Physiotherapy for BJJ: A Guide to Treating Common Injuries

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BJJ Injury Rehab at Bodyfocus Physiotherapy Rhodes

Introduction to BJJ Injuries and Physiotherapy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is 100% a physically demanding martial art. While it offers numerous benefits, it also poses a risk of injury to the practitioner. This guide explains common BJJ injuries and the role of physiotherapy in their management.

Knee Injuries in BJJ and Physiotherapy Intervention

Understanding Knee Injuries in BJJ

Knee injuries, such as ligament tears and patellar tendinitis, are common in BJJ. These injuries often result from the sport’s dynamic movements, dangerous submission attempts as well as an individuals lack of joint awareness resulting in a failure to tap their partner in time. Did we mention ego as well? Yes, unfortunately this is a realilty seen in most BJJ clubs. There are a small percentage of practitioners who do not like to tap simply because of their pride or in particular if their opponent is a lower ranked practitioner. Maybe this can be saved for another post.

BJJ knee Injury Rehab at Bodyfocus Physiotherapy Rhodes

The Role of a Physiotherapist in Treating Knee Injuries

A physiotherapist begins their process firstly by assessing the injury in order to arrive at a diagnosis. They must decide whether scans or investigations are warranted, in particular to rule out fracture and major ligament ruptures. Once the physiotherapist has a working diagnosis and treatment is indicated, the first priority will be to alleviate pain and restore movement. Further along, physiotherapy sessions focus on rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the knee and lower limb in general, enhance flexibility, and prevent future injuries.

Shoulder Injuries in BJJ: Physiotherapy Approaches

BJJ Shoulder Injury at Bodyfocus Physiotherapy Rhodes

Identifying Common Shoulder Injuries

BJJ practitioners often face shoulder injuries like rotator cuff tears, AC joint tears, and dislocations due to falls, repetitive movements, aggressive submission attempts and late tapping by a practitioner. In rare cases, fractures may even occur to the shoulder, humerus shaft and the elbow joint.

How Physiotherapy Aids Shoulder Recovery

Initial physiotherapy management aims to assess and diagnose the injury. This is crucial as there are many potential structures that can be damaged. Scans and x-rays may also be warranted depending on the extent of the injury and presentation. Once the physiotherapist is cleared to commence treatment, the first priority is to manage pain, swelling and restoration of movement. As the patient progresses the focus will be on appropriate rehabilitation involving specific exercises to regain shoulder strength, stability and mobility. The physiotherapist will also advise on when and ‘how’ the patient can return back to BJJ training. Typically this may take weeks depending on the injury.

Neck Strains in BJJ and the Importance of Physiotherapy

BJJ Neck Injury at Bodyfocus Physiotherapy Rhodes

Types of Neck Injuries in BJJ

Neck strains, sprains, and more serious cervical injuries can occur due to the intense nature of BJJ. In particular, certain techniques involve placing your opponents neck in compromising positions. Not to mention, certain submission techniques like the guillotine, neck crank and various chokes all place strain on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the neck.

Physiotherapy Management for Neck Injuries

Initial physiotherapy management aims to assess and diagnose the injury. This is very important. A comprehensive orthopaedic assessment including nerve testing needs to be performed to rule out any serious spinal disc and nerve damage. Initially, the physiotherapist typically recommends rest and gentle treatments aimed at reducing the patient’s pain and making them more comfortable. A typical treatment may involve massage, manual therapy, traction, dry needling and gentle stretches for the patient to do at home. Progressive physiotherapy includes strengthening and flexibility exercises for the neck and education on proper posture. Again, the physiotherapist will advise on when and ‘how’ the patient can return back to BJJ training. Typically this may take weeks depending on the injury.

Conclusion: The Integral Role of Physiotherapy in BJJ

Like any other sporting group, timely physiotherapy is essential for effectively treating and preventing injuries in BJJ. A skilled physiotherapist not only helps in the recovery from injuries but also educates practitioners on techniques and practices to avoid future injuries, enhancing overall performance in the sport.

Meet Our 2 Resident BJJ Practitioners!

Both Jenny and Kevin W are active practitioners of BJJ and are very passionate about helping their fellow BJJ practitioners bounce back from their injuries.

You can find Jenny and Kevin W at our Bodyfocus Physiotherapy clinic located on Level 8 of the Rhodes Shopping Centre, above the cinemas and foodcourt. Call us on 8732 8888 or simply click on the online booking button to arrange your appointment.

