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Prevent Muay Thai injuries

Preventing Muay Thai injuries – By Paul Stafford

I have been training in Muay Thai for more than 7 years now and absolutely in love with Thai Boxing. Unfortunately for me though in the later years of my sport, has not been so kind on my body. Although one thing you will notice if you train in the sport, that not a training session goes by where your not injury free!

In fact, I personally believe it’s one of the hardest sports any athlete can undertake. From conditioning your shins and forearms, kicking elbows and knees with the tops of your feet, or getting used to being slammed in the ribs by kicks, knees, and punches. Every way you look at it, Muay Thai is not kind on your body.

Over the years in sport I have endured pretty much everything from; broken noses, broke cheekbones, fractured eye sockets, broken collarbones, cracked ribs, broken arms, broken legs, sprained and broken wrists, sprained and broken ankles… through to all the cuts and bruises you could ever imagine, in every place possible.

Muay Thai is extremely fun and gratifying, but it does take a heavy toll on the body. As with any contact sport, injuries are common. Below are some of the basic ones, how to prevent them, and their treatments so that you can hopefully avoid them during your time training:

Bruised Shins

Shin conditioning is a huge part of Muay Thai and is something everyone will have to do if you want to participate in the sport. If you practice Thai Boxing chances are your shins will always be taking a little damage. On the other hand, the more they get beat up the harder and more resilient they become.

  • Prevention: Condition your shins gradually. Use shin guards when sparring, but occasionally practice drilling without shin guards.
  • Treatment: Ice and rest. If your shins are really beat up, refrain from kicking for a few days or try wearing your shin guards when you hit the bag or pads. When sparring just box and clinch.

Bruised Ribs

  • Prevention: Don’t get hit.
  • Treatment: Suck it up and get back to training. Use caution when you spar and make sure your partners know about your injury. Always use common sense when dealing with bruised ribs. If it’s killing you take some time off and let your body heal.

Sprained Wrists

  • Prevention: Make sure your hands are always wrapped properly before punching and that your gloves are tightly secured. Always make sure your fist is clenched at the point of impact.
  • Treatment: Ice, heat, and rest.

Banged Up Elbows

  • Prevention: Try not to get kicked in the forearms. Make sure not to hyper-extend your elbows while punching. Make sure those holding pads for you have been properly instructed in how to do so.
  • Treatment: If you are suffering from any type of elbow pain, minimize punching as much as possible. Also, no more sparring until it’s better. Ice, heat, and rest as necessary.

Ankle or Foot Sprains

  • Prevention: Avoid hitting your opponent’s elbow and knees when kicking as much as possible. Prehab exercises such as calf raises and agility ladder drills are great for strengthening the ankles.
  • Treatment: Ice, heat, rest, and rehab (depending on severity of the injury).

Toes

  • Prevention: Avoid hitting your opponent’s elbow and knees when kicking as much as possible. Make sure you are kicking deep enough, so your not kicking with the foot.
  • Treatment: Ice, heat, rest, and rehab (depending on severity of the injury).

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be one of the most evil and nagging injuries an athlete can sustain. Any person who spends extended periods of time on the balls of the feet is susceptible to this terrible condition.

  • Prevention: Constantly stretch your calf muscles, do self-myofascial release of the calf and foot, and individually stretch the toes.
  • Treatment: Taping of the foot, foot ice bath, self-myofascial release of the calf and foot, stretching of the calf muscles.

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