We’ve all seen it. Physical therapy clinics around the country treating people of ALL shapes, sizes, ages, and activity levels…. the same. Of course, physical therapy is needed in just about every pain/ injury situation, and all of these different people will benefit. But picture this. You’re a high school baseball pitcher dealing with shoulder pain and you’re in the clinic knocking out your exercises. But then one day you look to your left and you see Mrs. Betty-Jo over there doing the SAME exericses. The same ones!! What the heck?!
Physical therapists are regarded as specialists to help people recover from pain and injuries. But if physical therapists see the full spectrum of injuries (and treat them the same), are they truly specialists in what YOU are looking for? As a CrossFit athlete myself, I see these classic clinics that most think of when you hear the words, “physical therapy” – You know, the clinics that have 1-10# dumbbells, bands of every color and resistance, and every modality known to man (ice, heat, e-stim, ultrasound, etc.)…. the ones that you RARELY, if ever, have a squat rack, pull-up bar, barbells, rings, or turf. If you’re trying to get back to CrossFit and have shoulder pain with a bar muscle up, knee pain with a heavy squat clean, OR just want to learn butterfly pull-ups without hurting your shoulders…which clinic would suit you best? Which clinics and therapists would be experts and really KNOW the demands of your sport and how to get you back to 100% pain free?
CrossFit physical therapists, like us at The Charlotte Athlete, understand the ins and outs of your sport and most importantly, understand that CrossFit isn’t the problem. The very thing that makes CrossFit such an effective fitness and wellness tool, variety and intensity, is what exposes the athlete’s faulty mechanics and imbalances. The problem is that athletes don’t fully understand the stress they are imposing on their bodies when they perform movements incorrectly. They are often performing complex movements either racing against the clock or under the stress of heavy barbells. However, again, it’s not the sport, it’s the poor technique, poor movement patterns, and poor body mechanics that ultimately lead to injury.
While all physical therapists (hopefully) focus on improving movement, there are few who can adequately break down the specific requirements of a deadlift, snatch, or muscle-up, for example. To effectively treat and educate you as a CrossFit athlete, the physical therapist must understand these specific movement patterns and be able to cue you to move properly. The CrossFit physical therapist is a movement specialist with a deep understanding of human anatomy, and the most adept healthcare practitioner to get CrossFit athletes back to their sport pain free, quickly.
Without a doubt, there are some great Charlotte physical therapists that are elite athletes themselves, BUT most of them simply don’t have the equipment, time, or knowledge necessary to challenge CrossFit athletes in the ways that are needed for full return to sport. To makematters worse, some physical therapists don’t even know what CrossFit is or why you’d want to participate in it. Imagine walking into a Charlotte physical therapy clinic, complaining of shoulder pain with butterfly chest-to-bar pull-ups, and seeing the look on my therapist’s face as they say, “what’s that?”, “that’s why you shouldn’t be doing those”, or “you just need to take some time off and rest”, or my personal favorite, “yeah, it’s because CrossFit isn’t good for you and it’s too hard on the body”. **insert eye roll here**
At The Charlotte Athlete, we are experts in treating athletes just like YOU. As past collegiate athletes that compete and/or participate in sports like CrossFit… and know what it’s like to consistently push their bodies to the limit… we know what you’re going through. We’ve all experienced our own fair share of aches and pains that affect our ability to perform the way we want. All of us here are not only fellowship trained in sports manual therapy, but also all know what it takes physically, emotionally, and biomechanically to perform ALL aspects of Crossfit. We know how important this sport is to you and wouldn’t tell you to just give it up.
At The Charlotte Athlete, we have the ability to spend an entire hour with you to watch and analyze how you move, break down the components of the painful movement, identify the exact cause of your pain, come up with a plan of attack, and start treatment on it right away. We have the ability to test your limits and progress your fitness by having access to a full gym that suits the needs of every CrossFit Athlete. We’re able to test your progress by loading up the old painful movement pattern within sessions. No guesswork and no waiting until the next session to try it out on your own and hoping it goes well. We can see you in real time and work on whatever the issue is, right then and there.
As Crossfitters ourselves, we’re as passionate about this sport as you are. We believe that it’s a healthy mode of exercise, and shouldn’t be feared or thought of as dangerous. If you’re a CrossFit athlete in Charlotte, North Carolina and are in need of expert guidance or treatment from a CrossFit Physical Therapist – click here or give us a call or text us at 704-848-6466. You can also e-mail us at [email protected]!
Thanks for reading,