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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Healing the Hurt: Top 5 CrossFit and HIIT-style Workout Injuries and Their Treatments

Hello there! I'm Dr Andray Voronov, your friendly neighbourhood osteopath in Narre Warren. Today, we'll be diving into an area close to my heart, and probably close to your aching muscles too – the top 5 injuries people experience at CrossFit and HIIT-style workout gyms. I'll be offering up some research-backed conservative treatment methods, and you’ll get to know some rough recovery times based on tissue-type healing times. So, get comfy, flex those reading muscles, and let’s jump right in.

**Note recovery times are purely estimations and cannot account for your individual ability to recover from injury. Nor do that take into consideration re-injury/re-aggravation during the healing phase**

1. Sprained Ankle

Let's start with a common one, the sprained ankle. In CrossFit and HIIT, dynamic and explosive movements are the order of the day, and this can sometimes lead to an ankle sprain, which is essentially an injury to the ligaments in your ankle.


Conservative treatment for sprained ankles often involves the RICE protocol - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, in the first 48-72 hours, followed by ankle and hip strengthening exercises as soon as weight bearing on the ankle is possible. Research shows that it works wonders. I would also recommend mobility exercises once the initial inflammation subsides.

Estimated Recovery Time

Based on tissue healing times, a mild sprain may take 2-3 weeks, while more severe sprains can take up to 6-12 weeks to heal.

2. Lower Back Pain

Next up, we have lower back pain. This is a common issue that many people experience, especially when high repetitions of deadlifts, snatches or cleans are involved. It often involves either a strain of the muscles in the lower back or problems with the discs of the lower back.


Treatment involves gentle stretching, mobility work, and strengthening exercises to support the lower back. Osteopathic treatment and an injury specific strength program can be particularly beneficial in managing lower back pain.

Estimated Recovery Time

Recovery can vary widely, from a few weeks for minor pains to several months for more serious injuries.

3. Shoulder Impingement

Next up, we have shoulder impingement, a frequent occurrence in the CrossFit and HIIT community. This condition is caused by pressure on, or weakness in, the rotator cuff muscles from part of the shoulder blade as the arm is lifted.


Treatment often involves rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and exercises to improve strength and mobility. In these cases we love to start by improving how the shoulder joint functions as a whole (which can involve the neck as well as the thoracic spine). Then we look at build strength around specific muscles of the shoulder.

Estimated Recovery Time

This condition usually improves over 3-6 months with appropriate management.

4. Knee Injuries

Knee injuries like meniscus tears and ACL injuries are common in high-intensity workouts. These injuries occur when the knee is suddenly twisted or receives a direct impact.


Treatment may involve a combination of rest, physical therapy, immobilisation, and in some cases, surgery. Gentle exercise under the guidance of an osteopath can help restore strength and mobility.

Estimated Recovery Time

Recovery from minor knee injuries may take a few weeks, while more severe injuries like an ACL tear can take up to 9 months to heal.

5. Rhabdomyolysis

Lastly, we have rhabdomyolysis, a condition often associated with extremely intense workouts. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury, leading to the breakdown of muscle fibres and release of their contents into the bloodstream. You'll often hear people who have sufferred from "rhabdo" talk about how their urine looks like cola. Hot tip: pee should NOT look like cola and can be a key sign of muscle break-down.

Unfortuantely, in the early days of CrossFit, getting rhabdo was seen as a badge of honor. Something you "earned" through hard-work. However, fortunately, CrossFit coaches are smarter these days.


This condition requires immediate medical attention. Hydration and rest are crucial to help the body recover.

Estimated Recovery Time

Recovery time can vary significantly, often taking several weeks to a few months.

The Importance of Daily Movement and Movement Nutrition

Throughout all these injuries, one thing remains constant - the importance of daily movement and movement nutrition for everyone's wellbeing and recovery.

Movement Nutrition: What is it?

When I talk about 'movement nutrition,' I'm not suggesting you feed your running shoes a balanced diet of proteins and carbs. Rather, I'm talking about the variety and quality of the movements you feed your body. Just like a diet rich in a variety of nutrients is essential for our health, a diversity of movements is key to our body's overall wellbeing.

The Role of an Osteopath in Your Recovery

An osteopath plays a vital role in your injury recovery. We don't just focus on the site of pain; we look at the whole body and how it functions together.

If you're nursing an injury from CrossFit or HIIT, or just want to improve your movement nutrition, remember, your friendly osteopath in Narre Warren is here to help.

Remember, injuries are not a dead end. They're detours on your fitness journey. And with the right guidance and treatment, you'll be back on your path in no time.


Q: Can I continue CrossFit or HIIT after an injury?

A: This depends on the injury, but in most cases, yes! However, it's crucial to listen to your body and take advice from professionals.

Q: If I've hurt my back, do I need an X-ray or MRI?

A: In most cases, not immediately. Imaging is warranted when recieving a scan will change your treatment plan or if you are not responding to consevative care as expected.

Q: Do I just need to harden up and get on with it?

A: I'm all about training smarter rather than harder, and if smarter involves scaling movements in the short-term so that you can continue CrossFit or HIIT training in the future, then that's the best choice.


Whether you’re in Narre Warren, Hallam, Berwick, Cranbourne, Clyde, Clyde North, or Endeavour Hills, CrossFit and HIIT-style workouts are a fantastic way to keep fit. But like any physical activity, they come with a risk of injury. With the right approach to treatment and recovery, including a focus on daily movement and movement nutrition, you'll be back on track before you know it.

So, take care of your body, don’t forget the importance of balanced movements, and most importantly, keep moving! The road to recovery might seem long, but remember – even the longest journey begins with a single step.

Until next time, stay active, stay healthy, and keep moving!

If you've been nursing an injury that's holding you back with your training, feel free to make a booking online via our online booking form

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