Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: what are some common injuries in BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a dynamic martial art that involves grappling, wrestling and submission techniques. While it offers numerous physical and mental benefits, practitioners are also prone to specific injuries due to the intense nature of the sport. In this blog post, we will discuss three common injuries in BJJ—neck injuries, shoulder and knee sprains—and explore how physiotherapy can aid in the recovery process. Additionally, we will explore specific scenarios where these injuries can occur during BJJ training.

1. Shoulder Sprains: Shoulder sprains are common in BJJ due to the stress of the shoulders to endure and escape techniques such as armbars, kimuras, and omoplatas. These injuries can also occur during intense grappling sessions during takedowns and throws, more specifically when trying to post on an oustretched arm to break a fall.

2. Knee Sprains: Knee sprains are another common injury in BJJ, often resulting from
techniques like knee bars, heel hooks, and other leg locks. The twisting and bending motions involved in these techniques can put significant stress on the knee joint, leading to sprains, ligament tears (such as ACL or MCL), or meniscus injuries.

3. Neck and Spinal Injuries: The nature of BJJ, with its groundwork and submission holds, places the neck and spine at risk of injury. Neck strains, muscle spasms, and even more severe conditions like herniated discs can result from chokes, neck cranks, being crushed while trying to invert or on takedowns.

Injuries are an inherent part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but with the right approach to treatment and rehabilitation, practitioners can recover effectively and reduce the risk of future injuries.

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in this process, offering a comprehensive approach to injury management. Through pain management, targeted exercises, manual therapy, and education on injury prevention, physiotherapists can help BJJ athletes return to the mat stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to enjoy the many benefits of this exhilarating martial art.

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