BJJ Shoulder Injuries – Most Common Types and Treatment

One of the biggest reasons why the sport of BJJ is so fun is its high volatility. Sure, you could keep things simple and easy – and just “flow-roll” with your opponents. But every once in a while, you will find it a hard thing to do to resist the urge to explode. An explosive BJJ match will see the two opponents duking it out, doing crazy moves with the intention to defeat their opponent. There are a lot of quick, explosive moves. However, in time, this is what can get you injured.

Some of the most frequent injuries that tend to happen in BJJ are shoulder-related injuries. The shoulder is one of the most delicate joints in the entire body. It consists of a ball and socket – and a lot of surrounding musculature that keeps things working. Well, shoulder overuse and explosive movements can result in injuries of the shoulder. This article will tell you more about the most common shoulder injuries for BJJ practitioners and what can you do in order to prevent them and heal them.

Types of BJJ shoulder injuries

Traumatic Shoulder Injury

There are two main types of BJJ-related shoulder injuries. The first type is called traumatic shoulder injury. It happens, for example, if you get taken down and you land on your outstretched shoulder. This can cause problems with the musculature or the rotator cuff or with the various other parts of your shoulder. One of the best ways to prevent these kinds of injuries is by tapping regularly and early and by learning how to break your falls properly. We must mention the fact that you won’t get bulletproof protection from traumatic shoulder injuries in no way whatsoever.

Atraumatic Shoulder Injury

The second type of BJJ related shoulder injuries is called atraumatic shoulder injury. Chances are that you have experienced this kind of injury if you have been grappling for a while now. It starts by your shoulder just not feeling right. Perhaps there is a sense of unease or discomfort when you move it or when it keeps still. However, with time, the pain seems to get worse and worse until you can barely take it any longer. The atraumatic shoulder injuries don’t arise out of any traumatic falls that you can experience. They occur overtime due to overuse an underuse of various parts of the shoulders. The incidence of these kinds of shoulder injuries can be dramatically lowered if you follow the proper guidelines.

Preventing Atraumatic BJJ shoulder injuries

If you want to prevent the atraumatic BJJ shoulder injuries then you will need to strengthen your shoulder. That’s the simple way to put it. The not so simple way to put it is that the shoulder is, once again, a very intricate joint. There is a surround musculature, tendons, and ligaments that help move the shoulder in all different directions. If you didn’t realize by now – the shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body – and it’s this high level of mobility that can make the shoulder prone to injuries.

Your best bet is to strengthen the rotator cuff and the shoulder blades. The rotator cuff consists of groups of muscles that help move the shoulder in various directions. However, when doing a particular sport like BJJ, it’s very common for particular groups of the rotator cuff muscles to be overused – and other groups to be underused. And this can cause injuries down the line.

There are various exercises that you can use for strengthening both the rotator cuff muscles and the shoulder blades. You can try and look some YouTube clips about how to go about it. And these kinds of exercises should definitely supplement your workout program, especially if you train a sport like BJJ. This can prevent a lot of shoulder injuries down the line.

But the integrity of the shoulder is not maintained by the strength of the shoulder alone. The shoulder is connected to a lot of muscles around your body. So, you should also consider strengthening your biceps, triceps, pectorals, latissimus dorsi muscles, and trapezius muscle. A simple stretch routine for all these muscles and the shoulder can make wonders when it comes to healing and preventing injuries.

However, if you suspect that anything is off with your shoulder – then your best bet is to go and see a doctor. He or she will do medical check-ups in order to make sure that everything is all right with your shoulder. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe physical therapy for your shoulder. It’s the smartest thing to do to follow the advice of your doctor at all points.

In conclusion

If you strengthen your entire body and if you’re mindful of overuse injuries – then you will be able to protect your shoulder from any injuries occurring. However, we must mention again that you can’t bulletproof your shoulder. Shoulder injuries tend to come up from time to time – especially in a highly volatile sport like BJJ. It’s important to do your best in order to prevent them and treat them if they occur.

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