Calisthenics Crossfit

Crossfit Neck Pain: Treatment and Cause

The neck is composed of seven vertebrae called the cervical spine. It is a movable part which makes it susceptible to shocks and uncontrolled movements. Crossfit neck pain can happen by putting strain on muscles, nerves, vertebrae, tendons, joints, or ligaments of the neck.

Sometimes it’s a Crossfit neck injury. Other times, you just performed your WOD and afterward end up with a sore neck. We are going to explore different possible causes and preventive measures.

Why Does My Neck Hurt After Exercise?

Sometimes that WOD does not target neck muscles but indirectly affects them. Consider muscles like an interrelated network that contribute to each other for better functionality. A particular weight can be too heavy for the target muscle, or an exercise may require engaging different muscles for functionality and balance. In all these cases, aside from the target muscle, other muscles also participate in the movement.

In fact, the majority of movements in the body engage multiple muscle groups. While you are lifting a heavy weight, it can be that your neck muscles become involved in the act, and you end up with a neck pain Crossfit.

Effect of Poor Posture on Crossfit Neck Pain

Improper form during exercise leads to shifting pressure from target muscle to other muscle groups, which makes them sore after the exercise. Mastering proper technique for each exercise refuses the risk of Crossfit neck pain.

‘DOMS Crossfit’ Can Be a Cause for Crossfit Neck Pain

Delayed onset muscle soreness or (Doms) is a common cause of muscle soreness after a strenuous training session. DOMS especially happens for beginners or after changing an exercise routine.

Strength training causes microtears that later during the recovery process these damaged muscle fibers are rebuilt and, as a result, you gain strength and size.

DOMS after Crossfit can leave your neck muscles in a swollen state, and thus Crossfit neck pain occurs. In case the damage is severe, your Crossfit neck pain can be accompanied by stiff neck and shoulders or even swelling.

DOMS Crossfit can appear 24 hours after the exercise. A study shows that massage can reduce DOMS by about 30 percent.

Warm-up to Prevent Crossfit Soreness

When muscles are inactive for some time, they become tight and less flexible. A proper warm-up before the exercise increases flexibility and lowers the chance of Crossfit sore neck.

Stretch and Cool Down to Prevent Crossfit Neck Pain

Like warm-up, stretches can increase flexibility and reduce tightness of the muscles. Stretching movements can be added to the final part of warm-up and also during the cool-down phase. Gentle stretches can help ease Crossfit neck pain.

What Exercises Should I Avoid with Neck Pain?

1. Sit-up Neck Strain

Hand position in site-ups is either behind the neck or across the chest. Mostly, people place their hands at the back of their neck to assist them in bending forward. This is particularly significant when abdominal muscles aren’t strong enough or have reached exhaustion. This extra pull on a strained neck can deteriorate the Crossfit neck injury. In the state where hands are on the chest, cervical muscles will have to work hard to lift the neck off the ground.

Reverse Crunch Is Easier on a Crossfit Sore Neck

Similar to sit-up and crunch, for reverse crunch lie flat on the ground. Knees are bent, and feet touch the floor. The upper body, neck, back and shoulders remain flat on the floor.

Instead of bending forward with your upper body, contract your abdominal muscles and bring your knees off the ground towards your chest. At the top of the movement, however, your hips slightly lift off the floor when you are bringing knees close to the chest.

2. Glute bridges Neck Pain in Crossfit

Glute bridge is one of the great bodyweight Crossfit workouts to strengthen glute muscles. To perform glute bridge, back and calf lie flat on the floor and by the strength of glute muscles you push your hip up into a bridge position. As you raise your hip, you put strain on your neck to bend forward. This position, if done incorrectly, can worsen a Crossfit back injury and add glute bridge neck pain to the injury.

Avoid glute bridge when you suffer from crossfit neck pain

Prone Hip Extension Is a Better Alternative

To lessen the impact of exercise on Crossfit neck pain, instead of glute bridge try prone hip extension. 

  • Lie down with stomach on the floor. 
  • Lock your knees so that they remain in a straight position throughout the range of motion. 
  • Squeeze your glute muscles and lift one leg up.
  • Hold your leg for 1 or 2 seconds and slowly bring it down on the floor.
  • Repeat with another leg

Study: Calisthenics rep range for hypertrophy sets

3. Olympic Lift or Military Press Neck Pain

Olympic lift or military press requires lifting a weighted barbell off the shoulders height and extending arms over head. Raising the barbell above chest level requires backward extension of the neck. Apart from that, holding the weight above head places extra pressure on the neck and other surrounding muscles. With an existing Crossfit neck pain, Olympic lift can put extra strain on it, so it is recommended to avoid it.

Front Shoulder Raise as an Alternative

The primary purpose of Olympic lift is strengthening deltoids, even though it engages other muscle groups including neck and shoulders. As a replacement, try front shoulder raise that strengthens shoulders and deltoid muscles while reducing engagement of your sore neck.

  • Place hands at both sides of the body with dumbbells at hands and palms towards the sides of the body. 
  • Raise your hands towards the front up to shoulder level. 
  • While arms remain in extended position, hold a second and slowly bring them back down.

4. Handstand Push-up Neck Pain

It is wise to avoid handstand push up while you suffer from Crossfit neck pain. This movement can put too much strain on neck muscles and ligaments. Particularly, if it is not performed correctly and with wrong neck placement, it will add handstand neck pain to the injury.

Can a Neck Injury Heal on Its Own?

Crossfit neck pain caused by strain or tension usually fades away without medical intervention. However, try to be watchful and use over-the-counter treatments during the recovery period. Stretching, applying RICE therapy, physiotherapy, and massage are recommended

Crossfit Muscle Pain

Crosfitters are susceptible to different injuries. Result of a survey about the most common Crossfit pains amongst a group of Crossfitters shows the following statistics. Figures in the chart indicate the number of people who suffer from different Crossfit muscle pains.

A survey about different crossfit muscle pains including crossfit neck pain.
Result of a survey about different crossfit pains

Further reading:

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