BJJ is a phenomenal martial art and a sport that helps your body exercise in multiple ways, targeting multiple areas of your body for the purpose of increasing your strength and endurance – and improving your general health. Overall, most people tend to focus their thoughts on the limbs – i.e. the use of the arms and the legs. But there is an oft-neglected area of your body that plays a tremendous part in your BJJ game. And it’s the hips. A lot of your power comes from this area alone – and it’s from the hips that a lot of the BJJ motions and moves start. You also use your hips to do various escapes, bridges, and submissions like armbars and triangles. That being said, the fact that the hips are so frequently used means that they can be prone to injuries. Read the rest of this article to find out more about the most frequent BJJ hip injuries and how you can treat them and prevent them.
Most Common Hip Injuries in BJJ
If there is one thing that we humans tend to do a lot of – that’s also not very healthy for us if we do a lot of it – is sitting. Sitting can be bad for the natural curvature of the spine – including the cervical, the thoracic, and the lumbar spine. But also, it can be very bad or the hips. The reason why we say this is because sitting for prolonged periods of time means that the big psoas muscles will be tight for prolonged periods of time.
And this problem will be exacerbated by BJJ – as if you want to be protected, then it means that you will keep your knees as close to your body as possible – keeping your psoas muscles even tighter. And this can cause overuse injuries including damage to the hips. The point is that BJJ may cause overuse injuries if you aren’t careful to supplement with antagonist muscle exercises and balance things out. This can include some potentially painful hip injuries that will limit your movement.
A broken hip is one of the worst injuries that you may have as an athlete and as a person in general. It’s a serious, devastating injury that demands urgent medical care. Also, a person with a broken hip will need months, even years to rehabilitate the injury and return the hip into a condition that’s a shadow of the hip’s former self. Sadly, this is an injury that tends to happen to BJJ athletes due to the nature and the volatility of the sport. It can happen due to acute or chronic trauma to the hip area – and due to prolonged and untreated overuse of the muscles in the hip area.
Closely connected to the overuse injuries is the inflammation of the bursae – the sacs that serve as a cushion to the hip joint bones. This injury goes by the name of trochanteric bursitis. Another similar injury goes by the name of tendinitis – which means that the hip tendons have gotten inflamed due to misuse and overuse. These injuries may not be as catastrophic as a broken hip, for example, but they will still limit your range of motion and make your life miserable – especially as a BJJ athlete. As such, they are not to be taken lightly.
This is a condition that’s similar to the broken hip injury. It’s not as severe – but it’s not cake walk either. What this means is, simply, that your hip has been dislocated from its natural resting place. And this means that you will most likely feel tremendous levels of pain, accompanied by the inability to use your hips and your legs. Dislocated hips need to be put back into their place by a professional as soon as possible, in order to alleviate the pain and regain the use of your legs.
Treating and preventing hip injuries
Now you have learned about some of the most common and most painful of hip injuries. But what should you do about them in order to treat them and prevent them? Well, the first thing to do is on the side of prevention – and it includes doing various exercises that will help strengthen the area around the hips. Walking, running, climbing stairs, driving bicycles, doing squats, doing deadlifts – all of these areas will fortify the surrounding musculature of the hips and it will make them less prone to injuries.
Watch out for overuse of the hip muscles – especially the psoas. If you do a lot of sitting, as most of us do, be sure to do a lot of stretching, and frequently, at that. Back bridges will do you a lot of good if you can do them – and there are many exercises for stretching the psoas muscles on either side.
As for treating the hip injuries – the irritations and inflammations will usually take care of their own with time – if you don’t try to power through them. If you do try to power through them and do BJJ then you may exacerbate the problem and make things worse. So, one of the smartest things to do if you have hip inflammations or irritations is to REST. Skip practice, sleep, eat healthy foods and drink water. If this doesn’t help, then you may have a more serious injury at hand – at which case you should consider a qualified medical professional. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, rehabilitation exercises, or rest.
And above all else, if you think that you have any injury of your hips – the first thing to do is consult a doctor. They will have advice for you as to what you should do in order to improve your condition.
So, these were some of the most common BJJ hip injuries and some of the ways in which you can prevent and treat them. That being said, there is a lot to learn in this field. You should do a lot of research on the subject in order to learn more – as the health of your hips will be very important for your career and experience in BJJ.