BJJ & Sports Injury Prevention

For most people, when visiting the Madison Sports Injury Clinic, it quickly becomes apparent how passionate the chiropractor, Dr. Rodney is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). After practicing and watching BJJ (3 years), Dr. Rodney is familiar with patterns and injuries that develop in the fighting body. Cauliflower ear? Partial tear in the knee ligament? Separated shoulder? He is equipped to help you prevent any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu injury, among other sport related problems. This post will focus on neck injuries, which are very common in BJJ.

Players are always getting put in to positions that put a strain on the neck, whether it’s a headlock, inversion, or even getting stacked. That part of the body takes a beating in this sport.

Right: Michael Rodney, DC.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Neck Injury Problems

Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Stiff neck
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Numbness and decreased sensation into the arm
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Weakness in the affected areas

At some point, we will all feel one of these symptoms if you are practicing the art of jiu jitsu at a reasonably high level or simply a long period of time. 

Rear Naked Choke & Neck Crank BJJ

One of the most popular submissions to teach in a gi or nogi jiu jitsu class. It is relatively easy to learn and drill without much danger to your training partner. However, once a live roll begins all bets are off as unwillingness to tap take over a brain!

The likely cause of injury is the application of the rear naked choke using the right arm of the opponent. This is equally important since it’s the most common side people attack and opponent defends.

The amount of pressure and position of the choking arm often determines the severity of displacement and injury. It doesn’t take much to go from a well applied rear naked choke to a neck crank injury!

The Role of a Chiropractor

The most important thing a chiropractor can do to help is realign the spine with a chiropractic adjustment. This will bring back symmetry, disrupt scar tissue, and remove interference from the spinal cord and nerves. This relieves symptoms and gives the brain the best chance to communicate with the rest of the body to effectively heal.

How to Protect Your Neck in BJJ

  • See a chiropractor to have your spine structurally evaluated.
  • Speak with a chiropractor or physical therapist to evaluate your neck strength and determine how best to strengthen your neck.
  • Consider yoga to help increase muscle strength and increase flexibility.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Neck Injury: Conclusion

It should now be clear just how important preparation and prevention can be! We take pride in our job as a staff at the Madison Clinic to correct any imbalances that prevent our athlete from healing quickly and building durability. We work with you to accomplish this with chiropractic adjustments, but also acupuncture, cupping, sports massage and corrective exercises.

I am not saying all neck pain means injury. However, if you sense something is off, go get it checked out! It is not worth having it turn into something even more severe and keeping you off the mats even longer. Be smart and train smart. 

Visit us at the Madison Clinic, located at 4950 Yonge St. North York, or contact us, at 416-222-8235.