Boxing and Combat Sports

Like competitors in other professional athletics and strategic athletes, including military staff, police, and firefighters, combat sports competitors’ work depends on their physical performance and avoiding any or all injury. In any case, combat sports’ physical aspect implies that injuries happen more habitually than in any other sport.

Combat Sports:

Combat competitors perform in various games. While a few games like wrestling, boxing, and karate have been in the limelight for years, others, like mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), are fairly new to the sports world. The expression “combat sports” essence comprises of the direct battle between two contending competitors.

Injuries in Combat Sports:

Most common injuries are a result of overtraining and postural faults during combat moves. The following is a list of injuries that are commonly sustained by a combat athlete.

  • Cervical pain from grappling or from postural faults in ‘fight stance.’
  • Shoulder pain from punching.
  • Hand and wrist strains from missed punches.
  • Knee pain from kickboxing.
  • Hip impingement and pain from grappling and kickboxing.
  • Achilles tendonitis from jumping and training.
  • Ankle sprains from poor landing or pivoting during kicks.
  • Jaw injuries and TMJ from being punched.
  • Elbow injuries as a result of being arm-barred in grappling.

Injuries in Boxing:

Regardless of how much preparation and planning goes into boxing, a few injuries will occur. Some of these are more difficult to manage when compared to others. The following is the list of injuries that a boxing competitor sustains during training or competitions.

  • Strain injuries.
  • Shoulder dislocation.
  • Concussion.
  • Bruises and cuts.
  • Bennett’s fracture.
  • Carpometacarpal bossing.
  • Boxer’s fracture.
  • Facial injuries.
  • Boxer’s knuckle.
  • Achilles tendinopathy.

Treatment and Physiotherapy:

Enhancing the combat athlete’s body’s quality of life is critical to a contender’s prosperity and career. It is essential to ensure each part of the body works efficiently; as there is no anticipating which body part will be hulled out and tested during a fight. Forestalling surgeries are paramount for continuing training and preventing post-surgical deconditioning, so non-intrusive treatment gives a viable option in contrast to surgery.

Treatment Plan in Boxing:

The injuries in boxing are treatable. However, one can forestall the more significant part of them by focusing on how one trains, how they hit and how they recuperate. Strong punches and the absence of recuperation time can be an issue. Likewise, ensuring that the athlete puts their well-being first is paramount to gain advantage and forestall injuries.

Prevention plan:

The training program must consist of the following to reduce the risk of a boxing-related injury

  • Mobility.
  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening.
  • Sport-specific movement patterns.
  • Proprioception. 

It is vital to include the correct mixture of stretching and strengthening to ensure a balance between stability and mobility.


Different treatment methods are utilised to help in the restoration of an injury A physiotherapist will evaluate and notice the biomechanics to recognise any dysfunction that might have led to the injury or cause a relapse of the existing damage. The physiotherapist will form an arrangement to tackle any issues that are identified and the following treatments can assist to achieve optimum fitness.

  • Deep tissue massage.
  • Deep frictional massage.
  • Trigger point release.
  • Joint mobilisations.
  • Fascial release.
  • Ultrasound Therapy.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.
  • Taping/strapping. 
  • A precisely tailored exercise program.

At Reach Physiotherapy Brighton, we can help you reach your goals and avoid common injuries.


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Noh JW, Park BS, Kim MY, et al. Analysis of combat sports players’ injuries according to playing style for sports physiotherapy research. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27:2425-2430.

Physio, F. M. (2021, January 07). The 10 most common injuries in boxing. Retrieved April 06, 2021, from

West, S. (2019, December 01). Boxing – prevention of injury to wrists. Retrieved April 06, 2021, from

* Contact Reach Physiotherapy for a list of references used for this blog content.