BJJ Poll: Has BJJ Contributed to Any Neck or Back Problems for You?

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We recently received an email looking for a little help in an investigation related to Brazilian jiu-jitsu:

There are a few MMA fighters who have had successful back surgery, but there are few, if any, resources I have found where BJJ has been the focus. So, I thought I could be the one to compile that research. My goal is to put together an informative article that explores coping with back pain in BJJ, the risks of back injury, and more especially, offers good advice and hope to those who are struggling with it and are worried that surgery will ruin their BJJ career.

We are big advocates of BJJ research and happy to oblige! Hope it helps your efforts, SkinnyD!

So let us know by voting in the poll here if jiu-jitsu and back or neck problems have been something you have experienced. I know a person or two who have had spine issues and it has affected their jiu-jitsu for sure. Not a fun problem to have!

4 Replies to “BJJ Poll: Has BJJ Contributed to Any Neck or Back Problems for You?”

  1. Yep, MRI confirmed herniations of C4-C5 and C5-C6. Took off a month and half for phys therapy and then went back to training. I have to tap the minute I feel a gullotine or triangle *setup*. If I let them sink the submission I can be out for a week or more–shoulder and arm pain, tingling in fingers, the whole bit.Thankfully, I have great training partners and a great coach that help me work around it. The only time it *really* stinks is drilling chokes. When learning, you have to let them tighten the choke to figure out the right angle and leverage. But if they tighten it against the spine instead of the artery, I’m in a bad way. I think that’s the worst thing about chronic injuries. You’re torn between staying healthy and being a good training partner.


  2. I chose option 3 (BJJ makes it worse), but really it’s just that I discovered that BJJ and judo forced me to recognize the fact that I am weak for my size. My weakness combined with judo and BJJ to give me a several-month back strain. Lifting weights (using Rippetoe’s Starting Strength as a base) has helped immensely. A strong back is more resistant to injury.

  3. Had neck and back problems in other sports and was commonly stiff after a good workout, but after about a year of BJJ training didn’t had any back or neck soreness and going into year three they feel great.

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