The jury is out in the physical therapy world as to whether we should “love to hate” or “hate to love” the CrossFitter. No matter which way you look at it, CrossFit injuries are keeping many physical therapists in business.
Regardless of your stance, CrossFit doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, it is essential to have some foundational knowledge about how to treat these athletes effectively.
If your current treatment style for the CrossFitter is to tell them to stop any and all CrossFit activity, I beg you to keep reading. CrossFitters will NOT buy into you as a movement expert or as a PT.
Emotions regarding CrossFit aside, I think we can all agree that keeping people active and moving is essential for positive adaptations in patients’ neurological, emotional, and physical well-being.
Therefore, we cannot always tell these clients to rest. They simply won’t.
You can build a business around CrossFit injuries
CrossFit patients are willing to do anything and everything you tell them to get better. When you truly address their injuries, they will send their friends back to you in droves. CrossFit can be a wonderful niche, and you can even build a successful cash pay business around these patients, if you're smart about it.
This population is motivated and informed, and they expect you to be the same. We are, after all, functional movement experts.
Here are some common pain patterns you may expect to see in the CrossFit population, as well as a little bit of insight about the biomechanical faults that cause them.