CrossFit & Chiropractic
1. “I hurt it doing CrossFit”
A saying I often hear in my office.
Well fret no more, I’m here to confirm: CrossFit didn’t hurt you. Running didn’t hurt you. Snowboarding a black diamond didn’t hurt you. Bad motor patterns…THAT’S what got you. Doing those activities without the proper technique for years on end hurt you. Nothing to be shameful or guilty about because we’ve all experienced that at one point or another in our lives. But, the sooner we can understand the real problem, the sooner we can create a solution.
Motor patterns are the signaling patterns our brains use to make our bodies move. For instance, when you think to walk, it takes your brain a split second to put together the sequence of muscle engagement to first stabilize your spine, then core, then engage your leg muscles to take that first step. As babies, we build great motor patterns because we are constantly teaching ourselves how to get up from the ground in the most efficient manner. For those of you with children or who’ve had the opportunity to watch children grow have witnessed the, sometimes comical, struggle to create those motor patterns.
As we grow older, we tend to put our bodies into very unnatural positions for extended periods of time, like sitting. In doing this we engage in what is known as creep deformation. This is where your muscles start to become chronically tight or stretched because of the position we keep the muscles in for prolonged periods of time.
This asymmetrical tension often leads to distorted motor patterns by leaving certain muscles constantly engaged. Let’s say the proper motor pattern for a movement is Muscle A then Muscle B then Muscle C. When our bodies are subject to these deformations, that pattern can switch to Muscle B then Muscle A then Muscle C. This may not seem like the most crucial of differences, and for the most part, on a situational/daily basis they aren’t the worst thing in the world. But imagine that pattern being distorted day after day after day. Now increase the load(weight) put on the body with those improper patterns. These lead to what we consider Cumulative Trauma Disorders AKA pain that arises from “nowhere”. You didn’t fall, tear or rip anything in your body but…you’re injured…how’d that happen?
Amongst other issues, when a muscle is chronically engaged/contracted, decreased blood flow runs through the muscle, leaving it less responsive and less capable of repairing itself. This is why PROPER muscle compression(foam rollers, lacrosse balls, sticks) is so critical to healthy muscle function.
So, no! CrossFit Didn’t DO that to you, it shed light on a dysfunction within you that has probably been there for years. You just never stressed your body out to the point where it became symptomatic(painful).
2. “Movement Patterns?
Yea. You know all that technique you hear these elite coaches and athletes stressing about all the time? Well those techniques are based on the human body’s most efficient way to create movement. From Olympic lifting to cycling, proper technique ensures you use the most advantageous muscles for that particular movement. This is what makes CrossFit or any