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THE MARTIAL ARTS ATHLETE: INTRODUCTION - WRESTLING, BOXING, KARATE, TAEKWONDO, MUAY THAI, JIU JITSU, JUDO, ETC.

Are you a Martial Arts athlete in Greenville SC? Mixed Martial Arts is a combination of many combat disciplines: Boxing, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, etc. These martial arts athletes rely on their physical performance, mental stamina, and sometimes luck in the moment to excel in their sport. However, the demands of martial arts means injuries can occur more frequently than other sports. I know firsthand, I was a high school and collegiate wrestler, and have dabbled in all other martial arts disciples throughout my life. Thus, having a martial arts athlete set up with a physical therapist specialized in working with these athletes allows for injury prevention and addressing any current injuries, so the athlete can return to fighting sooner and in better health. Furthermore, this can extend the longevity of the athlete’s career and allow for longer “peak” career time.


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From my experience, martial arts athletes get injuries pretty much everywhere. I see martial arts athletes for muscle strains (in every region of the body), finger/toe pain (commonly jammed joints), rib injuries, thoracic and cervical restrictions, lower back pain, knee pain (commonly meniscal tear or inner quadriceps weakness/instability), shoulder pain (commonly labral tear or rotator cuff tears or shoulder impingement), hip/groin pain (commonly labral tear), ankle sprains, elbow hyperextension, post-concussion headaches, chronic whiplash, and the list could go on.

It is obvious that many of these injuries occur during sparring and during competition. You get put into a Kimura (a shoulder lock) = you get overstretching of soft tissues at that joint = ouch and injury! However, many long-lasting injuries actually occur from technique and fight stance. Of course your back is not naturally meant to be in the constant forward-leaning position, but you need to guard your legs in case your opponent shoots a double leg takedown on you! And of course your arms are not naturally meant to be constantly up with your shoulders rounded forward, but how else are you going to guard your face from a haymaker! The key is not to change fight stance (clearly fight stance is unique to every fighter), but to prevent the negative effects of always being in the fight stance. Now correct technique goes without saying; it is not as unique to every individual as fight stance is. If you are twisting more on your knee to throw a kick, rather than twisting through your hips and spine, then that’s a great way to tear your meniscus in that planted knee or develop hip flexor tendonitis on the kicking leg.

Now, I cannot write a blog big enough to address all the reasons martial arts athletes have injuries, or even how to treat or prevent these injuries. Even though I will write future blogs onmartial arts athletes’ (common injuries, injury prevention exercises, injury treatment exercises, and exercises for technique or performance enhancement), it’d be much faster and easier for you to schedule an appointment with me. This way I can examine YOUR injury or movement dysfunction, and treat you based on YOUR complaints.


If you have questions about your pain/injury/limitation, or are interested in injury prevention, then please email us by clicking HERE, or call us at (864) 881-1712. We would love to take some time to help you.

If you need a physical therapist to evaluate, treat, or prevent your pain/injury/limitation, then click HERE to schedule an appointment today.