- What are the most common shoulder injuries when wrestling?
- What kind of sports shoulder supports are the best for combat sports injuries?
- What features should you consider before choosing the best sports shoulder brace for contact sports?
- Do compression shoulder braces for boxing and contact sports really work?
Wrestling is a demanding sport in terms of health and use of the shoulders. Athletes have to use the strength of their shoulders to take down the opposing player, so it is not surprising that they suffer more frequent and more serious injuries.
One of the designed solutions is the use of sports compression shoulder braces that alleviate and prevent trauma. In this article we will be explaining: the most common shoulder injuries, the best garments for each of them, the most important features to consider when buying them and more.
What are the most common shoulder injuries when wrestling?
Wrestling athletes are constantly exposed to all kinds of trauma due to the contact and physical impact that the discipline demands of them. Among the most frequently injured areas are the shoulders, which have to act with force and pressure whenever the athlete needs to grab his opponent to take him down.
In this section we will be talking in depth about each of the most common shoulder injuries that athletes in wrestling have. Take them into account so you can avoid them, or even recognise them when you feel discomfort.
Rotator cuff tendinitis
The shoulder is made up of what is known as the rotator cuff, fundamental parts that are exposed to injury more frequently than the rest of the elements of this part of the body. This tendonitis usually occurs when the tendons that make up the rotator cuff become inflamed as a result of overuse or weight overload.
In wrestling, this injury is caused when wrestlers make repetitive use of the shoulder that ends up exhausting and fatiguing it, so that by the time they compete or practice, the joint is already so worn out that it cannot respond and is injured. It also occurs when athletes suffer sudden jerks or jolts in shoulder movements or pressure applied to the shoulder by an opponent.
The shoulder is attached to the collarbone and the end of the shoulder blade (“acromion”). The two parts are connected by the clavicle joint. When shoulder separation occurs, what happens is that these two ligaments are torn (partially or completely), causing the clavicle and acromion to separate.
This injury occurs quite frequently in wrestling, as its main cause is direct blows to the upper part of this area of the body, or falls suffered when falling with the shoulder or on top of it, loosening the aforementioned ligaments and causing the separation. Athletes tend to fall incorrectly on their shoulders and/or get hit by their opponents in combat.
The frozen shoulder injury is quite common in wrestling as well, although it is difficult to pinpoint its presentation in its early stages, but rather when it is already in progress. It is characterised by stiffness, accompanied by constant pain and limitation of movement, as a result of previous trauma that was not treated correctly.
What happens here is that the tissues covering the joints become stiff and scar tissue forms which prevents movement of the shoulder. The injury usually appears slowly and disappears slowly over a year or more. Athletes in wrestling are frequently bumping, bruising, bruising, swelling and so on in that joint that does not heal completely, which increases the likelihood of frozen shoulder in their bodies.
Rotator cuff tendon injury
When we talk about this injury, we are referring to a shoulder impingement due to inflammation of the bone spurs or fluid accumulation in this area that causes the rotator cuff tendon to become compressed and rub against the acromion bone at the top of the shoulder blade.
This type of trauma is commonly seen in wrestling, as its main cause is the excessive and pronounced upward overhead movement of the shoulder, which is often performed by athletes when training and also when wrestling, where their shoulders are often pushed to the limit of their axis, causing the tendon to wear and weaken, to the point where it ends up injured and unable to move painlessly and without swelling.
Rotator cuff tendon tears
The shoulder is made up of four tendons that cover the joint and connect the rotator cuff muscles to the humerus, scapula and clavicle. When a rotator cuff tear occurs, one or all of the above tendons have been injured, resulting in a tear of all these parts. It is caused by too much force being applied to the tendon, although it can also occur slowly in untreated injuries that have weakened the shoulder.
In wrestling, it usually occurs during competitions or physical contact practices, when the athlete receives a strong blow to the shoulder, falls on the shoulder on the ground, or when the tendon is stretched with great force in a movement exerted by the opponent when trying to immobilise the arm.
What kind of sports shoulder supports are the best for combat sports injuries?
As we have been showing you, in wrestling, athletes are continually prone to all kinds of shoulder injuries due to the exposure of their shoulders. To treat and prevent such accidents, multiple sports shoulder supports were manufactured to serve as extra support and prevention for the shoulder.
