CrossFit and Chiropractic – Nick Neratka DC, ART

CrossFit and Chiropractic


Crossfit and Chiropractic

By Nick Neratka DC, ART

I want to start off this article by saying that I am a new crossfitter, and have really been enjoying it, not just for the workouts, but for the people as well. Crossfit was something that I said I would never do because – I had, originally, seen a large amount of bad in it. During the early days of crossfit, there wasn’t a lot of craft or know-how, and there weren’t a lot of good things being taught. From what I know and have read, crossfit grew via hear-say. One guy started it and got his friends involved. Those friends got their friends involved, and so on and so forth. Now, when things like crossfit are being spread by hear-say, and other people start trying to do it thinking that they can without proper instruction, the margin for error is exponentially increased. For crossfit, error can easily lead to injury. Those of us among the Chiropractic world may find that the history of crossfit sounds rather familiar. Chiropractic got its start when the legendary D.D. Palmer adjusted his friend Harvey Lillard, not really knowing what he was doing, but thought it would help. Miraculously, the adjustment helped. The man that delivered the first adjustment began teaching others. The people that he had taught requested that more go learn from Mr. Palmer, and so on and so forth.  Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?

Over the years, Chiropractic and crossfit have changed drastically. The knowledge among both professions has greatly increased. There are many continuing education seminars and groups that help to increase the knowledge of the Chiropractors and crossfitters of the world, so that those individuals can better themselves and help out those they treat or train. For example, I have taken many of these seminars with groups such as Active Release Techniques, Graston, Motion Palpation, Rehab2Performance, and the Functional Movement Systems to better ourselves and to further help out those that we treat. From a Crossfit standpoint, there are now instructors for each crossfit specialty who are increasing the knowledge of the affiliate coaches, so that they can better train/protect their athletes.

Now that we’ve briefly discussed the histories of both Chiropractic and Crossfit and how they are similar, the real question is – How can Chiropractors help crossfitters and vice versa? My answer to that question is this, Chiropractors and crossfitters can have amazingly synergistic relationships with one another because one of the major things that crossfit requires is MOBILITY. The main tool that we as Chiropractors have is the adjustment, and what does the adjustment do? It increases MOBILITY. For doctors like myself, we use the adjustment as a tool, not as the “end all, be all”. We add in other tools like Active Release Technique, Graston, Exercise Science, and Functional Movement to build upon the foundation that the adjustment creates further increasing our ability to help our patients and crossfitters alike to rid themselves of pain, increase their mobility AND stability, which can then lead to increased health and performance. On the side of crossfit, this plays greatly in to their hands because they get that boost and they, in most cases, can get back in the gym rather quickly. This is something that holds true in my area with coaches like Nate Cozma of Wayfarer Crossfit and also at my old gym – Crossfit Old South with Jason Daniel. They continuously strive to increase their knowledge to better themselves, just as the Doctors at Legacy Medical Centers do. Clearly, the moral of the story is – Don’t judge a book by its cover! So, for those you Chiropractors out there, reach out to your local gym(s) and see if there are ways that you can help. As for you Crossfitters/Coaches, reach out to your local Chiropractor and see if there’s any way that he/she can help you with your aches/pain or your athletes. And, just so you know, some of the Crossfit Games competitors are major advocates of Crossfit including the 3-Time “Fittest Man On Earth” – Rich Froning.

Finally, for the Crossfitters in my area, if you have any questions regarding this article or would like to be seen, please feel free to email Dr. Nick at or call one of our offices at 724-382-5626 (Irwin) or 724-941-0707 (McMurray)

Yours in health,

Dr. Nick


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Posted by Dr. Nick Neratka

Academic Backround Nick Neratka has a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic - Florida and BS in Biology from Bethany College in Bethany, WV. He is the Clinic Director of Legacy Medical Centers - Irwin, as well as the Clinical Rehab Director of Legacy Medical Centers. Legacy Medical Centers is a multidisciplinary sports medicine practice that houses multiple Chiropractors and a Medical Doctor. Dr. Nick's philosophy is centered on correcting movement dysfunction and restoring the body’s proper positions, to provide the utmost in performance. Typical Session A typical treatment session will include a detailed movement assessment and biomechanical join-by-joint analysis. Interventions will be case specific, but may include various manual therapy techniques, corrective exercise, neuromuscular re-education, and movement and lifting technique training. The focus of each session will always be oriented to the patient’s goals because patients don't care unless they know the doctors care. Athletic Backround Dr. Nick was a 3-year letterman at Bethany College, where he played Runningback for the Bethany football team. He now competes in Crossfit, and is training to compete in Olympic Weightlifting as well. Dr. Nick works very closely with the many professional teams of Pittsburgh, Pa due to his certification is Active Release Techniques. He is also very well known among the Crossfit community in the Pittsburgh area.


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