The Pain and Agony of Jiu-Jitsu

Last night I had a great time at class.  I lost a lot of rolls but got in some good sweeps.  It was the first time I did a Balloon Sweep.  I ended up stopping about 15 minutes shy of the full hour and a half because of a injury.  I don’t even know how I did it.  All of the sudden I couldn’t raise my left leg into a 90 degree position without a huge amount of pain at the top of my thigh.  I felt that I may have pulled it at the beginning of class but hadn’t noticed any pain until the end.

I love Jiu-Jitsu and I’ve decided I must love pain.  I keep getting hurt and I keep going back for more.  I try to heal fast enough to be ready for the next injury, be it a bruise, muscle pull, or sprain.  But in most cases they stack up until I have to stop and rest.

I tried some Badger Balm last night to help my sore muscle and some ibuprofen.  It didn’t do anything of significance.  I avoid aspirin knowing it only makes bruises worse.  What does the rest of the BJJ community use to help speed healing of muscle injuries?  Please share with me.  Any tips or tricks to help speed healing would be greatly appreciated.

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8 Replies to “The Pain and Agony of Jiu-Jitsu”

  1. So as a former trainer of competition horses (hunter/jumpers and dressage) I can tell you what worked for them… and incidentally has worked for me as a runner, soccer player, field hockey player, racquetball player and now jits person… When the injury is fresh (within the first 24-36 hours) alternate heat and ice every 20 min. The heat dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow to the affected area. The ice constrains the blood flow, preventing too much/further swelling (which can exacerbate the injury) and helps with the pain. After the first 24-36 hours, the ice won’t help as much, but warmth will. Ibuprofen religiously. Rest, compression, elevation also are good. Gentle, gentle, gentle movement and light fluid stretching too. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    1. Wow, you sound like a old pro when it comes to injuries and recovery. Thanks for the tips. I too R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) but I hadn’t thought of my injuries as severe enough to do R.I.C.E. After reading your comment I wanted to slap myself. Oh course I should be doing those things! Duh! Thank you for bring me to my senses.

  2. Ice

    Sports Gel (the stuff with alcohol in it that has a cooling effect)

    I also use a horse rub (don’t laugh), which is a thin green gel with Mint, Aloe Vera and Arnica. It says on the tube it’s animal use only. Ah well, it works, and it smells lovely and minty 🙂


    1. I didn’t think the sports gels did anything more then superficial pain relief. I’ll have to look into them deeper. Now horse rub, that is a new approach. And you really like it? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I asked for tips and expected to hear things I hadn’t used or known about before. Thanks Chris.

  3. Jason,

    You might want to try some prehab too. Lookup “Intu flow” on youtube. There’s a series of videos showing a short warm up routine that gets your joints lubricated and nutrition flowing into them. It’s helpful for injuries and useful for preventing injury too.

    – Jeremy

  4. i tore my mcl and beatup my minicus during a knee bar (didn’t have time to tap) 2 lessons… first, when trapped in side guard pull guard don’t go turtle… second, treat it properly immediatly. I kept training on it and didn’t “keep it moving” like you should so my mcl healed shorter which then the big nerve (cyadic?) shortened and fluid built up in the knee over time… end result, 3 to 4 months off, rehab, muscle loss, skill loss, and very sad face… but i am now back at it

    1. When I tore my meniscus I was out for 2 months. We get to macho or eager to train. Giving it long enough rest can be hard to do. For first aid I subscribe to R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Just like you said the sooner you do it the quicker and better your recovery.

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