Boxing is a very competitive and rigorous sport that requires time and effort to excel at. But listen to your body and address any pain as soon as it arises to avoid being down and out for the long run. Physical therapy and boxing have an integral relationship due to the intensity and the competitive nature of the sport and importance of injury prevention. As with any sport with repetitive motions being performed till exhaustion, boxing is no stranger to injuries.
Looking past the wrist and hand, a boxer needs to have strength and stability at their shoulder in order to throw consistent punches without experiencing an injury. Common shoulder pathologies include a rotator cuff strain or a shoulder dislocation. The rotator cuff functions to provide stability for the shoulder and also to keep the shoulder in the socket as your arms are raised. You put yourself at a greater risk for a shoulder injury when you are punching off balance, throwing uncontrolled jabs, over punching at max fatigue, or over reaching for a target. In order to avoid shoulder injuries while boxing you have to gauge your shoulder exhaustion level and avoid overtraining. Another common issue is pushing through the pain. If you experience a small amount of shoulder discomfort every punch and decide to just grin and bare it you increase your risk of a more serious prolonged injury.
The last area susceptible to boxing injuries would be the lower body, more specifically, the knee. A large part of boxing is speed and agility in your upper body but also in the lower as seen with the “boxers shuffle” that’s frequently used to maintain a rhythmic bouncing to stay “light on the feet” as well as being prepared to dodge and retaliate punches. A familiar complaint is outer knee pain while doing this and moving around the ring. This is called patellofemoral syndrome and is generally caused by improper forces effecting the area such as an over dominant lateral quad or an inhibited VMO (inner quad). Patellofemoral pain syndrome can be a debilitating injury for any boxer, but preventable and treatable by maintaining strength in the inner quad and flute as well as sustaining the knees joint position sense with balancing exercises to help avoid future injury.
Each of these injuries are painful and negatively affect your boxing performance. Physical therapy helps to not only regain your strength, mobility and function in order to compete and train at the highest level but conditions you to avoid these injuries by maintaining a neutral alignment while punching, avoid over training, and to not ignore pain triggers. Physical therapy helps boxers return to their peak function in the most timely and efficient manner.
Questions about physical therapy? Call 617-608-3695 or send us a message
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