Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Elbow Injuries -Types and Treatment

It does not really matter which sport you play, there will always be a chance to get injured. As far as combat sports are concerned, the chances to get injured is even more likely. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the combat sports that has a great number of injuries.Let’s talk about the Brazilian Jiu jitsu elbow injuries caused in combat sports. First of all, the elbow joint is a fragile joint, which means it is really prone to get injured. Hence, elbow injuries are very common in BJJ. Not only submission moves but also while fighting elbow is not particularly strong to withstand hard damages. In addition, if the elbow of a fighter gets injured again and again, then it might end up being a chronic pain or permanent injury.

An armbar is a submission move that is well known to cause any elbow injury in BJJ. If the opponent resists to give up, it can cause some serious injury. This is why injuries are supposed to be taken seriously and fixed as soon as possible. The following are elbow injuries caused in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ Elbow Injuries – Types


Dislocation is one of the most common elbow injuries. Dislocations can be caused due to the resistance to submission maneuvers when a fighter is taken down hard or pushed into the ground. An elbow dislocation injury is caused when the elbow bone is pulled or pushed out of its place. Dislocation can be partial or complete. It can be a simple, a complex dislocation or a severe one, all having range or severity respectively. It is advised when dislocation occurs to quickly go to the doctor and treat it. Avoid fighting and properly wait for it to fix completely.


It is a sort of swelling which is caused by repeated movements. It is a painful swelling in the tendons. The simplest way to heal tendonitis is by warming up the afflicted area. There are two kinds of tendonitis one is lateral epicondylitis also known as tennis elbow and the second one is medial epicondylitis also known as golfer’s elbow. Another way to fix it is by taking pain killers or applying ice over the affected area. However, if the injury is serious, it is advised to see a doctor for treatment.


Bursitis is an elbow injury in which there is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs which is called Bursae. The Bursae plays the role of a cushion in the joints which helps to reduce the friction among moving bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis is most commonly caused by repeated hits to the same area. It is one of the most common injuries in combat sports. Bursitis results in swelling around the joint. The easy way to heal bursitis is by applying ice. Fighters might be able to bear the pain of bursitis and continue training but it is best to avoid a sparing and rest until it fixes up. However, if the condition is serious, it is advised to see the doctor immediately.

Strains and Sprains

The most commonly caused elbow injuries in BJJ. A strain is caused when tendons or muscles are torn and the sprain is caused when ligaments between bones are torn. Both of these elbow injuries occur when bones or tendons move or dislocate beyond their natural position and exceed their tendency of movement. The result of both injuries is swelling, pain and inability to move the arm or elbow. However, to differ between both the elbow injuries, sprain causes a pop sound upon movement and it also bruises the inflicted area. Best way to heal both of these elbow injuries is by RICE; rest, icing, compressing and elevating. However, if the injury is serious, it is advised to see the doctor for treatment.


Fractures are one of the worst injuries someone can go through. They are career threatening and can cost a fortune. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not a kid sport, it is really technical and dangerous and hence with danger comes the risk. Even when professional fighters fight with caution, they tend to get injured. Elbow fracture injury is also one of the most common injuries that have ended careers of potential fighters at the very beginning. They are caused by hard fall, a bashing hit to the elbow, twisting of the elbow, or hard push or pull. Elbow fractures cause severe pain along with really bad bruise. It might seem similar to the sprain but sprain makes a popping sound, the fracture would just be a separation of the bones. It is really important to get a plaster done soon after a fracture. Fractures take ages to heal back and sometimes they do not even fully recover. Treatment of elbow fractures cost hell a lot of money so it is advised to see a doctor for a checkup.

Pinched nerves

In the common elbow injuries, one is the pinched nerves at the elbow, also known as an ulnar nerve entrapment. The reason why pinched nerves injury is caused is because of repeated impacts and hard movements of the elbow. The result of this injury is numbness and tingling in fingers. This can weaken a fighter’s grip. The treatment of this injury is easy; bracing, splinting, nerve gliding exercises and anti-inflammatories. However, if the condition gets serious the fighter must consult the doctor as soon as possible.

UCL Injury

UCL is also known as Ulnar Collateral Ligament which can be damaged while practicing or fighting. It can be a really big setback for any fighter of combat sports if they have any ligament injury. They take ages to heal back and sometimes they do not even recover fully.

Healing the Elbow

The healing elbow is unlike healing other joint injuries, it has a process that needs to be carried out in order to maximize the recovery. Firstly, the elbow needs inflammation, secondly, the elbow needs to get in motion to be able to move, and lastly strengthening the elbow joints. The inflammation can be done using prescribed medicines by the doctor, the motion can be done by waiting for the ligaments to heal, and then strengthening can be done by exercising the forearm or any other gripping exercise.

Check also: