing better form, in a controlled environment to give you the time and proper cues to perform your exercises correctly.
And lastly please don’t wait for an injury to be assessed for these imbalances. If you feel that your WODs are not progressing, you feel that you are stuck and you can’t progress your time, reps or weight, then it may be time to see if you have some asymmetries in your body that are holding you back. The SFMA and the FMS are perfect tools to establish a baseline of where your body may be imbalanced and how these may be altering your mechanical advantage during your lifts. We can then focus on isolated mobilizations, stretching and/or strengthening to get your WODs excelling!
PS: I also offer Mobility Classes at local CrossFit Gyms and Barre Studios to assist the athletic community in understanding their mobility limitations and what they can do about it before injury strikes, by teaching participants how to do static stretching, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, peanut rolling, lacrosse ball rolling, and how to stretch with mobility bands aka voodoo floss. Call or check out my Mindbody Schedule to see when a class will be near you!
Looking for a Crossift/HIIT specialist and/or physical therapy in Simsbury? No problem! BodyFit Physical Therapy is located in Avon CT, very close to the Simsbury town line. We are 10-15 minutes from Simsbury Center!