This series of articles will discuss four common injuries that an athlete may encounter when training regularly. We reached out to Andrew Sabarre, owner/physiotherapist at Pivotal Health, to discuss the types of injuries he sees with CrossFit athletes and the measures that should be taken to prevent them.
Over the course of this series, we will take a deeper look at lower back, shoulder, knee and neck injuries. This first article will discuss lower back pain, the movements that will aggravate the issue and how to prevent injury.
How does the injury start?
This type of injury can often start without warning and typically presents itself as a dull ache across your lower back. The pain can last anywhere from days to weeks, and is often worsened by bending forwards or backwards. This injury is also easily aggravated when lifting heavy loads on the bar. It may even progress to the point where the pain shoots down your legs, causing symptoms of tingling and numbness due to a pinched nerve.
What movements should be avoided?
There are a number of movements that an athlete should watch out for when dealing with a low back problem. This would include deadlifts, any sort of dynamic pull; such as, cleans, kettlebell swings and snatches, as well as squatting. All of these movements put increased stress on the back and should be avoided when recovering from injury.
How to prevent injury?
One of the key things an athlete must focus on in order to prevent injury is technique. When performing any of the movements that could injure the low back, make sure you are engaging your deep core muscles during each repetition. It is also important to ensure you are keeping a neutral spine throughout the movement. Listen to your coaches, they are there to keep you safe and moving properly. If you are unsure of how a movement should be done ask your coach to check if you are doing it right.
Mobility and recovery is also important to avoid injury. Make sure you are rolling out your hip flexors and glutes to avoid overly tight muscles which may aggravate the back. If this is an ongoing issue visit a physiotherapist who can help treat you and get you back on your regular training schedule. Both Andrew Sabarre and Gretchen McLennan are experienced physiotherapists who attend CrossFit North Vancouver and they love treating CrossFit athletes.
If you would like to book an appointment with Andrew or Gretchen, visit Pivotal Health.