Jiu-Jitsu & Labral Injury

Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that has gained widespread popularity worldwide. This grappling-based combat sport involves various techniques that require tremendous physical and mental skills. Like any other combat sport, Jiu-jitsu has its fair share of injury risks. One common injury among practitioners is a labral tear. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that lines and stabilizes the shoulder joint. When the labrum is damaged pain, instability, and weakness may occur in the shoulder. This injury is not unique to Jiu-jitsu, but the sport’s specific techniques can increase the risk of labral injuries. Due to these techniques, the relationship between jiu-jitsu & labral injury is prevalent in the sport.


Risk Factors for labral tear in jiu-jitsu athletes.

Labral injuries in Jiu-jitsu are commonly associated with movements that practitioners perform. Techniques such as throws, arm bars, and triangle chokes put significant stress on the shoulder joint. These movements can cause the labrum to tear, leading to severe pain and discomfort. Another risk factor for labral injuries in Jiu-jitsu can be the use of the gi. Jiu-jitsu utilizes the gi in various techniques, including grips and throws. By increasing pulling activities involved with gi jiu-jitsu, the athletes are also increasing forces applied to the shoulder. Weight bearing through the shoulder during techniques like the butt scoot and technical standup can also lead to increased stress throughout the shoulder. Commonly, these techniques are done with improper biomechanics that lead to unnecessary stress on the joint.

Click here for an instructional video that displays many push/pull techniques used in jiu-jitsu.

Prevention of labral injury during jiu-jitsu training

Preventing labral injuries in Jiu-jitsu requires a multifaceted approach that involves proper technique, adequate conditioning, and injury prevention strategies. Practitioners should practice maintaining appropriate technique when performing overhead, pushing, pulling, and weight-bearing movements. They should also work on strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, which help stabilize the shoulder joint. Injury prevention strategies such as warming up, stretching, and cooling down after training can also help reduce the risk of labral injuries.

Can you still train jiu-jitsu?

If you have been diagnosed with a labral tear, or suspect you have injured your labrum, it is best to be evaluated by a rehabilitation specialist. In particular, a professional who knows the sport and can assess your movement patterns. In many situations, you can continue with or return to training with proper guidance. If you would like to have a professional evaluate you for your jiu jitsu related pain click here! Our brown belt in BJJ is here to help!

Labral injuries are a common risk in Jiu-jitsu, and practitioners should take steps to minimize their risk of injury. By focusing on proper technique, conditioning, and injury prevention strategies, practitioners can reduce their risk of labral injuries and enjoy the sport safely and effectively.