Dr. Jonathan Hott, MD, one of the nation’s top neurosurgeons out Phoenix Arizona and avid CrossFitter, gives his advice to fellow CrossFitters on spine & back health.In his career as a neurosurgeon, a common and frequent ailment that Dr. Hott is regularly exposed to is back and spine pain. Anyone who has ever had short-term or chronic spine or back pain knows how debilitating and unbearable it can be and those who do not know such pain don’t realize how life-altering and incapacitating it can be. Dr Hott is frequently asked how one can mitigate or avoid potential back issues and below are his top three recommendations.
1. Maintaining the Ideal Bodyweight
Barring a traumatic event, the biggest issue he sees that causes short and long term back issues is being overweight. Having excess weight in the anterior (front) of the body especially creates a lot of negative tugging, straining, and compression for the low back and spine. People carrying extra pounds also may experience sciatica and low back pain from a herniated disc or a pinched nerve caused by compensating for the weight.
2. Maintaining Core Strength and Stability
You often hear people talk about “strengthening your core”, but what exactly is the core? Generally defined, the major muscles of the core reside in the area of the abdomen and the mid and lower back. Contrary to conventional wisdom, engaging in a more sedentary lifestyle can actually serve to exacerbate back issues instead of alleviating them. Missing out on regular physical activity can result in a malnourishment of spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments, which can cause degeneration.Strengthening exercises for these muscles can help provide better support for the spine and ease stress on other areas that may be compensating for your lack of core strength.
3. Maintaining Flexibility/Mobility
Lastly Dr. Hott recommends increasing the level of flexibility of the muscles in and around your back to reduce poor mechanics, which can contribute to injury. Furthermore, maintaining mobility of the hip joints will allow the hips to move mechanically sound and efficient to protect the back.Address All 3 With CrossFit While there are a lot of choices when it comes to exercise, CrossFit effectively addresses all three of the above-mentioned suggestions. The constantly varied functional lifts and exercises performed at relatively high intensity result in extremely effective weight loss, increases core strength and increases flexibility. 

If you have questions, Dr. Hott can be reached at:

9225 N 3rd St

Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85020

Phone: (602) 943-4509