Frequently Asked Questions
Combat Sport FAQs
Why Do I Have Pain During Combat Sports?
Time on the mats boxing, grappling, rolling, or practicing martial arts can lead to both traumatic and chronic overuse injuries. While most combat spot athletes take steps to minimize injuries, the nature of these sports is intense and full contact. Injuries happen. Traumatic injuries can occur even after a single event. Pain is not there immediately before the event and is there immediately after the event. An example may be neck pain after a guillotine choke or ankle pain after a kick. The cause of traumatic injuries is usually obvious. Chronic injuries develop slowly from overuse, and the cause is not always known. A nagging shoulder pain and a “bad back” are both examples of overuse injuries.
What Are the Most Common Combat Sports Injuries Seen at Ward Chiropractic & Rehabilitation?
The most common injuries we see associated with combat sports are injuries to the neck and back. Neck injuries can happen from being punched, kicked, choked, or thrown. They can happen quickly or develop slowly over time due to the positions required for combat sports. Neck injuries can be related to injuries of the upper extremities. For example, neck pain can impact the shoulder and vice versa. Low back injuries can occur from lifting, twisting, striking, or being thrown. Chronic low back issues can develop due to an athlete’s natural preference toward a side. For example, if an athlete always performs a takedown to the same side, this can create an alignment issue in the lower back. The repetitive, unequal forces can shift bones and joints out of proper position and cause uneven muscle activation.
How Can Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Treatments Help Injuries from Combat Sports?
We have experience treating a wide variety of injuries from combat sports. In most cases, we can help. We specialize in injuries to joints, soft tissues, and nerves. Our treatment is gentle and does not involve drugs or surgery. We sometimes order images to rule out fractures and surgical indications. We have a network of medical specialists who can co-manage cases when necessary.
What’s Causing My Pain During Combat Sports?
Combat sports are dynamic and violent in nature. Injuries can occur to muscles, bones, joints, and nerves. We use a comprehensive history and examination to determine the underlying cause of the problem. We listen to your story. Examinations include measuring range of motion, orthopedic testing, and neurologic testing. We also use imaging such as X rays and MRIs when needed.
What Treatments Can Be Used for My Pain From Combat Sports?
Our office’s main treatment for combat sports injuries is a chiropractic adjustment. This procedure is performed on a specialized table. Dr. Ward gently uses his hands to align bones and increase motion to stiff or “stuck joints.” This procedure is specific and non-painful. There may be a gentle popping sensation during the procedure. We also use rehabilitation exercises to aid in recovery from combat sports injuries. We also use myofascial techniques to decrease tension and trigger points in soft tissues, muscles, and nerves.
How Do I Prevent Combat Sports Injuries?
1) Warm up and cool down. Dynamic warm-up and stretching post-activity will decrease injury risk.
2) Check your ego at the door. A “blackout before you tap out” mentality will almost certainly end in injury. Don’t ignore your pain or try to tough it out. Listen to your body.
3) Communicate with your training partner. If you have an injury or even an area of stiffness, talk to your training partner before your roll.
4) Seek treatment sooner rather than later. The longer an injury lingers, the more difficult it is to treat.
5) Review your techniques with an instructor. Often, overuse injuries result when a movement is done incorrectly. If you’re having pain with a specific movement, ask an instructor to take a look.
What Separates Ward Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Regarding the Treatment of Combat Sports Injuries?
Dr. Ward has experience treating combat sports athletes at the professional and amateur levels, including boxers, fighters, wrestlers, MMA, martial artists, and jiu-jitsu athletes. He’s treated youth, adult, and master level competitors. He has a background in wrestling/grappling and currently trains jiu-jitsu. His children also train and beat up Dr. Ward on a regular basis. Dr. Ward understands the high- stakes world of combat sports\ and how important it is to stay on the mat. If Dr. Ward can’t solve your problem with chiropractic treatment, he will choke your pain into submission (in other words, refer you to his trusted network of medical partners!).