A study conducted by sports medicine experts examined injuries among people who participate in CrossFit.
According to its website, “CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone — people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.”
The present study was a systematic review of articles identified from a search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases from inception through August 2020. All articles written in the English language that reported on injuries associated with CrossFit were eligible for inclusion. Data collection included sex, age, and demographics of the study participants, as well as the prevalence, incidence rate, nature, and location of injuries, as well as the percentage that required surgery and potential risk factors.
Final analysis included 25 studies encompassing 12,079 total CrossFit practitioners. When evaluating data from all the studies, the mean injury prevalence was more than a third (35.3%); incidence rate ranged from 0.2 to 18.9 per 1,000 training hours. The shoulder was the most common injury area (26%), followed closely by spine (24%) and then knee (18%). The mean percentage of injuries that needed surgery was 8.7%.
Risk factors for injuries attributed to CrossFit included older age, male sex, higher body mass index, existing previous injuries, lack of coach supervision, CrossFit experience, and participation in competitions, according to the studies.
The review was published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine.
“CrossFit training has an injury incidence rate similar to weightlifting and powerlifting. Findings from the studies suggest that the most affected areas are shoulder, spine and knee. The limited quality of the studies prevents us from draw solid conclusions about injury risk factors,” the authors of the study wrote in their conclusion.