Training and Physiotherapy


The Role Physiotherapy Can Play to Reduce Injuries in Mixed Martial Arts

Physiotherapy and Injury Prevention: A Guest Blog From Leading Physiotherapist Patrick Mulligan of Pall Mall Physio

MMA is rapidly becoming one of the biggest sports in the North West of England with Liverpool a hot bed of talent. These athletes insatiable desire for achieving those marginal gains means that their bodies are often pushed to their limits and risking injury.

Within our Liverpool Physio Clinic we are working with some of the best young MMA talent in the North West and here we look at strategies aimed at preventing injuries in MMA.

What are the risk factors for injury?

Does more training necessarily mean increased risk of injury? With a heightened awareness through social media & the wider internet we are seeing the rise of hard training as a trend. However, is this detrimental? And should we be looking to train “smarter” rather than “harder”? The below info-graphic ( details more eloquently than I could:

Images courtesy of Authors Tim Gabbett BJSM 2016 and @YLMSportsScience

Images courtesy of Authors Tim Gabbett BJSM 2016 and @YLMSportsScience

So what’s the solution?

Easy. A structured and graded training programme with the end goal in mind ideally under the guidance of a coach/personal trainer/strength and conditioner will go a long way.

First we need to break down a brutal and primal sport and look at the most Common Injuries:

  • Elbow and Knee Hyper extensions
  • Lacerations
  • Knee ACL Injuries
  • Shoulder Dislocations
  • Knee Meniscal Injuries

To name but a few.

How can your personal trainer, coach or physiotherapist help to prevent those injuries in Mixed Martial Arts?

  1. Carefully Monitor your training Load. Over training can lead to a decrease in performance and at our Liverpool Physio clinic we often see mixed martial artists present with tendon injuries such as patellar and biceps from a sudden spike in activity. These injuries although common are often ignored in the early stages but easily managed when accurately diagnosed.
  2. Do not underestimate the power of flexibility. Nobody likes it. It takes a considerable amount of time but its so important to prevent those soft tissue injuries that can really stop a training camp of programme in its tracks. There are lots of avenues to make stretching a little less laborious. At Pall Mall Physio we use stretch bands with our clients and these tend to increase compliance to the stretching programme given out. The option of yoga be it hot or normal is a viable alternative.
  3. Foam Rolling. A fantastic piece of equipment that should be a mainstay of any athletes daily routine. Foam rolling can smooth and lengthens your muscles, and assist in the breaking up adhesions and scar tissue

foam rolling


  1. Strengthen weak muscle groups. All of our highly skilled physiotherapists at Pall Mall Physio carry out pre participation screening of people participating on sport and can identify areas of weakness: commonly; rotatory cuff, gluteals, neck stability.
  1. Allow adequate time for your body to recover.
  • Quality sleep in adequate quantity is where it all starts.
  • Ice bath or use of a cryo spa if available
  • A sports massage from a frequency of weekly to monthly depending on training load.
  • Appropriate nutrition will also fuel your workouts and recovery.
  • Recovery Days where there is no normal training are vital


  1. Sports Massage:
  • There are a lot of benefits to sports massage for maintenance. We have many of the physio team in Liverpool whose clients are attending 1-2 per month for maintenance and injury preventative sports massage.
  • Benefits include:
  • Increase blood supply to the area
  • Release areas of tensions or trigger points
  • Releasing muscle tension helps to release stress and anxiety
  • Prepares muscles for stretching or sporting activity
  • Warm up the muscles

If you would like to know anymore about how Physiotherapy can limit your risk of injury our site in Liverpool City Centre carry out detailed assessments of athletes and also provide maintenance packages to keep you training.

Our contact details are

Pall Mall Physio 5 St Pauls Sqaure, Liverpool, L3 9SJ.

Facebook: Pall Mall Physio

Twitter: @PallMallPhysio


Phone: 0151 244 4262


About Author

I am an ex-professional athlete & personal trainer based in No Limits Strength & Conditioning Gym in Liverpool I have the first-hand experience of first class training and nutrition. I can build a program to suit your goals and needs, teaching you everything you need to make that transformation. A keen interest in Nutrition and exercise has led to me to enrolling on Exercise and Sport Science Degree which allows me to bring advanced and ground breaking methods into practice. Whether you’re interested in muscle gain, fat loss or performance I have proven strategies to produce continual progress with my clients.

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