Over the past few years Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, training has become the new craze for those looking for a more active form of cardiovascular and strength training. With the success of the UFC, MMA gyms have begun to spring up all over the country. Those who join these gyms range from elite athletes training to get into the cage to those who just want to lose weight and enhance their conditioning. More and more physicians have begun to recognize both the cardiovascular and physical benefits of this form of intensified training.

Chiropractor in Brooklyn at Pain Physicians NY has begun creating specific professional physical therapy and chiropractic protocols for those involved. His goal is to maximize the performance of these athletes and correct functional weaknesses that may lead to injury.

Traditionally, proactive physical therapy have been used as reactive modalities and are only utilized once an injury or pain begins to appear.

Flexibility is Key

Mixed Martial Arts has several physical elements that make physical therapy the natural choice in enhancing performance. Many of the athletes training at these gyms are in peak physical condition and commit their lives to a grueling training regimen including a healthy diet, cardio and strength training. One of the most important tenants is flexibility. Flexibility can often mean the difference between a tapout and an escape in a submission situation. When put into a submission position your joints and ligaments have a limit of how far they can stretch and that limit will determine how quickly you will tap out. Pain Physicians NY physicians utilize dynamic stretches to maximize the range of motion in joints and groups of joints. This increased range of motion and joint strength means your joints and ligaments will have an increased ability to extend and stretch. This increased mobility leads to fewer tapouts and more reversals and escapes giving you the upper hand on your opponent.

Importance of the Core

Another vital element is core strengthening. Core strengthening allows you to put more force behind your strikes and eliminates the development of bad habits during stand up. Poor mechanics lead to increased injuries and leave you exposed to knock outs. During stand up many fighters will try to engage in body strikes to wear down their opponent. A solid core will allow you to better absorb these strikes and sustain less damage as a result.

Furthermore, muscle retraining will allow you to break these bad habits and will reinforce new and more functional body habits. Too often the face and body are left open after a strike attempt giving your opponent the opportunity to take advantage of openings. Creating superior muscle habits will allow you to strike faster and return to a neutral position much faster after a strike. This will give your opponent far less opportunities for counter strikes and knockout blows.

The risk of injury during training is minimal as most trainers are well versed in safe training protocols. However, with supplemental protocols such as spinal and joint manipulation, neuromuscular retraining, muscle and ligament rehabilitation the recovery profile is expedited and participants can return to training much faster than traditional therapies. Pain Physicians NY physicians incorporate physical therapy and chiropractic care along with interventional pain management and minimally invasive surgery. “Our doctors work together to develop an individualized plan for each patient. This dynamic approach allows us to treat very challenging cases that have been failed by other physicians,” says our physical therapy specialist.

Despite preventive methods, injuries in MMA can occur. A recent study examined the injury rate of 55 Mixed Martial Artists between 18 and 39 all with varying degrees of experience.

“The most common body region injured was the head/neck/face (38.2%), followed by the lower extremities (30.4%), upper extremities (22.7%), torso (8.2%), and groin (0.5%). Injuries to the nose (6.3%), shoulder (6.3%), and toe (6.3%) were the most common. The most common type of injury was contusions (29.4%), followed by strains (16.2%), sprains (14.9%), and abrasions (10.1%).”

The study further concluded that those who had engaged in a physical therapy and preventive treatment protocol were at a lower risk for injury. “Working in such a multi-specilaty group gives us the ability to address an injury from many different perspectives and collaborate on deciding the most comprehensive and aggressive approach to recovery.”

We encourage those engaged in Mixed Martial Arts to begin adding a physical therapy routine to their training. In most instances, the trainers and the physical therapists will collaborate on effective techniques and areas for improvement.