Practicing or learning martial arts helps in improving your physical and mental health. You also get to learn skills that can help you defend yourself. Martial arts classes are ever-increasing in popularity. By 2017, an estimated 2.38 million Americans aged above six years were participating in martial arts fitness programs.
Your Muay Thai class or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practice session may be interesting and fun as you learn new skills. But sometimes injuries occur during these classes. As such, you need to know how to protect your body from injuries that may hold you back from practicing the martial art of your choice.
Fingers are some of the most vulnerable body parts when practicing or learning martial arts. These are some of the most debilitating injuries that can bring your Muay Thai class and other martial art practice sessions to a halt. Here is an outline of the different categories of finger injuries to expect in a martial arts class.
Finger dislocations occur when some of your finger bones get pulled or pushed out of the normal joint alignment. In such injuries, a strong directional force acting on the bone pushes your finger in a direction that it isn’t meant to reach or bend. Falling while outstretched, collision and single finger impact are some causes of dislocations.
If you get a dislocation, visit your doctor to get the joint reset. Dislocated joints are often susceptible to future dislocations. As such, you should always do some stability exercises. You can also do some physical therapy to improve the affected joint’s strength and stability.
Fractures occur when the finger bones break because of the direct impact on the fingertips or some crushing impact. The four fingers are made of three bones known as the distal phalanx, middle phalanx, and the proximal phalanx. During the fractures, which are often accompanied with ligament and tendon injuries, these phalanx break.
If you get a fracture during your BJJ or Muay Thai class, you have to make an immediate visit to your doctor to get a realignment of your distal, middle, and proximal phalanx. You should also get some pain management treatment. To prevent further damage after treatment, you have to wear splints. The splints immobilize your fingers and prevent movement that could aggravate your pain and injury.
3. Jersey Finger
Jersey finger injuries affect the tendons and hinder the flexing of your fingers. This injury often results from holding another athlete’s clothing or body. You can solve the problem by taking enough rest and applying some ice. You can also massage your fingers, and use painkillers to ease the pain.
4. Hyper-extension or sprains
Sprains cause the tearing and over-stretching of the ligaments in your fingers. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect two adjacent bones. The stretching of these tissues beyond their normal limits causes severe pain. Sprains occur when a directional force pushes the finger against your joint or when you fall while outstretched. To treat sprains, you should reduce finger movement and apply some ice while you get some rest.
5. Boutonnière Deformity
In this injury, the knuckles take a wave-like formation with some being higher than others. Pain occurs in the protruding knuckles. This injury is often caused by consecutive sprains or an impact on the top of your fingers. You can treat the problem through surgery or by wearing splints.
Your Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, or Muay Thai class may cause you mild to serious finger injuries, which may halt your practice sessions and classes. To prevent this problem, most martial art trainers recommend the use of compression gloves always. These gloves can protect your fingers well and avert such finger injuries.