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Posted on 05-20-2016

I've been treating a high end Cross Fitter.  This man is quite an athlete.  In his 10 years of coaching Cross Fit and owning his own gym he has racked up an enormous portfolio of skills and an enormous amount of muscle pathology.  Last weekend he was teaching a move that required the participant to move from a kneeling position with a weighted bar into a squatting position then press up with the legs while pressing the bar up over head.  While this man had the strength to perform this maneuver, his muscles DID NOT have the requisite coordination to do it and his lumbosacral region paid the price. 

The poor medical doctors at the local Urgent Care, try as they might with their caring hearts, could only shrug their shoulders and shoot him up with Torpadol (a powerful and dangerous NSAID) and valium in their attempts to help him get back on his feet.  He literally had to have a fellow Cross Fitter carry him into the Urgent Care; quite a friend!  

As a fascial therapist, I typically need to see my patient move to get an idea of where to begin. I don't usually have such acute patients so I had to be flexible in my approach.  But, my strategy was to treat him in all three planes of motion over three office visits in the hopes of getting him somewhat mobile.  Today, on his third visit, he walked in on his own and was able to get on the table without assistance, albeit slowly and guarded.  Still, I was able to get into the points that needed work and I can safely say that he is on his way to recovery and no longer taking any pain meds or NSAIDS. 

What really needs to be said here is not that Cross Fit is dangerous because any strenuous physical activity can be dangerous.  But, I'd like to say that when we are working out, we need to do two very important administrative therapies.  First, we need to do deep and prolonged stretching after a workout.  This will minimize the post workout inflammatory reaction and slow down the deposit of fibrosis by shutting down a pro-inflammatory cytokine called Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFb).  The second thing we need to do is to FLOSS our muscles!  This may sound odd to the reader but it is a simple concept.  Just as we floss our teeth to prevent the deposition of plaques between them, and, just as we 'Floss our spines' with Chiropractic adjustments to avoid inhibition of nervous impulses in the central nervous system, we need to consider the health of our peripheral nervous system by preventing the accumulation of densified Hyaluronic acid (HA) in and around the nerves that sense movement in the periphery. 

Muscles CAN NOT function properly when they can't talk to each other or when the force cannot be smoothly transmitted over the normal lines of movement along the kinetic chain.  The body will ALWAYS deposit excess lubricant in areas of high tension.  It will only accumulate as we work more and more because densified lubricant DOES NOT resolve with exercises or stretches.  Eventually, the muscle, in these important points of force convergence (Fascial Manipulation theory 101), becomes almost rubberized if the accumulation of HA goes on for long periods of time without intervention. 

By remembering to get proactive, prophylactic, skillful manual therapy on a regular basis the elite athlete can maintain healthy muscle tissue.  With healthy muscle tissue, the elite athlete can continue his or her craft.  This is 'Flossing Your Muscles.'  It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to maintain health muscles.  Without correct mechanics, the joints CANNOT be pulled correctly and WILL NOT stay healthy for long.  Take care of those joints and you won't need to have them cut out and replaced in your 40's or 50's. 

Something to ponder.

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