boxing common injuries3

Boxing Common Injuries

Boxing involves contact, and contact sports can lead to injuries. According to research, when your technique is improved, boxing injuries happen less frequently. But injuries from boxing can affect any part of your body.

Boxing is not as dangerous as scuba diving, horseback riding, or gymnastics, according to experts. Still, because of how violent it seems, many people wrongly believe it to be one of the deadliest sports. As a result, boxing is totally banned in several countries, such as North Korea, Cuba, and Norway. Whatever your thoughts on the game, boxing can potentially cause both minor and serious injuries.

Many articles have been published about concussions, brain damage, and skull and facial bone fractures, among other serious boxing injuries. I'd want to demonstrate a few more boxing wounds, such as facial cuts, hematomas, eye injuries, hand wounds, strains, and sprains.

Boxing is the only sport where the goal is to knock the opponent out by punching them in the head and body. Therefore, no matter who wins the fight after twelve (12) rounds of boxing, both boxers could get serious injuries.

Since the head is the main target in boxing, injuries such as contusions, abrasions, hematomas, and lacerations are quite common due to a large amount of facial skin.

When the face is struck, the tissue between the skin and the facial bone is damaged, pressing the skin toward the bone. As a result, if the blood vessels beneath the skin burst, there won't be any damage to the skin. In this circumstance, blood flows into the underlying tissues, causing swelling or a hematoma.

Can Boxing Damage Joints?

The excessive and repeated trauma of boxing, transmitted from the MCP joints to the metacarpal bases, creates ligamentous disruption with the destabilisation of the CMC joints, the so-called ‘carpal boss’.


How Common Are Injuries In Boxing?

Results: The overall incidence rate of injury was 17.1 per 100 boxer matches or 3.4 per 100 boxer rounds. Facial laceration accounted for 51% of all injuries, followed by a hand injury (17%), eye injury (14%), and nose injury (5%).


Is Boxing Hard On The Knees?

As great as it is, boxing is not knee-friendly, with all the pivoting and quick changes of direction. For an equally intense workout, try dance cardio or Zumba, which keeps your heart pumping and works your whole body without as much of the lateral motion that causes knee pain.


Is Boxing Worth The Risk?

There are tragic injuries in boxing, no less than in football or mountain climbing. But the gains in character and self-control that can accrue from finding a place in a well-supervised boxing gym are well worth the risk.


Does Boxing Hurt The Brain?

Almost certainly. Research has long shown that head trauma— something no boxer cannot avoid over the years—puts one at risk for permanent brain damage. Brain cells generally cannot repair themselves (as can cells elsewhere in the body), so damaged neurons stay damaged.


The Dangers Of Boxing Injuries

Any activity that involves physical contact is harmful, especially when it refers to the head. One of the many laws that the government and boxing's governing bodies have attempted to enact to lower the risks is the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. Boxing, however, has certain harmful impacts on participants' health.

These wounds can vary widely in boxing because both striking and receiving knocks can cause injuries. These injuries often affect the thorax, head, and face on the "receiving" side. The "providing" side's hands and shoulders are often hurt by these injuries. If your strike fails, the injuries may arise from trauma or from overuse. Making sure that these injuries heal properly is essential for avoiding long-term health and performance issues.

Common Boxing Injuries

Head or Brain Injuries

A head impact with a potential brain injury is the most serious boxing injury. The power of the punch shakes the brain inside the skull, temporarily causing it to function abnormally. Symptoms of a concussion include the following:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Short-term loss of memory
  • Nausea
  • Inability to coordinate
  • Confusion
  • Headache

The effects of tension and shock that could resonate through your brain can be lessened by wearing headgear.

Carpometacarpal bossing

Carpal bossing: What is it? The condition called carpometacarpal bossing, also known as carpal bossing, causes a lump to develop on the back of the hand, directly where the long finger and the tiny wrist bones connect. It's important to comprehend the causes of problems and the proper ways to deal with them because some of the most typical ailments in boxing can turn into something fairly simple. This one shows up after receiving a tap on the back of the wrist. Finding an effective recuperation technique might be challenging, but in this situation, cold therapy and ice, with rest in between activities and respite, are your greatest options. We still advise you to get immediate professional carpal bossing treatment.

