Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an exciting combat sport that combines various types of fighting disciplines, including kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay Thai.
Although it’s a fantastic way to improve your focus and discipline, it can be physically demanding. Your MMA training may include many body blows which can affect your health. Extensive training and repetitive movement of the muscles, joints, ligaments and spine can strain them.
These injuries are common among MMA fighters and students, but you can take steps to minimize them through chiropractic care. If you’re not aware of this treatment, read this post to discover how it can help you.
Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for MMA Fighters
To become a successful MMA fighter, you need to stay fit and improve your cognitive functions. But injuries and strains can compromise your health and jeopardize your MMA training. While medicines are the go-to for pain relief and treatment, chiropractic care is another option.
What Is Chiropractic Treatment?
The term chiropractic is derived from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktikos (meaning ‘done’). Often, chiropractic adjustments are used as complementary medical treatments to relieve the musculoskeletal aspects associated with some medical conditions.
Chiropractic treatment involves the manipulation of the spine and other joints through the controlled application of pressure. This helps ease body pain and treat disorders of the nerves, muscles, bones and ligaments. Common chiropractic techniques include mobilization (gentle joint movement to increase their range of motion), stretching, activity modification, the drop piece technique, and physiologic therapeutics.
MMA Injuries That Can Be Treated by Chiropractic Adjustment
1. Back and Neck Pain
MMA fighters are susceptible to back and neck injuries because extensive training can involve kicking and punching. These injuries can negatively impact a fighter’s performance.
That’s why it’s important to treat neck and back pain and strengthen the muscles there to prevent future issues. Chiropractic treatment can relieve neck and back problems. Roller or traction table treatments reduce tightness in the lower, middle and upper back regions and release muscles. Mobilization therapy, by definition, can improve your mobility by gently extending and shifting joints and muscles, while ultrasound therapy can diminish swelling in both neck and back muscles.
A dislocated shoulder is a common MMA injury. In jiu-jitsu, for example, the popular armbar move can elicit a submission from an opponent but cause just such an injury.
A dislocation can also happen if an athlete takes a direct blow to the shoulder, lands on an outstretched arm from a fall, or suffers extreme arm rotation.
With different manoeuvres, a chiropractor can gently adjust the shoulder and reduce pain and risk of nerve damage.
3. Ligament Tears
Many MMA fighters suffer from ligament tears. These can occur from a direct blow to the joint or sudden changes in movement. Ligament injuries can result in varying degrees of pain, decreased mobility and performance, and the inability to participate in combat sports.
Although severe ligament tears require surgery, chiropractic treatment can help in post-surgical rehab to regain optimal joint function and fitness. This treatment helps relieve pain and heal the underlying injury without medications or injections. Ligament strength and mobility will gradually increase, thus offering a full range of motion and improved quality of life.
4. Muscle Trauma
A muscle trauma, strain or pulled muscle occurs when it’s overstretched or torn due to fatigue, improper use or overuse. It can happen in any muscle, but the most common trauma occurs in the hamstring, shoulder, lower back, and neck.
With chiropractic therapy, MMA fighters can find relief from trauma-induced muscle inflammation or fatigue due to extensive training. Techniques like cold laser therapy, trigger point therapy, and massages can relieve the stiffness and tightness of muscles and strengthen them.
Other Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment
1. It Enhances Cognitive Function
Chiropractic care focuses on spinal adjustments that help increase activity in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for learning and other cognitive functions. As a result, chiropractic could significantly impact an MMA fighter’s sensorimotor function relevant to prevention of falls, better pelvic floor control, and improved muscle strength in lower limb muscles. It can also give fighters a better sense of the position of their joints in both upper and lower limbs.
2. It Increases Flexibility and Agility
As mentioned, chiropractic treatment adjusts bones, joints and muscles to reduce stiffness, thus increasing body awareness, flexibility and agility. This benefits MMA fighters because they become more responsive and learn how to defend themselves by moving their body to avoid attacks.
3. It Improves Balance
Good balance and stability are necessary for maintaining your posture and preventing combat sport injuries. Disturbing the alignment of your neck, spine, and pelvis can affect your balance and coordination.
Injuries sustained during mixed martial arts training can affect your performance. Aligning your neck, spine, and pelvis via chiropractic adjustment can help you achieve optimal balance and coordination.
The practice of mixed martial arts is an excellent way to train your body and mind and grow both physically and mentally in both combat and non-combat environments. However, injuries and muscle strains can obstruct your progress. Chiropractic care is one way to treat body alignment issues, strengthen muscles, fix joints, and relieve pain. It’s a boon for MMA fighters because it can help them heal underlying injuries and prevent them from occurring in the future without medicines or injections.