2

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Will CrossFit help with back pain?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 19, 2011 at 1:09 AM

I'm a 40 year old female, former dancer, currently at a healthy weight. I have had problems with low back pain for more than 8 years. I've seen chiropractors and have been told I have no structural problems or abnormalities even though I was struck by a car in 1999. My pain is purely muscular...mostly soreness not unlike the type you get a day or two after a particularly demanding weight training session. I am convinced that I have some sort of postural disfunction or imbalance. Will CrossFit type training help? I cannot do any sort of unsupported forward bend without pain. I clean houses and after 4 hours of work my low back is really sore and I have difficulty stand up completely straight. Thoughts?

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:33 PM

Crossfit does a lot of ballistic exercises and (at least as of a year or so ago) was still doing very high volume back extensions and GHB situps and situps in general which are hell on your back. Floppy burpees and jellybean-curled thrusters are the norm in every crossfit gym I've seen. High volume olympic lifts (75+ deadlifts, etc.) serves no purpose other than to increase the risk of injury over 3 to 5 sets of five. Planks, bridges, birddogs and symmetric, controlled lifting is the right answer.

637042e24e38a81dfc089ef55bed9d46

(826)

on June 19, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Thanks for the offer, I'm in Maryland. So if I do an internet search for "mobility therapist" for my area, what should I look for?

79648d1e9f1a8d25d9450a8a1d18fe64

(395)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

I have extremely tight hamstrings as well...perhaps we're on to something. Ordered the book...thanks!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:52 AM

I can personally say that Gokhale's book changed my life. I did not have any prior problems like the OP however just thoroughly reading her book and consistently practicing everything she says over more than six months changed the way I walk, sit, and sleep profoundly. Tremendous book. And completely in line with classic weight lifting techniques, coincidentally.

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8 Answers

6
776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

on June 19, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Not much to do with Crosffit, but a book that many people have recommended for back pain is Esther Gokhale's 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back

I also experience lower back pain, and have been told that a possible cause is my very tight hamstrings. Working on getting to a full squat has actually helped with it, so in that respect some Crossfit workouts might be helpful. Another help would be working on mobility through the Mobility WODs - especially those covering greater squat mobility and spine stabilization: Mobility WODs

79648d1e9f1a8d25d9450a8a1d18fe64

(395)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

I have extremely tight hamstrings as well...perhaps we're on to something. Ordered the book...thanks!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:52 AM

I can personally say that Gokhale's book changed my life. I did not have any prior problems like the OP however just thoroughly reading her book and consistently practicing everything she says over more than six months changed the way I walk, sit, and sleep profoundly. Tremendous book. And completely in line with classic weight lifting techniques, coincidentally.

1
Dda1dbc296c25b7835053a251ea6868b

on June 19, 2011
at 04:57 AM

Here's a link to something I posted a bit ago about my experience with both Gokhale and Xfit.

One, the other, or the combination of the two has basically rid me of chronic back pain that I've dealt with on/off for 20 odd years.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/33021/anybody-try-a-strechsit-cushion/33109#33109

1
Ed33691404d94afdc45aea0af89b7185

on June 19, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Ditto to Jamie. The stronger my core, the less back pain I have. It is 100% directly affected by that.

0
E48833ca4e98b24f35191a02e84cc262

on June 19, 2011
at 05:18 PM

REVISION TO THIS COMMENT: Do whatever works for you. If crossfit alleviates symptoms and imbalances, continue on with it until you plateau, then look for better ways to stay healthy and balanced. If not, move on to the next experiment.

Be proactive. Never stay passive.

0
4c3a1918aeb0e78dd9aac869ab72aa8e

(0)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:09 PM

you'll want to search for alignment therapists, structural integrators, or rolfers. Don't be afraid to double check credentials or have a sit down woith them and make sure they actually know what they are doing. The ones that will sit you down and give an in depth consult are the ones you want to pay the money for. i found one one link after a bit of searching but with more looking and talking you should be able to find the right one for you.http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.frederickrolfing.com%2F&h=a98b1

0
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on June 19, 2011
at 04:09 AM

crossfit will help everything. ;)

0
4c3a1918aeb0e78dd9aac869ab72aa8e

(0)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:46 AM

Where do you live? In most places you can find alignment therapists. I would do that. I also agree that doing the mobility wods . Go To the mobwod website and do a keyword search for hips. Do those. On the off chance you live in arkansas I would be happy to help you out. I am a therapist myself and have had lots of success in fixing these types of issues.

637042e24e38a81dfc089ef55bed9d46

(826)

on June 19, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Thanks for the offer, I'm in Maryland. So if I do an internet search for "mobility therapist" for my area, what should I look for?

0
31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 19, 2011
at 01:22 AM

As a Crossfitter with a history of back problems, I would say yes. I have seen a great deal of improvement in my level of pain since starting Crossfit. Losing weight definitely has helped but strengthening my core and back and stretching has been huge. Find a good Crossfit gym (box) with knowledgeable trainers who can work with you on your specific issues. Good luck!

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