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Wrestling injuries

Wrestling is a sport that carries a high rate of injuries, both for beginners and experienced wrestlers alike, as experienced wrestlers are more likely to attempt dangerous stunts. The largest percentage of wrestling injuries occurs during take down, with sparring being the second most common cause of injuries.

The most common wrestling injuries are:

Shoulder injuries

Rotator cuff tendinopathy is a wrestling injury that results from the continuous strain of grappling for position. Symptoms are shoulder pain, swelling and tenderness over the site. Rest and icing are important to manage the pain and swelling. You may also use anti-inflammatory medications and topical creams; however physiotherapy is required to promote flexibility and restore strength to prevent re-injury. Shoulder injuries are also common during take-downs, where a wrestler falls on outstretched hand with a straight arm.

Elbow injuries

Also common during takedowns, a wrestler falls on his outstretched arm and sustains an elbow dislocation. Repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can also occur from the constant strain of wrestling. Symptoms of this injury are numbness, weakness and pain on the inside of the hand and in the fingers. Rest, icing and physiotherapy usually prove helpful, along with the use of strapping and splinting, however in some cases surgery may be needed.

Orofacial injuries

Wrestling injuries involving the face and ear are common because of the close contact between opponents and non-use of protective gear. Tooth avulsions, nasal fractures, facial contusions and lacerations are also common. These require medical attention and education in safe wrestling practices.

Cervical spine injuries

These are rare, but in some cases have proved fatal and have resulted from a wrestler landing on his head or neck during a takedown. Some spinal injuries may also result in quadriplegia (all four limbs being paralysed), paraplegia (two limbs being affected), or quadriparesis (weakness in all four limbs). Cervical spine injuries are serious and often require intensive medical treatment and physiotherapy. The best way to avoid cervical spine injuries is to practice safe wrestling techniques and to ensure you wrestle in a controlled environment with supervision if you are new to the sport.

Jarred knees

Wrestlers often suffer knee injuries from planting their feet firmly to maintain their balance and gain control. Stress fractures, iliotibial band syndrome and other knee injuries are common. Rest from the activity is the first line of defence followed by icing, compression, strapping and bracing and elevation. The athlete should also seek physiotherapy for rehabilitation and strengthening so he can return to wrestling.

If you are a wrestler who has suffered any of the above or other injuries, please come in and see us. We can help you.


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