Common sense says Listen to your Body and Listen to your Doctor.
If your body is telling you something is wrong, don't wait to see your doctor.
Why do injuries happen?
The main cause of injuries is because two people care too much about the engagement. A good question to ask is :
Are the training partners more concerned with safety
or with catching the submission?
Neck / Cervical Injuries
The most common ones are neck crank, can opener type attacks.
There is no real benefit to this. You should never do this to your partner, especially if they are a lower level and unable to recognize what is happening.
In the image below, you can see folding the neck while holding the body down.
Add egos into the mix and you will have a disastrous outcome.
Other aggressive neck manipulations :
These types of manipulations are designed to inhibit motion. If the neck gets compromised, you need to immediately begin to assess if the damage is muscular, nerve or disc related.
A very dangerous stack on the neck that should be avoided at all costs.
Nerve, Disc, Muscular
The right doctor can help determine whether your injury is nerve, disc or muscular related.
A muscular neck injury is evidenced by the difficulty or pain of turning your neck left or right. A nerve or disc injury will generally be felt in the shoulders, arms or hands.
For muscular injuries; icing, resting, possibly massaging can speed your recovery.
Nerve injuries should not be aggravated and you should go see your doctor as soon as possible.
When easing back on the mat from a neck injury, avoid positions where you can't control the person's grabbing of your head. There is a risk of being in someone's guard, they try to control your head and you respond by moving your neck against their control.
Being in the bottom of the half guard also has a lot of neck exposure.
Also be wary of using your head as a base point if you are recovering from a neck injury.
Top half guard, top side control, bottom guard (as long as they are not stacking or grabbing your head) and top mount are generally safer positions where your opponent isn't controlling or looking to control your head.
Always communicate with your partner your situation and make sure you are both on the same page.
"I'm not going to tap because this isn't a real threat"
If this is your mindset, it will be the number one reason you sustain a neck injury.
It's almost always an ego thing.
Cooperative Learning Environment
The standards of the Gracie Academy demands that all Certified Training Centers adhere to Safety over Submission. If this sounds appealing to you, find the Certified Training Center nearest you and don't hesitate to visit us at GRACIE DURHAM anytime.