Muay Thai Fighters & Injuries


Chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez summarizes some fascinating injury stories in the combat game…

I was recently on a holiday in Koh Lanta in Thailand and throughout my holiday I visited a Muay Thai training gym for two reasons. Firstly, as I’ve had a fascination with the sport for some time having formerly handled some injuries in some fighters in Australia it was to have a private Muay Thai training session with a few of the boxers. I was that I could use as material. I clarified the purpose of my visit and approached the head coach and discover a few of the interesting injury stories they’d out and he was pleased for me to talk to a few fighters. The following are just two case studies from this fact-finding mission.

The Biker’s Elbow

The initial fighter was a seeing K1 fighter out of Holland who spends six weeks a year in Thailand. He had been a fit and healthy 25-year-old man with a history of prior knee and back injuries; nonetheless, his complaint at this stage was pain on the inside of the right elbow that made grappling through fighting and also lifting weights at the gym hard.

The pain had started only a few days to his recent trip to Thailand and had been present for about five days. It had been focused around the medial epicondyle of the elbow. Any powerful gripping moves whilst flexing the elbow was shown to be debilitating. It had been affecting his coaching as some other work that was grappling was too painful and he was unable to perform any type gym movements such as chin ups and rowing motions. All pushing type movements were asymptomatic.

He whined no preceding elbow pain and refused any trauma to the elbow such as a arm lock-type situation or a hyperextension type injury during training or fighting.

He had been tender to palpate the source of the wrist flexor muscles which start on the elbow along, as well as any forceful wrist extension was uneasy. His elbow felt secure and using a stress test. Strong grip of the hands was painless until he was put to a position of wrist extension that is complete.

With no history of injury and without any changes to his coaching regimen I quizzed him. We exercised that whilst in Thailand he traveled on a scooter — a pastime for thieves to tackle when. He’d spent plenty of time around the sightseeing on the bicycle when he came.

The type of scooter he used was a automatic without equipment shifting the accelerator is on the right side of the bars. The reasoning was because of the continuous wrist extension used to accelerate the scooter at a pronated position, the wrist flexor muscles were put in a position of stretch with constant tension due to the co-contraction of this wrist flexor/extensor group required to do this particular movement. Coupled with this was that the vibration that is constant on the bicycle caused by the movement of the scooter in addition to the frequent pot holes and undulating road typical of Thai roads. The diagnosis was an inflammatory response in the wrist flexor origin.

I made the following suggestions:

1. Regularly extend by putting the hand flat on a table with the wrist turned to supination, the wrist flexors. He was to hold this for 30-second efforts.

2. Soft tissue massage to the wrist flexor muscle group, something he could do in Thailand using the massages on offer.

3. Moderate outrageous wrist flexor exercise working with a 5kg dumbbell using the forearm put on a desk (palm upward) and also to slowly lower the weight into wrist extension and use the flip side to help the concentric lifting. He was to do this

4. Change the hand place on the accelerator. It was suggested he can do three distinct things to achieve this. Primarily he can flare the elbow out broad whilst riding to decrease the amount. He up to this point kept the elbow close in to the body to perform this. Secondly he could occasionally hold the accelerator handle on the end so that he could keep his forearm supination position as this requires radial deviation to quicken the bike. Finally, on stretches of street I invited him undo the grip so he utilized wrist flexion to accelerate the bicycle and to actually supinate his forearm.

5. Rub some topical gel.

Two weeks later, I saw him and he maintained that the elbow pain had entirely subsided.

The Buzzing Thigh

A 30-year-old Thai local fighter had whined a six- month history of a ‘buzzing’ kind pain on the outside of the thigh and in the calf that was ideal region. It’d started after he obtained a hard kick to the back of his right hip. The kick was so strong that he lost function of his right leg at the time and needed a sensation down the thigh into the foot and calf. As this occurred in training, he rested on the leg and stopped and used the Thai concoction of heat and ointments to manage this harm. He returned to coaching a couple of days later and had been involved in a couple of fights after. He felt he had been still practical, but still felt a buzzing sensation every time. He claimed that he managed to perform everything and even blows to the thigh and hip were no longer painful than normal.

On examination he had movement in both hips his internal rotation when lying prone was decreased compared to another side. He was able to squat and perform a single leg pain free. All knee motions and ligament testing demonstrated unremarkable.

What was painful was a slump test on the ideal side and this reproduced the proper- sided throat sensations he experienced with kicking. The pain was made worse with dorsiflexion of the ankle whilst at a slump position.

It was concluded that when he had sustained the blow to the posterior hip, he had bruised the subsequent hematoma and the right piriformis muscle had created fibrosis around the sciatic nerve. Each time he had to stretch into full hip flexion with the knee extended and the foot dorsiflexed to complete a roundhouse kick, he had been effectively stretching the nerve against the port made by the scarring and fibrosis around the guts by the preceding injury to the soft tissues. This would be sufficient to give him a neuropathic-type pain down the leg across the course of the nerve and in the superficial peroneal nerve.

I explained that the way to remove this was to frequently ‘extend’ or move the guts from the vents to try to release the nerve out of any fibrosis. I showed him how to run his own gentle nerve mobilizations as a slide and slide method (neurological wracking) and also how to hold the place on stretch to make a sustained elongation.

He did so sitting on the conclusion of the fighting ring at a full slump position (neck flexed, spine arched into flexion) and he had been to straighten the ideal knee with the foot dorsiflexed until he felt a gentle uncomfortable tug onto the guts (felt like a buzzing down the ideal leg). This was to be achieved to this point of discomfort but not pain. I explained that if he overdid motion and this stretch he could make the issue worse, so I invited him to underdo this and not over do this. He had been to spend five minutes after a warm-up finishing a string of knee extension and release the stretch. After a pause continue this on/off movement for five minutes per day and he was to stretch again.

I didn’t figure out how this solved as this movement would take a few weeks to make a noticeable shiftI can expect that he would have discovered a relief from his signs at some stage in the future.

Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven Integrative Wellness therapies focused on optimal mobility, posture control, health Instruction, functional fitness, Nutrition, and structural conditioning. In addition, we use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans," Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSHasRx Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor, passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. So join us and make a living with mobility a way of life. Blessings. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN

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