Do You CrossFit? This is Why You Need Regular Treatment

Dr. Ben Coupe

February 08, 2017

If you have been a regular client of ours you will inevitably know that most of our chiropractors do CrossFit. Sam, Richard and I have been consistently CrossFit training for the last few years and now many of our associates also use CrossFit. Before you switch off thinking this article doesn’t relate to you, know that it is not only directed to CrossFitters, but anyone who exercises on a regular basis. Being that we see a large amount of CrossFit athletes in all our practices, I’ll reference CrossFit through this article, but feel free to interchange it with your brand of exercise. If you are unfamiliar with what CrossFit is, it’s best described as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” That means is we train hard in a variety of different movements and positions, bringing me to the point of this article.

If you take any professional athlete you’ll no doubt see a person training regularly and intensively. That means several days a week in a variety of different ways. How much time do you think a professional spends on recovery, rehabilitation and maintenance? The answer is A LOT! It is well know that longevity and performance in sport requires diligence in these areas.

Now take the average CrossFitter. They train on average 4-5 times per week and usually push themselves pretty hard when there. Then they spend the rest of their week working full time, looking after kids, their business etc. For most, the recovery aspect involves a small amount of mobility work and perhaps a protein shake at the end of the workout. Don’t get me wrong these things can be important but the variety and intensity of the movements in CrossFit can be a lot for the body to handle. Perhaps even more important is the complexity of the movements. Olympic lifting and gymnastics are brilliant exercises for conditioning the body, but they take their toll. Do you think professionals in these disciplines don’t seek professional treatment on the regular basis? Most will have a ‘go to’ set of professionals they can rely on to assist in recovery, prevent injury and improve performance.

I see a large amount of CrossFitters in my practice. In fact there is half decent chance that you will run into one if you are in my practice at any time of the day. However the reality is I know there is not a person who trains regularly at my CrossFit box that wouldn’t benefit from some form of care in my practice. Yet people present for the first time to me, confused about their ongoing shoulder, back and/or neck issues. When I ask who they have been seeing to look after their body the answer is mostly “nobody.”

You need to be regularly looking after your body if you train that hard and that often. I know from personal experience that if I don’t keep my regular maintenance adjustment then I’ll start to suffer the consequences. In fact just in the last month I became aware of an ache and stiffness in my knee when squatting. This is very unusual for me so it immediately got my attention. Then I realised that because of the Christmas break I had missed my regular adjustment. I managed to get an adjustment from Dr Yanto a few days later and voila, I’m squatting with no issues again. I cannot tell you how many times I hear this repeated by my clients in practice.

Now you may think, I can just get on my foam roller and solve the issue that way. Whilst I’d encourage as much self management as possible, I also know that is not going to solve every problem. There are things that require outside help to fix. That way we really solve the problem and are not just patching it up over and over again.

Now obviously I’m biased when I suggest people come into my practice to get our form of treatment. I do however think it’s important that people realise that not all treatment types are the same. Just because you have experienced chiropractic before and it didn’t work then, doesn’t mean our techniques won’t. As a CrossFitter you know that not all types of exercise are the same. That’s likely why you do CrossFit in the first place. Well the same applies for chiropractic care. Our technique of choice (ABC™) has proved extremely effective among the CrossFit community, especially for those that have committed to a reasonable length of care to get a result (meaning longer than a just a few treatments). We see a large number of CrossFitters from the three gyms we attend across Melbourne and have all the head coaches as regular clients. It also helps that we have first hand experience on what CrossFit is all about. For instance most therapists would have no idea what a thruster is!

Therefore I encourage all people who are training regularly so actively seek out a support team of therapists. Whilst we’d love to be that person, at minimum find someone that works for you. And don’t just do it when your broken but take a more active role in preventing and protecting your body. Not only do we expect recovery, but people who maintain care find they are not only injured less often but actually perform better.

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