Top 7 Tips to Prevent Boxing Injuries
Boxing is a physical, combat sport which can put participants at risk for boxing injuries. Surprisingly, however, boxing is a relatively safe sport compared to others. When boxing injuries occur, however, they range from the minor to the serious.
Common Boxing Injuries
Many boxing injuries can be prevented with proper training and protection techniques. This is why professional and trained boxers typically suffer fewer injuries. Many of these injuries should be cause to see a medical professional, particularly if a concussion or fracture is suspected.
The most common boxing injuries:
- Cuts and bruises to the face, fingers, and hands from contact with the opponent’s gloves or head are common as are black eyes and bruised noses. Punches to the kidneys are illegal at every level. Professional fighters are more likely to sustain cuts to the face and head as they often don’t wear headgear.
- Sprains and strains to extremities and torso are common. A sprain occurs to the ligaments, the thick tissues connecting bones to other bones and strains (or pulled muscles) are injuries to a muscle or tendon. Sprains are most common in the ankles and wrists and strains are most common in the back, bicep, and elbow.
- Concussions are common in all contact sports and occur from a heavy blow or impact to the head. Watch for symptoms of concussion such as nausea, unconsciousness, brief loss of short-term memory, confusion, headache, and loss of coordination.
- Fractures to the nose, hand, jaw and ribs are common among boxers. A “boxer’s fracture” involves breaking of the metacarpal bones and is so called due to the commonality of the injury to boxers.
- Shoulder dislocation sometimes occurs from boxing with improper form or an exaggerated punch motion. The injury is usually obvious from the fighter’s dangling arm and is typically treated with a splint. Surgery is sometimes necessary if a boxer experiences multiple dislocations.
Top 7 Tips to Prevent Boxing Injuries
- Wear Protective Gear: During all training and sparring sessions, boxers should wear headgear, a no-foul protector cup, mouthpiece, hand wraps, and gloves weighing at least 16 ounces.
- Petroleum Jelly: Rub petroleum jelly on the boxer’s face so that punches slide off on contact.
- Ice: Ice down muscles after sparring/working out as it can decrease inflammation and soreness and aid in healing thereby preventing further injury.
- Rest: Get plenty of rest after sparring as it is the most important tool for healing.
- Stretching: Stretching before and after a workout/sparring session can help prevent muscle strains.
- Conditioning: A well-conditioned boxer is less likely to suffer an injury; find an experienced trainer to help you get conditioned.
- Defense: Just as defensive driving is important to avoiding a car accident, defensive boxing is key to preventing a boxing injury.
Use Common Sense
Many injuries can be prevented with due care to safety measures, using common sense and listening to your body. Chronic boxing injuries are caused by a failure to initially identify and treat an injury. Pay attention to your body and seek medical attention before a problem becomes too big.
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