The Most Common Wrestling Injuries


The Most Common Wrestling Injuries


Wrestling is a tough physical sport, which demands strength, agility, quick thinking and endurance. As a contact sport, it is no surprise that the risk of injuries is high, but what are the most common types of injury and what can you do to reduce your risk of being injured while wrestling?

Common wrestling injuries

The most common wrestling injuries include:


Bruising occurs when the capillaries (the smallest type of blood vessel) burst. Bruises are usually blue or purple in colour and they are visible on the skin. In wrestling, bruising is extremely common due to the physical body contact and moves such as throws and take downs. Severe, prolonged bruising of the ear can also result in a condition commonly known as cauliflower ear, which occurs when the top of the ear becomes swollen so that it looks like a cauliflower.


Sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding a joint are out under pressure and become stretched. In wrestling, ankle and wrist sprains are very common due to the nature of the throwing movements and the risk of falling and landing awkwardly.

Shoulder injuries

The shoulder joints come under extreme pressure in wrestling and there is a high risk of injuries including dislocation and soft tissue damage. There is also a risk of overuse injuries, which occur as a result of repeated movements and actions, such as throwing the opponent to the ground.

Dislocated collar bone

Falling is part and parcel of wrestling and one major injury risk is a broken collar bone (clavicle); this usually occurs when you land and put your hand out to break the fall. The impact of the fall travels up the arm causing the collar bone to be dislocated.


Dehydration is common in wrestlers who are trying to make a certain weight in order to compete in a specific class or category. Dehydration can cause dizziness, tiredness, loos of concentration and low blood pressure and athletes should be encouraged to say hydrated at all times to prevent illness and injury.

Missing teeth

As well as causing concussion a steel chair to the head or smashing into a ladder can cause wrestlers all kinds of dental injuries. Chris Jerico, Edge, Chris Benoit and Mankind are just some of the famous names to have lost teeth during matches. It’s possible to save a tooth if it’s been smashed out by holding it by the crown, avoiding the root and storing it in milk to be attached at a later date. Missing a tooth can act as a badge of honour for some of the uglier wrestler’s but the pretty boys have to rely on discreet braces like Cfast to close that gap. (for more info on dentistry in the UK, click this link)

Knee ligament injury

Knee ligament injuries can occur in wrestling as a result of landing awkwardly, twisting the joint or changing direction quickly. The most common types of ligament injury include damage to the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, which run to the inside and outside of the knee respectively. Ligament injuries can range from mild to severe, with the most serious injuries taking many months to heal.


Concussion is a head injury, which can potentially be extremely dangerous. Concussion usually results from impact to the head, which may be a result of a collision with another person or landing on a hard surface. Symptoms of concussion include blurred or double vision, headaches, dizziness and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. It is very important to manage concussion carefully, as the symptoms may be delayed and all athletes who have a suspected head injury are advised to seek medical attention.


Preventing wrestling injuries

There are rules in place to reduce the risk of injury and it is important that competitors comply with these regulations in order to protect themselves and their opponents. Wearing protective equipment is extremely important and it is essential to warm-up properly before every session, whether it’s training or a competitive match. The surface is also vital and referees should ensure that the fight takes place in a suitable environment and take the responsibility to stop play if there is a risk of severe injury.


content provided by Richard Buckley