Wrist, Hand, And Finger Injuries

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Either amateurs or professionals who practice boxing experience hand injuries on a regular basis. Due to poor technique, form, and equipment, people who box at home may be at high risk for these wounds. Missed blows can cause hand or wrist injuries during competition and when practising on a heavy bag at home. Stress fractures can be brought on by punching or striking regularly, and using poor form just makes injuries less possible.

Jaw & Facial Injuries

The force of a punch to a jaw might fracture the jaw, the nose, or the face. Also, a fractured, subluxated, or dislocated jaw is a possibility with jaw injury that leads to TMJ dysfunction.

Therefore, facial injuries are rather common, especially during training. These can include anything from scrapes and bruises to fractured bones. Fortunately, they won't have an impact on how well you box. However, it's still important to deal with them as best you can. That will go a long way toward minimizing disability or lifelong disfigurement in the worst circumstances. Again, while facial injuries may have no impact on your boxing career, they can cause long-term emotional or health issues, including problems with your nose, jaw function, or even your eyesight.

  • Common Jaw Injuries

Bruises and cuts

In boxing, cuts and bruises are common injuries. They may appear in a match or during training. When you get punched in the same spot repeatedly, bruises frequently develop. Cutting may happen when you strike something very sharp or take a strong hit to a bony prominence area. The wound needs to be immediately cleaned, disinfected, and covered as best as possible. You basically have no control over where or when these cuts and bruises will show up on your body. Nevertheless, one of the most frequent cuts a boxer may get is a headshot. In boxing, it can be challenging to avoid cuts and bruises. All you need to do is learn how to avoid them, and if you do, get medical help right away.

Shoulder Injuries

Impact repetition can cause shoulder problems. Shoulder deformations and rotator cuff injuries are typical injuries. A strong attack begins from the feet, builds momentum as it moves up the kinetic chain, and then passes through the shoulder to the hand (Clarkson) (Mansfield). According to this, boxers are more likely to suffer from rotator cuff tears or labral and rotator cuff strains. Boxers may experience persistent shoulder pain or ailments like bursitis or impingement over time.

  • Typical Shoulder Injuries

Strain injuries

We found strain injuries are the most typical wrist injuries in boxing. However, your feet, calves, knees, back, and neck might suffer this harm. Strain injuries are challenging to treat because your body needs time to heal. As a result, tackling can be difficult, but with the proper technique, you won't have any trouble attaining the ideal outcomes and experiences.

Chronic Back And Neck Pain

Low back ache is common among non-athletic, ordinary populations (NIH). Whether brought on by bad posture or weak glute and core muscles, low back pain can be terrible. Neck and back pain in sports and boxers frequently results from grappling, the force of hits, or an improper fighting stance.


Boxing can cause a concussion in a wide range of ways. In boxing, a concussion is a severe damage brought on by repeated punches to the brain. The symptoms of a boxing concussion may appear as a result of the brain twisting inside the skull, leaving the victim feeling confused and occasionally bewildered. A professional physiotherapist is familiar with boxing concussion protocols and can identify an undiagnosed concussion, enabling you to receive medical care as soon as possible for the best outcomes. If you think you have this kind of injury, we strongly advise you to find a physiotherapist nearby as soon as you can.

Boxer’s Fracture

A metacarpal bone fracture, or boxer's fracture, affects the bones in your hand that connect the fingers to the wrist. The damage frequently incurred to the bones below the ring and little fingers, although it can occur in other places, is caused by punching an immovable object. In addition, fractures of the jaw, ribs, and nose are frequent.

You will immediately feel pain and swelling if you get the damage. Also, moving the fingers above the fracture will be challenging, and bruising will develop quickly. This injury will occur to about 20% of boxers at some point.

Boxer’s knuckle 

The truth is that such a wound might cause a lot of problems. The first knuckle of a finger and the nearby structure are mostly involved. This harm can affect the ligaments of the metacarpal head as well as the skin, bone, and joint cartilage. It is another frequent injury for many boxers, especially those who frequently strike very hard. With the right training, you can avoid this injury, but there is always a chance that you will experience it at some point in your boxing career. The recovery time for a boxer's knuckles might range from 3 weeks to 12 weeks. Your physiotherapist will need to give the proper boxer's knuckle therapy if you suffer from one.

Neck, Back & Rib Injuries

Your spine or ribs may get hurt during boxing as a result of impact or overexertion. A strong set of core stability muscles can prevent damage to your spine and increase your punching force and shot absorption.

