ArchiveSeptember 2020

Affect of Training Area and Sparring Partners in Taekwondo

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Changing the spatial characteristics of a sporting environment may change the demands on the athlete, and potentially influence the outcome of the competition. Specific reduced competition size training drills (i.e. small-sided games in soccer) have long been utilized as a training means in other sports. Researchers in Italy compared the physiological (heart rate, blood lactate) and psychological...

Grippin’n’Grapplin

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Grip strength is an important physical characteristic of successful grappling athletes from all disciplines, with higher handgrip measurements seen in high-level, compared to lower-level athletes in BJJ, judo and wrestling. Furthermore, grip strength may also be seen as an important factor in injury reduction in these sports.  The high-intensity nature of gripping actions in grappling is...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 14 – Hand and Wrist Strengthening 

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Grip strength was discussed in part 11, and if there are deficiencies here then they should be addressed. The power grip can be trained with a simple gripper, and if an adjustable gripper is available, this can allow for a more incremental progression of load. Using a thicker grip, such as a towel, or a fat gripz handle, while performing traditional resistance training exercises can also be...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 12 – Load Tolerance Assessment 

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Another useful test for wrist and hand injuries is a measurement of load tolerance. In the general population we typically measure the load taken through the palm, however with combat athletes, we also need to measure the amount of pressure tolerated through a fist.  A simple, low-tech way of assessing this is with the use of an analogue scale. With the scales placed on a bench or table, and...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 11 – Grip Assessment

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Grip strength is an important functional measure in both diagnosis and evaluation of progress. A 10% difference in grip strength between sides is within the limits of normal, however more than a 20% difference between sides may indicate either a strength deficiency that could have contributed to the development of the injury, or more commonly a loss of strength secondary to the injury. A 50% or...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 10 – Wrist ROM assessment

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Special tests for hand and wrist injuries will be specific to the injured area. However all hand and wrist injuries will likely require assessment of range of motion. One of the common methods of measuring joint range of motion is with the use of a goniometer. However, whilst this may be optimal for larger joints such as the knee, because of the small size and intricacy of the wrist, as well as...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 13 – General management principles

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While the management of hand and wrist injuries will depend on the specific injury, there are some basic management principles that will apply to most cases.  The first is one of specific load management. Most injuries will require a degree of off-loading/de-loading. For fractures, this de-loading will be in the form of immobilisation and often surgical intervention. For joint sprains, we usually...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 9 – Finger Dislocations

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Dislocation of the proximal interphalangeal joint (closest joint of the finger) is also very common. Dorsal (to the back) dislocation may lead to volar plate and ligament damage, and therefore requires proper diagnosis and follow up. If the dislocation is stable, only buddy taping (where the 2 fingers are taped together) is required, followed by early mobilization to avoid stiffening of the joint...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 8 – Finger Fractures

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Fractures of the fingers are more common in combat sports where a full boxing glove is not worn (karate, taekwondo, MMA, etc.) and are also common in grappling. The type of management will depend on the location of the fracture.  Fractures of the proximal and middle phalanges (the closest and middle bones of the finger) are often accompanied by avulsion (where a fragment of bone is pulled away by...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 7 – TFCC injury

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The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) consists of a cartilaginous disc that lies between the ulnar and the triquetrum and lunate bones, the ulnar meniscus, the sheath of the extensor carpi ulnaris (one of the muscles responsible for extending and ulnar deviating the wrist), and several ligaments of the wrist and hand. The complex is loaded in movements that involve axial compression in a...

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