Dr. Jon Hyman

Jon Hyman, MD

Spine

  • Spine
  • LBP
  • Cervical spine strain
  • Disc herniation

The spine is a complex anatomic masterpiece of axial structural support for our body.

It can be pulled, twisted, contorted, compressed and tweaked in a myriad of ways. If you have an imbalance like scoliosis, kyphosis, pelvic tilt, leg length discrepancy, or if you are particularly tall, your back could be under additional stress in CrossFit type of activities.

torso

The cervical spine is made up of the top seven vertebral segments. Neck injuries like vertebral body compression fractures, disc herniations and nerve compression radiculopathy are at risk to occur with certain movements. Exercises which apply an axial load the to top of the head or neck are particularly concerning: handstand pushups or negatives and inverted burpees. Also, racking a heavy barbell on the back of your neck can injure the C7 spinous process. This is similar to a clay shovelers fracture. I’ve seen all of these injuries. Please be careful.

The lumbar spine is the five lowest vertebral segments. Low back pain is very common, in life and in sport. Olympic lifting can be a challenge for the low back, as can many of the less powerful movements: kettlebell swings, wallballs, jumping rope and even running. The low back is always vulnerable as it the core of our truncal stability. Tall individuals or persons with a long torso, weak core or poor flexibility can put extra strain on the lower spine.

The spine is composed of three segments: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. All represent integrally important segments of the axial skeleton.  The appendicular skeleton includes the extremities, but the axial part, i.e. the spine, is where we anchor our core.  If you have a bony irregularity, i.e. scoliosis, kyphosis or spondylolisthesis (slipping of the vertebral body), or a congenital irregularity where a spine bone didn’t form properly, you might be at some increased risk.  A good checkup by a primary care physician, chiropractor or orthopedic doctor might be a good idea.  There have been some severe back/spine injuries doing CrossFit, but also doing gymnastics, football, cheerleading etc.  So screening can be smart in any context.  Most back issues will be just strains - from over training, heavy lifting or poor form/technique.  RICE, extension exercises, core strengthening and work with a good physical therapist will take care of the overwhelming majority of these issues.

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Our thanks to FlexBuilding: A New Way to Move. A New Way to Live. for providing the anatomical images for this website.

Your Body & Injury

Elbow

The biceps tendon can tear up by the shoulder (rupture of the long head of the biceps) or tear by the elbow.

Foot and Ankle

Achilles Injuries. Most commonly, CrossFitters will sustain overuse tendinits.

Hips

CrossFit and Plyometrics involves a fair amount of squatting and crouching. Wallballs, slam balls, olympic power lifts, eg squat cleans etc, all involve ‘dropping down low’ and getting your hip crease below knee crease.

Knees

Knees are more than just the platform that supports our stance, run and squat.

Muscle

Muscle physiology is a complex science. There are fast twitch, slow twitch muscle fibers and elaborate mechanisms of enhancing strength, power, endurance speed and fatigue resistance of muscle.

Shoulder

There are two labra or labrums in the body. They are both at somewhat high risk in the Sports of Fitness activities which involve a lot of deep squatting and overhead lifting.

Spine

The spine is a complex anatomic masterpiece of axial structural support for our body.

Wrist

Sprains and tendonitis are the most common ailments.

American Academy for Orthopaedic Surgeons American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
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