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Injury Prevention in BJJ with Ivan Carmosino

One of the most talked about topics in BJJ is injury prevention. What can we do to remain injury-free, so that we can stay on the mat, doing what we love to do?

For over six years, FisioPro1 founder and practicing physical therapist Ivan Carmosino has worked with Professor Andre Galvao, helping him not only to overcome minor and major injuries throughout his career, but also to prevent them. His specialized injury-prevention program has been instrumental in keeping Professor Galvao in peak physical health, allowing him to train harder and longer than the average athlete without fear of preventable injury.

Recently, Ivan and Professor Galvao joined up to bring you the Atos Online “Strength and Mobility Bodyweight Program”, an exclusive Atos Online Instructional, specifically tailored around the unique needs of the BJJ practitioner.

We sat down with Ivan to get the inside scoop on his history and philosophy, as well as insight into the most common BJJ-related injuries and how to prevent them! Check it out…

Q: How did you first become interested in physiotherapy? What interested you most?

I grew up watching my dad practice medicine. My dad was one of my biggest mentors, a renowned orthopedic physician in Brazil. He worked for many years with a professional soccer team, treating lots of sports related injuries. My sister is also a Physical Therapist. My decision to pursue physiotherapy, was largely due to my upbringing.

In my youth, I was involved in lots of sports. I followed the career of one of the best soccer player of all time, Ronaldo, who had suffered a really bad knee injury. During that time, there was a lot of speculation that he would not return to sport. After intensive rehab, he returned to his professional career. Many people attribute his remarkable recovery to his physical therapist. This was really fascinating to me. All of my experiences contributed to my pursuit of Physical Therapy, with a specialization in sports rehab and performance.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your “postural methodology”? Why is that important for athletes?

After many years studying and working, I’ve learned that the cause of many sports-related injuries are a direct result of postural disorders and muscular imbalances. Working toward improving muscle symmetry and postural correction can positively impact sports performance, and reduce the risk of injury.

Q: How long have you been working with Andre Galvao? What do you focus on for high-level athletes like him?

I started working with Professor André Galvão in 2014, right after his knee injury. As part of the rehab program, a big focus was on enhancing sports performance and building an injury prevention program specific to BJJ in order to keep him healthy and injury-free. I had the pleasure of working with him on the last three ADCC training camps, numerous IBJJF tournaments, and his super fights. I use this same kind of sport-specific injury prevention strategy with a lot of my athletes.

Q: What injuries do you see most in BJJ practitioners? Why do you think that is?

With BJJ practitioners, I see a lot of back injuries, mainly in the lower back and neck regions. These injuries are common due to the nature of the sport; the bending, twisting, and inverting movements and forces cause excessive stress and compression, frequently leading to injury.

Knee and shoulder injuries are also common, often caused by trauma, joint hyperextension, and torn ligaments. Elbow injuries are also commonly seen in rehab, due to repetitive movements causing inflammations of the tendons.

Q: You work with many MMA fighters as well… What injuries do you see most in mixed martial artists?

In MMA we see more injuries related to trauma, like fractures or lacerations. Back injuries, specifically of the neck and lower back region, are also common. Concussions are also frequent and complicated injuries, but not as often seen in the clinic. There is limited research on the most effective rehabilitative approach for this type of injury.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best way for BJJ athletes to prevent injuries during training and competition?

I really believe that we need to have more research in the area of injury prevention specific to jiu-jitsu, like we have in other sports like soccer or football. This is where I’ve focused my energy in the past few years. I see a lot of athletes training without any professional and specialized help.

At FisioPro1, we have a specialized MMA and BJJ-injury prevention program, where we help our athletes improve their performance, correct muscular imbalances, and prepare the body for all trainings and competitions.  I’ve worked for many years with a professional soccer team, as well as many MMA and BJJ fighters. My experiences have helped me develop this specialized program.

Q:  You and your wife Christina founded FisioPro1. What is special about your clinic?

We are a distinctive sports performance and rehab clinic in San Diego. We work with a variety of clients ranging from young adults to seniors, as well as professional level athletes. Our passion is to help people achieve their personal or professional goals and to improve their quality of life, always focusing on longevity, not only in sport, but also in life.