Treating and Preventing Injuries – Jiu-Jitsu Miami
Injuries are an inevitable part of practicing Jiu-Jitsu. BJJ is very physically demanding contact sport. That being said, if you make preventive self-care a priority you’ll get hurt less often and heal quicker. It’s frustrating when an injury prevents you from training and while it’s tempting to try and “tough it out” roll through the pain, you should always listen to your body and understand your limits. Exacerbating an injury can lead to further damage with possibly irreversible effects that might keep you out of Jiu-Jitsu Miami training indefinitely.
1. Neck Injuries
The most common neck injuries we see at BJJ Miami are cervical sprains and strains, which are signified by muscle tension, stiffness, spasms, and/or limited range of motion. To manage pain associated with neck injuries, rest and ice the area and take anti-inflammatory pain medications if necessary. Heat from a warm bath or heating pad can also help relax the muscles and ease tension.
Nonspecific back pain is extremely common among BJJ Miami athletes. Back pain can be marked by chronic aches or stiffness anywhere along your spine, sharp, localized pain, and muscle spasms. Heat therapy, stretching, and massaging affected areas with a foam roller can help relieve these symptoms. Strengthening your core and performing dynamic stretches to increase flexibility can help reduce back pain related to Jiu-Jitsu Miami.
3. Cauliflower Ear
Cauliflower ear is a deformity caused by blunt trauma or other injury to the ear. It is extremely common among wrestlers and Jiu-Jitsu Miami athletes; many fighters view it as a badge of honor. Symptoms include swelling, redness, or bruising. If left untreated, Cauliflower Ear restricts blood flow and causes tissue damage that results in permanent deformity. In order to reduce blockage and restore blood flow, a small incision must be made to allow the fluids to drain. The good news is that cauliflower ear can be avoided by wearing ear protection during practice.
4. Sprains and strains
Sprains are caused by the tearing or stretching of ligaments. Common strains and sprains we see at Jiu-Jitsu Miami occur in the neck, lower back, hamstrings, knees, wrists and thumbs. Symptoms of sprains and strains vary depending on the severity of the injury but usually include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited ability to move the affected joint. Most sprains can be treated at home with a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can be used to manage swelling and pain. Wearing a brace or compression wrap can help with swelling and provide added stability while the ligaments are healing.
It is important to allow your body adequate time to heal from an injury before getting back on the mats. Rolling with a sprain puts you at risk of further injury and permanent joint instability. Regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent these common BJJ ailments.