Is This Bad For My Back?

Keeping a good lumbar curve at all times is important for your back!
Keeping a good lumbar curve at all times is important for your back!

Here at CrossFit Zone, our focus is on teaching constantly varied, functional movements. Mastering these functional movements is important, so you can learn how to safely maneuver your body to avoid injury. One of the most common areas for injury is the back. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, four out of five people will develop a back injury at some point in their lives. But with a few simple changes, and the help of your handy CrossFit workouts, you can prevent yourself from becoming a statistic. The trick is separating the misconceptions about back pain from the facts. We’re here to set the record straight on how to best prevent and heal aches and pains.

MYTH: Lifting heavy objects will strain your back
FACT: Most injuries are caused not by what you pick up, but how you do it. Here at CrossFit, we teach you the proper form: Squat, keeping your chest up, and back straight with a good lumbar curve. Grab the object, bring it close to your body, then stand; your thigh and butt muscles should do the lifting. Drive through the heels! If you lift heavy objects incorrectly, you can do a lot of damage to your back. Simply twisting your back in two directions at once may strain the disks that cushion your spinal vertebrae. This repetitive trauma builds up over the years and can weaken your spine. The wrong movement could easily trigger an injury!

MYTH: Most exercise is hard on your back
FACT: Researchers have found that working out at least three times a week actually reduced the risk for developing chronic back pain by 43 percent. Exercise strengthens your back muscles and increases blood flow to the discs, helping them withstand daily strain. Hitting the gym regularly also keeps your waistline in check, which has a huge payoff for your back. Studies have revealed that overweight people are nearly three times as likely to go to the hospital with a back injury than those at a healthy weight. Even as little as 5 or 10 extra pounds can put stress on your spine, which increases your risk of injury. To protect yourself while working out, be sure to warm up for at least 10-15 minutes to increase blood flow to all muscles. Next, pay careful attention to your form when lifting weights. Your back should always be straight, no matter which body part you’re working on!

MYTH: Alternative treatments don’t work
FACT: Many people have tried some form of alternative therapy to ease an aching back. Studies suggest that in some cases these treatments may be more effective than conventional physical therapy and medications. If you find your back is aching after a strenuous CrossFit workout, be proactive in seeking out help. Some folks swear by acupuncture, in which the needles are believed to stimulate the release of pain relieving brain chemicals. Others find relief from a massage. Find a massage therapist near you who can help work out some of those persistent knots. Many people feel that seeing a chiropractor helps them feel better faster. Chiropractors believe back pain is caused by dislocations in the vertebrae. During an “adjustment,” gentle force is applied to your spine to stretch your joints and realign them. If you prefer instead to take care of the problem by yourself, even a simple application of ice can help. Or, if relaxation is more your problem, then a hot bath or shower is one of the best ways to decompress. All the delicious heat can help relax your back muscle fibers. There are many ways to get your back feeling normal again when experiencing pain. Find the one that is right for you!

Be safe in your workouts, and take good care of your back!

Today’s Workout:

Buy-InBall Tag

WOD – “Turts”

Elite: 5 Rounds
– 10 chest to bar pullups
– 15 ring push ups
– 50 Double Unders

Zone 3:  As Above

Zone 2: 4 Rounds
– 10 pull ups
– 10 ring push ups on incline
– 30 double unders

Zone 1: 3 Rounds
– 10 pull ups
– 10 ring push ups on incline
– 60 single skips

 

Cash-OutPartner assisted handstands, 10 reps of 20 seconds

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