Rehab BJJ Injuries: Pain, Build, Maintain
What do foam rollers, cupping, massage, scraping, taping, needling, massage-guns, and e-stim units have in common? They are all tools, not fixes. Tools are important to rehab BJJ injuries, but are not a standalone solution. Whether you have a minor ankle sprain or complex chronic low back pain, you will need 2-3 months to fully recover. To get to a place of pain and uncertainty, to a place of strength, confidence, and freedom of movement and activity. Our process has worked for countless athletes, and it will work for you too. Pain. Build. Maintain.
Pain: Phase 1 to Rehab BJJ Injuries
Pain, control it and get normal range of movement back. These are the goals of our first phase to rehabbing BJJ injuries. We use tools and our treatment techniques to target specific areas in the affected joint, soft-tissues, and then use activation exercises to pull it all together.
For example, take a real-life patient we helped, Andrew. He suffered with knee pain for over 3 months. It stopped him from walking, using stairs, and doing any BJJ at all. To get his pain under control we treated the joint with a gapping technique, eased his quad tension with some soft-tissue work, and followed this up with a knee control exercise. This was Andrew’s week-1 routine, and it dropped his pain from 8/10 to 4/10. Not bad for 7 days.
After we progress the exercises, he was pain-free in 2 weeks and ready for Phase 2, Build.
Build it up: Phase 2
Strengthen what is weak and move what is stiff. This phase is the bread-and-butter of rehab. Following phase 1, you typically feel good, really good. Your pain is gone. You can move again, and feel free, returning to BJJ and other activity. This is the most crucial time in the rehab process.
Most athletes think they’re healed at this point, but their joints, muscles, and tendons/ligaments aren’t strong enough to handle the demand of BJJ and they get re-injured. Instead, they should start to build and get after it instead.
The build phase focuses on progressive overload, meaning you are continually challenged with harder exercises each week. Little by little, you adapt and build strength, robust joints, and movement freedom. For 6-8 weeks, you will progress through 4 different levels of exercise, each leaving you stronger and more confident than the last. Each routine is less than 15 minutes, and done during warm-ups to normal activity. So you hardly even notice you are rehabbing BJJ injuries.
Time flys, and next thing you know, you are 100% pain free, strong, and doing anything you want without discomfort or fear of re-injury. You will feel light, free, mobile, and confident at this point. Ready for a maintenance program to keep all the progress for the long-term.
Maintain: Phase 3, Stay on Top
All the hard work rehabbing your BJJ injury deserves a cheers. You pushed through and made it. A little secret, on average, athletes wait for injuries to go away the same amount of time it takes to solve the problem. Wasted time, when you could be 100% at the point you decide to do something about it. It isn’t their fault though. Most athletes I see, visited a doctor previous, and were told to rest and take ibuprofen for 8 weeks. Just like this guy, listen to his story.
For those who did go through a good rehab process, find themselves at this phase. How do you keep all the progress you worked so hard for? We give you simple drills to integrate into your existing program to keep results and address any other restrictions.
For example, Andrew maintained his knee progress by also working on his restricted ankle mobility and some basic activation exercises to keep his knee strong and healthy. 2 years later, not a single knee problem, and he trains exactly like he wants to, with nothing holding him back.
Start Now, Don’t Waste Time
3 months is a short time to solve an injury. Especially when the average time spent waiting to solve the problem is the same amount.
3 months to control pain, build robust joints and muscles, and maintain it for the long term. A small time investment to feel strong, healthy, robust, and free to train as hard and as often as you want without being held back.
You can wait 3 months before starting to solve your injury. Or if you want to solve your injury for good right now, you have 2 options.