Martial Arts Injuries

 

 

 

According to a study by Simmons Market Research, a NY based research firm, over 18 million Americans participate in some form of martial arts at least one per year. Martial arts encompasses an extensive collection of fighting arts, such as Aikido, Karate, Kung Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, Wing Chun, Judo, Taekwondo, Kendo, and many others. Due to the increase of stamina, strength, flexibility, coordination, and overall physical and emotional well-being that’s associated with routinely practicing in martial arts, many of these ancient fighting arts from around the world have crossed over from a combative or self-defense nature to become an actual sport. In fact, some types of martial arts like judo have even become part of the Olympic games.

How Do Martial Arts Injuries Occur?

The various martial arts focus on different ideologies, styles, concepts, and techniques. For example kickboxing mainly focuses on striking. Meanwhile, other forms of martial arts will focus on wrestling, grappling, weaponry, or even combine several different elements. That said, all types of martial arts can result in an array of overuse and traumatic injuries from participant-to-participant contact during throws, kicks, strikes, and submissive maneuvers; improper technique; the demanding repetitive nature of kicks and strikes; and so forth. The lack of protective gear worn in some martial art forms and the lack of appropriate skilled supervision during training can also increase the participant’s risk of injury.

What Are Some Common Martial Arts Injuries?

Tendinitis

A tendon is tough band of connective tissue that connects bones to muscles in the body. Tendinitis is the swelling of a tendon. Tendons in the lower and upper extremities are prone to being overused during martial arts kicks and strikes.

One of the most common sites of tendinitis associated with martial arts is the Achilles tendon. This is the large tendon along the back of the lower leg/upper heel area. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The tendon is used when a kick is initiated and to bring the foot into proper positioning during the kick. Repetitive stress during kicking motions can often irritate the tendon and cause it to become swollen and painful. The irritation may also occur as the martial art participant suddenly changes the frequency, duration, or intensity of their training and stresses the tendon. Over time, the inflammation may lead to the degeneration, microscopic tearing, and thickening of tendon fibers, a condition referred to as Achilles tendinosis, or the complete rupture of the Achilles tendon.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that extends from the bottom of heel bone to the sole of the foot near the toes. It’s what creates the arch of the foot. The tissue can become inflamed when it’s overstretched during foot motions or overused, a condition medically termed plantar fasciitis. This commonly occurs in martial arts due to the repetitive elevation and pivoting the non-kicking foot undergoes during a kick. The overstretched plantar fascia becomes swollen, painful, and tender. It can also become difficult to dorsiflex the ankle. Many report the pain is most intense upon the first few steps taken after prolonged periods of sitting or laying.

Fractures

Many studies are showing that the coordination and balance benefits of the martial arts can be very beneficial to fall-related fracture prevention in the elderly. However, martial art participants, especially those at professional levels, are ironically at risk for fractures. The nose, hands, fingers, ankles, and shin are overall the most common fracture sites for martial artists. Lisfranc fractures, where one or more of the metatarsal foot bones are displaced from the tarsus ankle bone, are also fairly common.

A fracture occurs when there is a loss of continuity of a bone. There are two broad types of fractures:

1. Open or compound fractures - there is an open wound over the fracture that exposes the bone to infection.

2. Closed fracture - the skin remains intact over the broken bone.

Fractures are also classified by the way in which the bone breaks. Some common types include the following:

* Complete - the bone fractures, fragments, and the two transverse halves completely separate from each other.

* Incomplete - the fractured bone doesn’t fully separate into two halves; some of the bone fragments remain attached to each other.

* Impacted - the ends of the fractured bone are driven into each other from the force that causes the fracture.

* Comminuted fracture - the fractured bone is broken into multiple fragments.

* Hairline - a small fine crack in the bone.

Of course, these are just a couple of the potential injuries a martial artist faces. Strains, sprains, contusions, lacerations, spine and neck injuries, and dislocations are also concerns for those participating in the martial arts.

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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