That is why in this section we bring you the best sports shoulder braces for injuries resulting from practice or combat in fighting sports and physical impact. Take them into account so that you can choose the one that best suits you and what you need.
Shoulder compression braces sleeves
Compression sports shoulder braces are specially designed for sports practices that require great mobility, so that they have a reinforcing effect on the shoulder joints. This way, you can use it for preventive purposes if you want or need it. This type of compressive garment can also be used by wrestling athletes to aid in the recovery and treatment of medium pain, which may be a symptom of trauma that could indicate a more serious case.
These compressive sports shoulder braces prevent rotator cuff and shoulder joint injuries, as well as dislocations, tears, frozen shoulders, bursitis and sprains that are common in wrestling practices and matches, where the shoulder is exposed to repetitive, intense and forceful movements that can lead to injury, as well as falls and direct blows.
Immobilising and stabilising shoulder supports
As their name suggests, immobilising and stabilising shoulder supports are designed to keep the mobility of the shoulder as limited as possible in order to help this part of the body recover from any type of minor or serious injury. Their main characteristic is that they restrict the amount and level of elevation that the athlete can achieve in order to ensure that the injury heals effectively and is not placed under unnecessary stress.
This is where the term “stabilising” comes in, as this is what this sports shoulder brace is all about: stabilising all the internal components of the shoulder, especially those that have been injured. Remember that the shoulders of wrestling athletes are prone to rotator cuff injuries and dislocations, so this type of garment gives them the support and stability they need.
Shoulder braces with heat and cold therapy
Shoulder braces with this therapy are one of the most modern on the market, and this is precisely because of the extra support they give to your shoulder. It is an extra treatment where you can apply cold or heat, depending on the need you have and the injury you are presenting. This type of garment comes with internal double layer gel pressure pads, which you can freeze or apply heat to them so that you can obtain their benefits.
They are also an excellent option for anyone who does contact sports or physical impact, because it is a therapy that can be performed by themselves after each practice or fight as a way to keep the internal components of the shoulder in good condition, which consequently will result in the prevention of inflammation, pain, dislocations, tears, and other minor injuries totally preventable.
What features should you consider before choosing the best sports shoulder brace for contact sports?
When it comes to choosing a sports compression shoulder brace for your shoulders, you will be faced with a lot of different options on the market. You should keep in mind that choosing just any garment will not be the best decision, but you will have to consider the purpose for which you will use it and what you need it for.
In addition to that, here are a number of important aspects that every contact sports player should keep in mind when buying their own sports shoulder brace, such as function, material, fit, size, design and price.
According to function
- Compression and support shoulder brace: Many of the compression sports shoulder braces on the market are designed to serve as a compressor and a source of secure shoulder support for the contact athlete, ideal for fighting and impact sports where injuries are likely to occur. It can also be used as an adjunct to trauma recovery, keeping the shoulder in place and getting better.
- Shoulder brace for pain relief: The support that the sports shoulder brace provides to the shoulder has such an effect that it helps to improve the condition of the internal components of the shoulder that may be affected, and consequently are radiating pain. So the indirect function of the compression garment is also a way of helping the athlete to alleviate and treat their ailments.
- Shoulder support for rehabilitation and recovery from injury: There are shoulder compression garments on the market specifically designed to help the athlete recover from a severe or minor injury as a result of a severe physical impact to the shoulder that has left the athlete traumatised. The use of this type of brace is excellent as it serves as a key complement in the recovery and rehabilitation of the athlete’s shoulder, accompanied by medical and physiotherapeutic assistance, which guarantees faster and much more effective healing.
- Shoulder brace to prevent injuries: Every athlete in wrestling or contact disciplines is constantly looking after their shoulders due to the exposure they are constantly subjected to. The use of sports compression shoulder braces is one of the ways to help prevent injuries to this area of the body, and also to give the joint extra support that it could not be guaranteed on its own.
Material of manufacture
The most common manufacturing materials for sports shoulder sleeves you will find on the market are listed below:
- Neoprene: This material is one of the most preferred and most used because it allows blood circulation, air flow through the skin, and also because of its durability. Choose this type of material for your shoulder braces so that you can guarantee a correct circulation in this area of the body, which will also serve for the health of your shoulder, and its recovery in case of injury.
