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Dealing with Constant Pain in Jiu-Jitsu ( BJJ ) & 8 Recovery Tips


Most people will let fatigue, exhaustion, and or being out of shape take them out before they ever deal with any kind of real pain caused by a minor or serious injury. Chronic pain from a bad lower back, jacked up fingers, bad knees, bad ankles, or things liked bruised ribs can set you back. But you will see most people opt out of training way before this, or most will play up an injury to make seem a 1000x’s worse then it really is.
You need to know when to dial it back, and when you can work through certain things, or how to work through certain things. Most people are mentally weak when it comes to physical pain, or even soreness. Being sore is not an injury, being tired or out of breath is not an injury, these things tell you to quit, and if you are weak, you will. Pain on the other hand deals with an injury, something that tells your mind and body to stop, which you probably should, to a degree, depending on the injury. Some injuries do require an all out lay off, although most can be worked around in some manner. But most people will choose to take a complete lay off when they know in their mind that they could still be on the mats, working, getting better, but use their“injury” as a crutch.
There is a different kind of “pain” associated with training hard. It is the simultaneous physical and mental fatigue associated with hard training. The soreness, the lack of oxygen, the build of lactic acid, it all sucks, but that’s how it needs to be. When training hard, the “pain” should be immense, you should seek it out, when you find it, stay there, let it grow on you, you should live there, if you don’t want to let go, it ain’t worth a shit, it’s not doing you any good. All the fatigue, all the soreness, all the oxygen you can’t suck in when some one is on top of you, those moments when you want to quit, when your grips and thighs are burning, that is when you are progressing (outside of solid drilling), so don’t stop.
Don’t be an average, weak-minded fool, who always quits, live in that world of “pain” that sucks, and then you will get better. If you have a serious injury, or real injury, and work around it, unless your back is broken, find training alternatives. Tell your instructor, but still show up, trust me, they will be happy, it shows heart, and instructors always want their students there, no matter what. If you can not roll, find a way to condition outside of rolling, and still drill, sit out the sparring rounds until you get better. But if you’re just tired, or sore, there is no reason to be sitting out. Instructors notice that too.

BJJ recovery tips. 8 ways to lessen soreness:
1.Doing a good warm-up.

A proper warm up can increase the blood flow to the working muscle which results in decreased muscle stiffness, less risk of injury and improved performance. Additional benefits of warming up include physiological and psychological preparation.

2.Stretch after training.

As you perform contraction after contraction during your workout, your muscles are left in a shortened state. Stretching helps to reset your body to a natural position and posture. Walk out of the gym without paying attention to areas that are overly tight, and you may pay the price later on with increased soreness and stiffness.

3. Hydrate.

When it comes to recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies.
Try to drink one 20 – 24 oz. bottle of water for each hour of training. Within a couple hours after a workout, your urine should be light yellow or clear. If it is dark yellow, then you are inadequately hydrated.


Massaging the muscles and promoting proper muscle relaxation will help keep muscle contractions down to a minimum.

5. Cold-water immersion. 

Dipping sore muscles or even the whole body into a tub of ice water. The water increases circulation and promotes faster healing, along with pain relief.

6. Muscle compression. 

This is simply wrapping the sore muscle with an elastic bandage. The bandage should be tight, but not tight enough to limit blood flow. The wrapping limits the muscle movement, allowing for faster healing and a decrease in muscle pain from continuous overworking the muscle.

7. Rest
The best way to deal with sore muscles is to allow your body to naturally heal. General workout strain will take at least two to four days before experiencing total pain relief and healing. These muscles have not suffered injury, just overexertion such as walking too far or standing on your feet at a new job for several hours. Injured muscles will take longer to recover, perhaps a week or two. Healing times will vary depending on the individual. Although it is not always possible to stay in bed all day, light work and frequent resting periods are ideal when muscle soreness and injury are present.

8. Eating right 
Eating a properly balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and protein can help prevent muscle injury and strain. When your body is lacking in essential nutrients, the muscle fibers are weaker. General workouts can place too much stress on them, increasing the odds of strain and injury. Plus, get plenty of sleep. Muscles need rest too, and sleep provides them with deep relaxation.

Article copied from www.bjjee.com .
Written by Stevie Linton, 1rst degree BJJ Black Belt, instructor at Maxercise Academy in Philadelphia. Check out his excellent blog Jiu-Jitsu Stevie .