Eye Injuries

Eyes are sensitive to direct impacts below, even if they are protected by hard bone on the side. Direct impact or shock waves during a fight might damage the eyes. Retinal injury, retinal detachment, retinal hemorrhage, and other injuries are possible depending on how hard the hit was.

Boxing Lower Back Injuries

Due to the shear forces placed on the active and passive components during rotating movements, certain boxers may have lower back stiffness. Running and skipping are two more frequent fitness exercises that can load the back in extension and cause pain or stiffness in the lower back.

Achilles tendinopathy

boxing common injuries

The condition known as Achilles tendinopathy causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the Achilles tendon. Recurrent Achilles tendon injuries can bring on these kinds of problems. Fortunately, addressing this condition with the appropriate Achilles tendinopathy exercises can significantly improve outcomes. Even with the best Achilles tendinopathy treatment, the recovery term will likely be quite long. The back of your heel may hurt, along with stiffness, edema, and discomfort. In severe cases, you may also hear a crackling sound when you move your ankle. Your physiotherapist will probably recommend eccentric Achilles tendinopathy exercises to aid in your recovery.

Brain Diseases

Ex-boxers are more sensitive to ailments and the aging of the brain. They might have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. This is due to the reduced size and thinner surface grey matter of boxers' brains. The brain's ventricles have grown larger as a result of the loss of white matter.

Boxing Elbow Injuries

When boxing, elbow pain can arise from frequent overextension or indications of tendonitis in the tricep and forearm muscle groups. This is a result of the numerous, incredibly strong muscle contractions.

The Nature Of Boxing Injuries

Only one study has examined the frequency of different boxing hand injuries to date2. Noble evaluated 86 boxers who appeared either post-match or in the South African Boxing Board of Control office after experiencing 100 consecutive boxing hand injuries. In this research, Noble found that:

  • The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb's metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint, often called the "skier's thumb," was torn in 23% of hand injuries.
  • 10% of cases involved Bennett's fracture and dislocation of the thumb's carpometacarpal (CMC) joint.
  • in 12% of cases, damage to the second to fifth MCP joints was implicated(often known as the "boxer's knuckle")
  • 12% of the second to fifth CMC joints are inflamed.
  • 12% included one or more metacarpal bases being subluxated (traumatic carpal boss).
  • 8% involves second to fifth metacarpal fractures, most of which occur in the fifth metacarpal's neck (also known as "the boxer's fracture").

Risks in Boxing

Boxing can indeed be deadly. Although the number of boxers who have passed away due to the sport is unknown, it seems that boxing has a considerably lower death rate than other sports, like horse racing.

Reliable data is impacted by disparities in amateur and professional boxing regulation, illegal boxing events, the operation of regulatory agencies all over the world, the absence of long-term studies, and medical inaccuracy in linking the first small injury to subsequent medical events.

What should you do?

The most frequent injuries in boxing are listed in this article. During your boxing career, the likelihood that you may run into one of them is rather high if you frequently practice or compete against others. However, the ideal course of action for your particular circumstance can take some time and experience to determine.

The truth is that these typical boxing wounds may be healed. But if you pay attention to how you train, how you strike, and how you generally heal, if you suffer from any of these injuries, you can also avoid the majority of them.

With the correct regimen, you'll have no trouble achieving spectacular results. Of course, doing so properly will take some time, but ultimately, you must always exercise caution. Lack of recovery time and powerful blows can be problematic. You maximize your benefits and avoid pain, make sure to put your safety first.

Safety Tips

If you're thinking about learning to box, investing in the right safety gear can help you reduce your risk of being injured.

First, you must wear a mouthpiece, hand wraps, and headgear whether you're sparring or practising. Secondly, you should have gloves that weigh at least 16 ounces.

Extra advice on boxers' safety includes:

  • Put petroleum jelly on the face to make punches that come in touch with it slip off.
  • After practising or sparring, apply an ice pack. It can speed up your healing, help you avoid getting wounded again, and is a terrific method to minimize discomfort and swelling.
  • Make sure you receive plenty of rest after sparring or training to speed up recuperation.
  • Before working out or sparring, you should stretch to reduce the risk of muscular injuries, including strains and sprains.
  • You're less likely to get an injury if you're in good physical and mental health. Hire a helpful boxing coach if you don't already have one.
  • Study defensive boxing techniques.

Although boxing has inherent dangers, you may reduce your risk of injury by employing common sense, wearing the proper gear, and knowing when to rest your body. Unfortunately, permanent consequences usually result from not treating an injury right away.


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