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The 5 Most Common BJJ Injuries: Prevention, Treatment, and Safety

Introduction Ah, BJJ. The beautiful art of grappling, where you twist yourself into human pretzels and learn to love the...


Ah, BJJ. The beautiful art of grappling, where you twist yourself into human pretzels and learn to love the smell of sweat (yours and everyone else's). But let's be real, all those submissions and scrambles can leave your body feeling a bit worse for wear if you're not careful. Fear not, fellow grapplers! This article is your roadmap to staying BJJ injury-free and dominating the mats, Oss!

First things first, BJJ is awesome, but it can be tough on your body. We're constantly gripping, throwing elbows (hopefully not on purpose!), and contorting ourselves into positions that would make a pretzel jealous. So, injuries happen. But that doesn't mean we have to become regulars at the physiotherapy clinic.

The 5 Most Common BJJ Injuries

Let's tap into the five most common injuries BJJ players face:

  • Finger and Hand Houdinis: Those tiny fingers of yours take a beating with all that gripping. Sprains, strains, and even the occasional broken digit are all too common.
  • Knee Woes: Our knees are the gatekeepers of our mobility, and BJJ puts them through the ringer. Ligament tears (think ACL and MCL) and meniscus issues are a drag, so be mindful of your knee positioning.
  • Shoulder Blues: Screaming rotator cuffs and shoulder dislocations are no fun. Improper technique or overextending your shoulder is a recipe for disaster. Remember, control is your friend!
  • Mind Your Neck, Bra!: Your neck is delicate, so proper technique is crucial to avoid strains, sprains, and even disc injuries. Don't be a bobblehead – keep your neck strong and aligned.
  • Back on Track (Hopefully): BJJ loves twisting and leverage, which can put your back at risk for disc herniations and muscle strains. Listen to your back – if it's screaming, tap and rest!


Now that we've identified the BJJ injury gremlins, let's learn how to keep them at bay:

  • Master the Gi or No Gi: Technique is king (or queen) in BJJ. Invest in learning proper movements from a qualified instructor. It'll not only make you a better grappler, but it'll also keep your body happy.
  • Warm Up Like a Boss and Cool Down Like a Champ: Don't just jump straight into rolling! Prepare your body with dynamic stretches and light drilling. After BJJ training, cool down with some static stretches to help your muscles recover.
  • Get Strong, Stay Strong: A strong core and good overall conditioning are your BJJ BFFs. Building strength helps your body handle the demands of grappling.
  • Tap Early, Tap Often: Tapping is a sign of respect, not weakness. Don't be afraid to tap out if you're in a bad position or feel pain. Your training partners will appreciate it, and your body will thank you.
  • Listen to Your Body – It's Not Lying: We all have good days and bad days on the mats. If your body is screaming for a rest, take it! Pushing through pain is a recipe for BJJ injury.


Now, let's say you do get a little banged up. Don't panic! Here's the lowdown on treatment:

  • RICE is Nice: Remember the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for initial BJJ injury management. It'll help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • See a Doc – They're Not Bitey (Usually): For any serious BJJ injury, consult a healthcare professional. They'll diagnose the problem and get you on the road to recovery. Physical therapy might also be on the cards.


Safety first, grapplers! Here are some key things to remember to keep the BJJ injury gremlins away:

  • Choose Your Training Partner Wisely: Don't spar with giants if you're a lightweight – find partners with a similar size and skill level.

  • Communication is Key: Talk to your partner! Let them know if a technique feels uncomfortable, and vice versa. We're all here to learn and grow, not break each other.

  • Cleanliness is Next to Godliness: Showers are your friend! Maintain good hygiene to prevent skin infections – nobody wants staph on the mats.
Remember, BJJ should be fun and rewarding. By prioritizing technique, safety, and listening to your body, you'll minimize injuries and maximize your time dominating the mats. Now get out there, train hard, train smart, and Oss!

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