Age, Graduation and Weight related to the most common injuries in Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is a fantastic martial art! We who are passionate about soft art know how hard it is to go untrained because of injuries. We also know that after a certain age, which I will arbitrarily and subjectively say after 30, it seems to be even more difficult to resume the rhythm of physical activities. Personally, I live feeling “pain” because of the soft art. Constantly complaining of pain in the back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles and so on. But, like all people who love jiu-jitsu, I do not allow these “little dwarfs” to keep me from waking up and going to the gym on a daily basis.

A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, USA) published a very interesting article on injuries in jiu-jitsu. The article is from this year (2017) and, therefore, is what is most current in the analysis of injuries in jiu-jitsu practitioners. The researchers evaluated, through a questionnaire of 27 questions, 166 BJJ athletes, of the most different grades (from white to black only) and of all the weight categories that one has in the competitions (following the weight recommendations of the IBJJF) and of different age groups. All data presented in this column were extracted from the cited article. Athletes who declare themselves to be professional, amateur, and non-competitive competitors participated in the survey, and thus a very wide range of variants can be analyzed by the study drivers.

As expected, age had a bearing on the causes of injury. Most respondents were between 18-29 years of age followed by people aged 30-39 years. The most common lesions were of hands (wrists) and fingers. Interestingly, people aged 40-49 years had neck injuries (no major severity) and people aged 50-59 years had numerous lesions ranging from skin infections to lacerations.

Interestingly, the respondents answered questions about injuries that were diagnosed clinically (by a health professional qualified for it) and the lesions that were self-diagnosed, that is, the participants themselves said what their injury was and self-medicated . On this, in fact, there is a warning: self-diagnosis is very dangerous and can have serious consequences for people’s health. To separate mild self-injury issues from more troubling injuries, the study considered only self-diagnosed injuries that prevented the person from training for at least a week.

Among the lesions diagnosed professionally we had those occurring in the fingers and wrists among the most usual. It is noteworthy that skin infections had a considerable percentage of problems diagnosed and that took athletes out of training. In fact, as the authors of the study concluded, skin infections were the highest prevalence with the sample analyzed. Here is another example of the importance of using rash guards in training because it allows avoiding skin contacts that facilitate transmission of infections. Still about self-diagnoses, we also have finger and pulse injuries among the most common. Skin infections do not even appear among those listed by athletes who did the self-diagnosis which shows the importance of the examination done by professionals. I also see it as very important to say that skin infections are usually easily transmitted and that lack of professional diagnosis can cause an “epidemic” within the athlete’s own self-diagnosed gym. It is curious that no self-diagnosed athlete has discovered about his skin infection.

The graduation also showed to be a differential in the analysis of lesions. In the black belt, we have commonly listed hip and groin lesions. In the brown belt, we have injuries of knee, hands and fingers. The same thing is observed for purple band. Blue and white commonly presented lesions of hands and wrists. This evaluation of the lesions by graduation is quite interesting. We know that in the purple and brown bands there is a greater concern with leg locks since in purple we start to worry more about the issue, because in the next graduation (brown) the application of the technique is already allowed. Injuries to the hands and fingers permeate all ranges from white to brown, but black is no longer so common.

In the weight divisions, we also see different types of associated lesions. In the Gallic weight we have lesions of the shoulder, in the feathers hands and fingers besides skin infections, in the feathers hands and fingers, in the weights there are more injuries of knee, in the middle we have injuries of arms and elbows, light-heavy hands predominate and fingers, in the heavy ones there is the prevalence of shoulder injuries, in the super heavy ​​injuries of hands and fingers and in the very heavy lesions in the trunk. Since the survey was done with only 166 athletes and all Americans, we should all be careful in interpreting these data.

I compete from Medium Heavy to  Super Heavy (but usually in the Medium Heavy), that is, I will probably have a tendency to injury throughout the body.

Is that you?? What injuries have you had, tended or scared you? Tell us everything and share this text with your friends! Good training! Good recovery for injured people! Oss!

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