It’s CrossFit Time!

Maybe you’ve seen the CrossFit Games on ESPN or possibly have a friend that has received positive results from joining CrossFit. You’re not alone as a lot of people around the world have been joining the CrossFit craze within the past few years. Maybe you’re even thinking about joining a CrossFit gym near your home in Frederick. Before you jump right into, you may want to read the rest of this blog in order to learn a little bit more about the methodology and potential injury risks of this high intensity workout routine.

CrossFit’s goal is to create a general fitness that focuses on functional exercises while incorporating a variety of workouts improving strength, speed and endurance. While focusing on functional activities that are actually used in sports, CrossFit workouts can include any combination of exercises from running to rowing to Olympic lifts to plyometrics. Generally speaking, most workout’s ultimate goal is to do the workout as fast as possible or as many repetitions as possible within a given time frame.This will encourage you to constantly improve upon previous workouts and never let you settle for anything less than your best. In addition, there are usually no designed rests between sets which can turn any regular workout into perhaps the most difficult workout you’ll ever try.

When performed properly, CrossFit can be a fun and motivating way to get into fantastic overall physical condition and prepare you for your sport. One of the great aspects of CrossFit is the constant variety of workouts which prevents boredom and will definitely keep you excited to continue towards your fitness goal. Another great aspect of CrossFit is the team atmosphere that reverberates throughout the gym. Support from the trainers and other CrossFitters will encourage you to keep going during a workout and encourage you to come back for more.

Just like any other workout regimen, it’s very important to take care of your body in order to limit the risk of injury. Proper technique is critical to limiting injury, especially in power lifts such as the dead lift and squat. Prior to doing an exercise during a CrossFit workout, be sure that you’ve mastered the technique and understand what it feels like when form is slipping due to fatigue. For example, a common compensation during the squat is rounding your back which can increase stresses on your back and can lead to injury. Be sure to take a break when you feel technique slipping in order to avoid these compensations. It’s better to do one correct repetition than 100 with poor technique.

Given the high demand of these workouts, make sure you take care of your body outside of the gym as well to decrease risk of injury. Proper nutrition and rest are key components to preparing your body both before and after workouts. Rest doesn’t just include getting proper sleep at night but also means proper rest between workouts. This means allowing 48-72 hours of rest before working out the same muscle group.

Whether you’ve already begun CrossFit training or you’re interested in doing so, be sure to exercise smart and never sacrifice quality for quantity. The compensations that follow will inevitably lead to imbalances, pain and eventual injury. Understand that high intensity training should only be utilized by those in top physical condition and have been training for an extended period of time. If you have any questions, our wellness team at Superior Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab can help prepare you to begin this high intensity workout program.

What is Kinesio Tape?

Kerri Walsh

Kerri Walsh at 2008 Beijing Olympics

If you have watched any sporting events, you may have seen some athletes wearing that crazy sports tape on their shoulders, knees, ankles, or any other part of their body. You may have wondered what is that stuff and what does it do? Well wonder no more, the tape you see on Olympiad Kerri Walsh's shoulder is called Kinesio Tex tape (KT tape, for short).

The history of KT tape may surprise you. It began in Japan, Dr. Kenzo Kase first developed the Kinesio taping method in 1979 (over 35 years ago!). He is a chiropractor as well as a licensed acupuncturist. Dr. Kase realized that manual therapy (i.e., massage therapy, chiropractic care, and physical therapy) was extremely effective for the treatment of different ailments, but often the effects were short lived. He sought out for something his clients could use between appointments to increase the effectiveness of manual therapy for longer lasting results. The Kinesio taping method was introduced to the United States in 1995, and then Europe in 1996. However, it wasn't until 2008, when Kerri Walsh was seen with the tape did it become popular in the States.

Kinesio Tape

So what does the KT tape method do? Kinesiology taping is based on the body's own natural healing process. Unlike conventional athletic tape, kinesiology tape has elastic properties and does not restrict movement. It is made of 100% elastic fibers that are latex free. You may notice a wave-like pattern, which is put on the tape to mimic fingerprints and allows the tape to breathe. The amount of stretch in this tape correlates with the elastic qualities of our skin and its special properties aid our proprioceptors and lymphatic system. When applied correctly, kinesiology tape can be used to treat:

Kinesio Taping

Can anybody use the KT tape method? The success of this tape is dependent on proper examination and application. Therefore, it is best to see your favorite physical therapist for the assistance of proper application. Different techniques are used for each unique objective. Are you trying to relax a tight muscle, assist a weak muscle, decrease pain or swelling, or support a joint? To be truly effective, a practitioner needs to know exactly why the tape is being applied. Having this information determines joint/muscle positioning for taping and determines the amount of tension and in what direction it is applied. Here at Superior Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab (, we are trained in using the KT tape method for orthopedic and neurological issues and would love to help you get back your function in a safe and supported manner.

Headache? Could it be my neck?

It has been a long day at work at your computer, you have been sitting for hours and your head is “pounding” again, but why? Tension and migraines can typically be the culprit, but this time it could be coming from your neck. Cervicogenic Headache, or neck related headache, according to Zito in 2006 makes up 18% of all chronic headaches, and according to Hall in 2007 makes up 20% of all recurrent headaches.

When patients come in to the office for evaluation, I look for 3 items to determine if their headache is coming from the neck.

  • Decreased Active Range of Motion for Neck extension: Looking up
  • Pain with palpation to c1-c4 joints: Upper portion of the neck
  • Weakness in the deep flexor muscles of the neck

These items are only present in a cervicogenic headache. Not a migraine, nor a tension headache.

These type of headaches are very treatable and typically involve, postural training, neck strengthening, joint mobilization to the upper portion of the neck, and ergonomic assessment.

So if you have a headache, and don’t quite know what is the cause. Make an appointment with your physical therapist, preferably Superior PT, and allow us to assess if it is coming from your neck.