CrossFit: Beneficial or Dangerous

An Orthopedist View of CrossFit

Categories: Exercises / Sports Medicine


There are many nay-sayers about the booming CrossFit fitness program. With an ever-growing list of injured participants, we need to examine the benefits versus the set backs of this extreme exercise regimen.

CrossFit has gained a huge following since its introduction in 2000. The program emphasizes strength and conditioning by incorporating aerobic exercise, calisthenics/weight exercises, and Olympic weightlifting. The program focuses on strength, flexibility, speed, coordination and balance. Who wouldn’t want to improve these areas?


An Orthopedist’s View of CrossFit

Dr. Jordan Kerker of the Central Orthopedic Group, is not only a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, but also an avid CrossFitter. Dr. Kerker believes that CrossFit is a diverse lifestyle, not just a fitness program, that can help people of all walks of life get into shape and improve their health and agility. Through proper guidance, he believes that ANYONE can improve their health and their life.

Having a better understanding of the sport of CrossFit and potential injury risks prepares athletes to workout and train properly. To get the most out of your WOD’s, it’s important that you consult with a professional coach, trainer or orthopedic doctor; whether you are a beginner to the CrossFit community, or a seasoned participant.


Why CrossFit is Hurting Some, and Improving Others

As with any work out routine, it is important to be aware of existing conditions (ACL tears, low back troubles, Carpal Tunnel, etc.). It is also important to know your body and your capabilities so that you are aware if and when you are pushing yourself too hard.

The most important aspect of CrossFit is having perfect (or even near-perfect) form. One way to tell that you are pushing yourself too far is when you lose your form. It is possible to train hard, without creating new injuries or exacerbating existing injuries.




Patient CrossFit Reviews


CrossFit Done Right Brings You:

  •   Flexibility
  •   Strength
  •   Endurance
  •   Balance
  •   Coordination

5 Common CrossFit Injuries

With any fitness or exercise program comes the risk of injury, and CrossFit is no exception. Take a look at 5 common CrossFit injuries and ailments to be aware of.

1) Shoulder
Strong and healthy shoulders are crucial for any CrossFit Athlete, as more movement occurs here than in any other joint, so it’s no surprise that the most commonly injured body part in CrossFit is the shoulder and associated joints. The intense levels of movement and lifting can lead to nagging aches and pains, labral strains, or even a tear in the rotator cuff.
2) Back
The range of bending, lifting and jumping in the CrossFit program can put your back at risk for pain and stress, particularly if you add in fatigue, poor form or lack of core strength. Symptoms of a back injury can include spasms or burning/aching pains, and may lead to herniated discs or sprains to the ligaments.


3) Knee
Squatting, jumping and extending make knees a vulnerable body part in the CrossFit community. Oftentimes aches and pains can be associated with strain or overuse, but other times a serious injury, like a knee cap dislocation or meniscus tear can occur.


4) Wrist
With so many tendons, ligaments and nerves located in the wrist, almost every CrossFit exercise exerts some strain on this joint. When you’re lifting heavy weights it’s imperative that you have strong, healthy wrists. Stabbing/aching pains, swelling/inflammation, or bruising are all signs that you could be suffering from a serious wrist injury, like a tear, hyper-extension or chronic arthritis.


5) Achilles
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body, but it’s not immune to injury. When the tendon is strained or overused, a CrossFit Athlete can experience pain, stiffness and swelling, and can be susceptible to further injury, like an achilles rupture, which can require surgery to repair.


If you have sustained a CrossFit injury or issue, it is recommended that you contact Dr. Kerker for an evaluation as soon as possible. Seeking the diagnosis from a qualified orthopedist, like Dr. Kerker, will allow for proper rehabilitation and guidance, and have you returning to your CrossFit Box in a safe and timely manner. At the Central Orthopedic Group your recovery is our first priority!