Full Motion Physio
Boxing in Britain is now bigger than it has been for many years. There are more titles being held by homegrown fighters and there seem to be no signs of slowing down. From London’s Anthony Joshua or the Manchester’s Anthony Crolla, these fighters are raising the profile of the sport back to the levels of the Bruno era. This popularity has not simply increased viewing figures, it has generated an increase in participation at amateur and semi-professional levels. Whether you are competing at the highest level, or boxing purely for fitness, at Full Motion physio I have the knowledge and experience to get you back to fighting fitness as soon and as smoothly as possible.
Boxing injury: how physiotherapy can help
The demands that the sport of boxing can make, not only in a fight but also in training can results in a variety of injuries, regardless of the level you are competing at. Training and competing alike can cause injuries that may take you out of the sport indefinitely or just bug you for months on end, and which if left untreated can become much worse and lead to a major problem.
A Boxing physiotherapist can help guide you through the steps you need to take to achieve effective recovery from your injury. The physio’s job is firstly to assess, diagnose and determine the extent of the injury. The next step should then be to put in place a short term action plan to prevent further injury and initiate healing. Then, a longer term plan for optimal recovery and injury avoidance.
A boxing physiotherapist should have a good understanding of the sport and the specific demands boxing makes on the body, and then combine that knowledge with a deep understanding of the physiology of your body. A good boxing physio can also advise you on the likely causes of your injury, what needs to be repaired and how you can make it stronger. Physiotherapy for boxers can therefore be much more than simply ‘fixing injury’: it can help you build better resilience and become a stronger fighter.
Common Boxing injuries
Boxers Shoulder dislocation
Shoulder dislocation can happen when the forces transmitted through the outstretched arm cause the ball of the shoulder joint (humeral head) to move upwards, damaging the tissues surrounding the joint. At the outset, it is extremely important to get help from the appropriate medical professionals, including a qualified physiotherapist, to assess the injury, arrange for a scan, identify the extent of the damage and then put in place a progressive rehabilitation plan to get you back to full fitness.
Another common injury, specific to boxing, is the boxers fracture. Approximately 20% of boxers at some point will experience this injury. These fractures occur in the metacarpal bones, which are the bones that extend from the wrist and join on to the fingers, typically around the 4th or 5th metacarpal. If you were to experience this kind of injury, you would experience sharp pain and swelling to the area coupled with difficulty in moving your hand. These are an indicators of inflammation. An X-ray will be needed to confirm the condition and to help establish how best to immobilise and position the bones for optimal healing. The physiotherapist will work in conjunction with the consultant surgeon and establish an effective rehab plan with a view to improving range of motion, strength and ultimately the ability to put forces through this joint again.
Boxers Neck pain
Neck pain often starts out with muscle strain over a period of time from training. If left unattended, it can lead to soreness when moving the head, and discomfort and tenderness to touch. Fighters suffer neck pain due to relentless training schedules involving sparring, punches to the face and head. It is important for this reason that the neck muscles are strengthened to tolerate high impact.
Another common condition is Whiplash. This is an injury which occurs as a result of sudden acceleration-deceleration forces on the neck. The term is broad and refers to issues affecting the muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, discs and nerves. The severity of symptoms varies between people. The most common symptom is neck pain or stiffness. This can occur immediately after the injury or a few days later.
Boxing physiotherapy: Injury prevention
In an ideal world we’d never get an injury. We would train in a way which builds total physical resilience! Unfortunately with Boxing, injury is almost inevitable. To reduce the risk of injury it is important to have an effective mobility program in place. In addition, it is vital to have a strength and conditioning routine that includes movement drills. And also stretch routines specific for muscles that are stressed during boxing bouts and training alike. The injury prevention program needs to be individualised to you, because it should take account of your history of injuries and the relative strength and mobility of key components in your body.
Selecting a boxing physiotherapist
You should look for a physio who is directly involved in sport, and more specifically, contact sports. A physio with a good familiarity with the specific physical demands of boxing is highly recommended.
Boxing injury: the mental challenge
The majority of us consider injury recovery to be physical in nature. While this is largely true, there is also the key component of mental recovery after suffering an injury. You may find that once you have completed your recovery after a torn a shoulder, you’re still reluctant to put maximum force into your punches. A boxing physio will help guide you through this process.
The physio should work with you to progressively build your activity load, keeping a close eye on how you progress and ensure you do so safely and as quickly as possible. The physio can identify for you the key aspects that you need to control in order to avoid injury, and provide the reassurance and confidence you need to get through the recovery phases.
If you choose Full Motion Physio
At Full Motion Physio I work closely with athletes in combat sports. I will objectively assess your injury and develop a rehab program in partnership with you to help you get back. (I can also help you with onward referral if you need to have a scan or surgery).
My focus is not simply treating and discharging my patients: I aim to provide you with the tools to help self-manage your recovery, giving you a sense of ownership and an understanding of the problem, to help you to get back in action as quickly as possible.
My approach is described in the Full Motion Method page. Extensive research has identified the essential elements for the best physiotherapy. The Full Motion Method covers each of these elements.
One last point: Early diagnosis and intervention minimises the risk of the injury getting worse.
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