Muay Thai – Dealing With and Preventing Your New Injuries

Muay Thai is a sport which has the potential for a whole range of colourful new injuries you have probably never experienced prior to training. It’s a heavy contact sport where you’re absolutely going to experience some aches and pains along your training or fighting journey. The following injuries are the most frequently experienced by practitioners of the sport.

Bruised Shins:
Muay Thai attack and defense methods require the use of the shins. Attacking your opponent can consist of a roundhouse kick and blocking a kick consists of checking with your shin. When you are doing padwork with your trainer, you will kick with your shins. When you are drilling kicks of the heavy bag, you will kick with your shins. It is impossible to escape developing bruises on your shins during your training! Due to running being synonymous with Muay Thai training, you may also develop shin splints due to the trauma caused from running on roads or up hills.

Over time, your shins will become conditioned. There is no quick method to this! Some people believe that kicking down a banana tree (because Buakaw did it) will make their shins as hard as steel. This is most definitely not true. In the meantime, make sure to ice your shins after training sessions. I have also found that massaging Naman liniment into my shins before sessions alleviates some of the pain you may feel.

Stiff neck:
While you’re learning to clinch, your neck is going to be extremely sore and stiff. As with the shins, there is really no way to prevent this from ever happening. Having someone pull down on your neck continuously is going to strain your muscles. Make sure you stretch your neck, shoulders and back before EVERY clinching session.

Bruised thighs:
Sparring with someone who can deliver solid leg kicks will most probably leave you with a few painful bruises. The silver lining in this injury is that you are able to prevent it- most of the time. Focus on refining your reaction times. Use this as an opportunity to evolve your technique by learning to check, or move back and counter attack.

Bruised ribs:
This injury can be caused by kicks or knees to the ribs either during clinching or sparring. Much like bruised thighs, this injury can be mostly prevented. Sometimes the pain felt will be our best teachers. Over time, your body will become more resilient to these strikes, but until then, learn to properly defend or evade these attacks.

Sprained ankle or foot… or both!
This injury is mostly caused by accidentally kicking your opponent’s elbow or knee during sparring. Make sure you ice the area and use liniment, but mostly learn how to not hit these areas. If your ankle is severely injured it is a good idea to rest for a session or two as training on these injuries may cause more problems in the near future.

Sprained wrists:
When people are first learning how to punch it is common for them to experienced sprained wrists. If you are experiencing this injury you must readjust your technique. Ask your kru to demonstrate a proper punch and drill the technique multiple times. Also, make sure your hands are wrapped properly. If you are unsure your method is effective, your kru should be more than happy to teach you.

If it’s your first time hitting the pads, speak to the Bailey Fight Team to help get started in Muay Thai training.

Bailey Fitness is the only Muay Thai gym in Australia that offers the IMAES certified Muay Thai Grading System. Practitioners of all levels can participate to master the art of eight limbs!

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Jessica Lindsay

Jessica is a qualified Personal Trainer and is part of the Member Support team at Bailey Fitness.

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