5 Common BJJ Injuries and How to Prevent Them

A BJJ practitioner having their back wrapped with kinesiology tape

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an intense grappling sport that takes a toll on the body. From strained muscles to twisted joints, injuries are common on and off the mats. However, smart training and prevention can reduce your risk. 

Let’s examine 5 frequent BJJ injuries and ways to help avoid them:

Finger and Toe Hyperextension 

Jammed digits are perhaps the most prevalent BJJ injury. They happen when fingers or toes are bent back awkwardly.

**Prevention:**  Tape fingers and toes before training. Avoid death grips. Ease up on cranks. 

MCL/LCL Knee Sprains

Knee ligament sprains frequently occur from sudden twisting motions and pressure on the joints.

**Prevention:** Strengthen legs. Avoid straight knees. Tap early to knee locks.

Lower Back Pain 

Constant pressure and rotational torque takes a toll on the lower back muscles.

**Prevention:** Strengthen core. Avoid rolling through back pain. Favor top position.

Shoulder Dislocations

Aggressive kimura attempts often lead to popped shoulders and dislocations. 

**Prevention:** Tap early. Avoid compromised arm positions. Keep elbows tucked.

Cauliflower Ear

Friction can cause the ears to swell and deform into “cauliflower ear” over time.

**Prevention:** Wear ear guards. Drain fluid buildup promptly. Rest after occurrences. 

While minor BJJ injuries are virtually unavoidable, smart preparation, controlled training, and tapping early can help reduce major damage and time off the mats.