- Polyester: It is one of the materials that most supports repetitive movements due to its great capacity to expand, adjusting to any movement you need to make from and with your shoulders. In addition, polyester is one of those that will not absorb your perspiration, but will let it out through the holes in the fabric, serving as anti-breathable, avoiding fungi, bacteria, mildew and bad odours.
- Elastic fabric: This type of fabric offers you double advantages, in the sense that it acts compressing each of the internal parts of your shoulder, at the same time that it expands over it, adjusting to the shape of your body and allowing all the freedom you need to move in each of the exercises.
- Nylon mesh: While keeping the muscle at a warm temperature is favourable to keep the muscles active, sometimes we run the risk of overheating, so the option to improve our situation is the nylon mesh, which allows and stimulates the correct transpiration of the shoulder, preventing it from overheating, keeping it healthy.
Type of support
Knowing the amount of movements that the shoulder has to make while training or competing, and adding to this the fact that it is a sport of fighting and physical contact that continually generates sudden, intense and even uncomfortable movements, it is necessary to take into account the fastening that gives security that the garment will not move or come off by itself.
- Wrap: This is one of the most commonly used compression garments. It works by hugging the contours of the shoulders while restricting the level of movement. Each time you put them on and take them off, they open completely to prevent pain or swelling from intensifying. They come with a band positioned transversely across the chest where it is fastened.
- Straps: The fastening system is through straps that adjust at chest level, so that it is easy to put them on, while allowing adjustment depending on how you prefer to wear them or how you need them, either tighter or looser. So that they fit more snugly around the shoulder, providing greater stability and support to this area.
- Velcro: Sports compression shoulder straps with a Velcro fastening system are quite common and easy to remove and put on. The way they fit allows the athlete to adapt perfectly to his body and the anatomy of his shoulder, giving him exact support, just as he needs it, and which he will find it difficult to get rid of.
The size is another of the most important characteristics that you have to take into account when choosing your own sports compression shoulder brace, since you cannot opt for one that is neither too loose nor too tight, otherwise it would be providing the opposite of what it was designed for and what you bought it for.
So, we could say that in the market there are compression shoulder sleeves that are one size fits all, adjusting to the thickness and size of the body of each person. This is mainly due to the material they are made of (mostly elastic), and the type of support they have, which is fully adjustable and adaptable to the contours of the body, also proving to be effective.
But if you are one of those people who prefer an exact measurement, here we explain how to get it. To do so, simply take a tape measure and measure the distance from your shoulder to the other shoulder but along your chest, and then do the same with the thickness of your arm at shoulder level.
Most of the sports compression shoulder braces on the market are characterised by their sober design, focused more than anything else on guaranteeing the function they fulfil for the athlete so as not to lose efficiency, functionality or usefulness.
Thus, when you go to search for the perfect garment, you will notice that the most common models are minimalist and in the most common colours, such as black, grey, dark green, navy blue, one or the other in white or light blue. Although you may come across some compressive shoulder sleeves that have small colourful prints on them. However, the focus seems to be more on the use given.
The prices of sports compression shoulder braces vary depending on all their features, which include the ones explained above. This means that, as the garment becomes more specialised and more specific to a certain type of function or use, the more expensive it will be, all of this while also taking into account the needs of the joint.
Remember that buying a compression shoulder brace also means making an investment in the future, in order to avoid complicated operations or surgical interventions that could worsen the situation of your shoulder. Without further ado, we would like to show you some approximate prices, from the lowest to the highest, for you to keep in mind when making your purchase, also for illustrative purposes.
Do compression shoulder braces for boxing and contact sports really work?
As we saw throughout the article, compression shoulder braces are responsible for serving as extra support for all kinds of repetitive or very intense movements, which have to perform the player of any type of fighting sport and physical impact, where the joint is also in significant exposure for being one of the points that is more prone to trauma.
Prevention and support in the treatment of shoulder injuries are two of the benefits that sports shoulder sleeves can guarantee. All this with the aim of keeping your body healthy and free of traumas that could become serious, since the idea is that you enjoy the sport you do without having to worry about dangerous consequences that will make it impossible to continue practising it.
So, compression therapy is an excellent option, as well as being effective and non-invasive, it will allow you to keep your shoulders healthy so that you can be sure that you will avoid serious injuries that your shoulder alone would not be able to cope with.