BJJ Injury Physio Team at Bodyfocus Physiotherapy Rhodes


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Helen Shang
Helen Shang
08:07 11 Mar 21
After Oscar left the company, the staff there not really care patient, so disappoint
Howard Pink
Howard Pink
13:58 06 Feb 21
Dr Louis is the best! He fixed me so many times. Highly recommend!
01:39 22 Jan 21
Hopefully I'm never injured again, but if I am, Jay at BodyFocus will be my first point of contact. He helped immensely... with a nagging & long term Shoulder & Lower Back injury.I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a quality Physio.read more
09:41 21 Jul 20
I would highly recommend this Physio clinic as they prove to give results to their clients especially Jay!
rupsikha baruah
rupsikha baruah
11:26 25 Feb 20
Friendly staff. Lvl 8 in Rhodes Shopping Centre..accessible via lift. You have to pay..check for discounts.
Fahad Alotaibi
Fahad Alotaibi
00:10 28 Nov 19
Excellent service with dr Louis. Have really back pain due to having a bad massage previously. So he really... helped.Thanksread more
Mellissa Admin
Mellissa Admin
01:01 11 Sep 19
I work in the local area and have found Bodyfocus to be amazing and would highly recommend. I had the pleasure of... having Sarah as my physio and she was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She explained my injuries to me in easy to understand language and was able to get me back on my feet quickly. Every interaction with staff at Bodyfocus has been extremely positive and helpful. Would not go anywhere else now for physio.read more
Vanessa reinmuth
Vanessa reinmuth
06:48 07 Sep 19
Would recommend this place in a heartbeat! The service and care provided is second to none. In particular, I'd like to... call out Lauren who has been nothing but amazing, supportive and genuinely interested in how I'm progressing. I injured my hip and initially went to a physiotherapist closer to where I live, but my condition didn't get any better, so I decided to come over to Rhodes and give Bodyfocus a try - right after the first session I felt an instant relief. That was a few weeks ago and my mobility has been steadily increasing, while the pain has become so much better. Lauren also motivated me to exercise and I actually enjoy it. Overall, it's just been a fantastic experience.read more
Yuyan Cai
Yuyan Cai
00:43 04 Sep 19
Highly recommend Sarah. Her attitude and knowledge has made my recovery a quick and easy process. She has a great... understanding of how the body works and teaches you the process to live life to the fullest.Do not hesitate to reach out and connect with this amazing physio!read more
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Based on 130+ reviews

Lucy-May Pitt

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Charles Sturt University)

Lucy is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated from Charles Sturt University Albury- Wodonga

With a background as a professional ballerina in both Australia and the UK, Lucy has gained an in-depth understanding of the demands that sport can put on the body and the physical and mental requirements to become a successful athlete. Unfortunately Lucy’s career was cut short due to injury, which is what inspired her to become a Physiotherapist. She is passionate about injury recovery and prevention and works with her patients to keep them as active as possible while they heal. 

With an interest in sports, Lucy was the Head Sports Trainer with an O&M league AFL team in Albury for 

2 seasons where she worked with the team on injury prevention and attended to the players injuries on

 the field. She also has experience in Women’s Health and Vestibular conditions as well as inpatient

 rehabilitation in hospitals. 

Lucy uses a combination of hands on therapy, taping, mobilisations and dry needling techniques to

 accompany her exercise based approach. She also has experience teaching both mat based and 

reformer pilates and believes it is an excellent way to aid in injury prevention. 

Having recently moved to Sydney, Lucy is on the hunt for the best hiking locations! In her spare time, 

you can find her at the gym exploring Sydney with friends of getting stuck in a good book


Lucy has completed advanced training in: 

  • Sports trainer level 1 
  • Trigger point Dry Needling 

Sabina Bireroglu

BHlthSc/ MPodMed Podiatrist

Sabina has completed a Bachelor of Health Science/Mastering in Podiatric Medicine at University of Western Sydney. She has experienced working in different treatment settings including private practice, hospitals and mobile care. One experience in which takes forefront in her experiences is working in Ireland at Merlin Park Hospital.

She incorporates evidence based treatment plans in all scopes of podiatry including the general and chronic foot, injuries and pain, nail surgery, biomechanics and paediatrics. Outside of the clinic environment Sabina enjoys running, playing netball and playing the violin.

Dr Louis Darmizin


From early childhood, Louis was exposed to Chiropractic due to his scoliosis and constant back pain. Being only 10 years of age, he was unable to participate in social and sports activities in fear of being in pain. Upon seeing the benefits of Chiropractic for his back, Louis focused his life on helping others achieving a pain free and healthy lifestyle.

Louis graduated with a Bachelor and Masters of Chiropractic Science from Macquarie University. After practicing in the best clinics in Sydney, he is now the founder of Dynamic Spine Clinic. He is a very passionate and motivated practitioner that makes your problems his own.

Louis has a extensive knowledge in posture and back related injuries. He combines his treatment with soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, rehabilitation and lifestyle advice. His treatments are individualized to suit each patient in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

Louis has a passion for soccer, tennis and rugby. He also earned local, regional and state level competition titles as a squad swimmer.

His goal is to inspire, educate and encourage his patients to reach a happy and enjoyable lifestyle. He believes that Chiropractic care is an essential tool to maintain wellness, improve posture, eliminate pain and stress.

Sarah D’arcy

Physiotherapist - General & Women's Health Physiotherapy

Sarah is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated with distinction from Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW. Sarah has worked within the public health system and has experience in orthopaedic, fracture clinic, medical, respiratory, musculoskeletal, rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, emergency department, intensive care and women’s health physiotherapy.

Sarah has an interest in all areas of musculoskeletal physiotherapy and is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge to grow as a clinician. Sarah is highly ambitious and applies herself in all areas of work and life. She is driven by her desire to become a go-to physiotherapist by providing the best evidenced-based care to all of her clients to achieve positive outcomes. Sarah enjoys staying active, being outdoors, and socialising. Sarah enjoys new experiences and is always willing to try new things. Sarah believes you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to put in the effort.

Sarah has completed training in comprehensive assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor. This includes complete subjective and objective (including internal examinations) of pelvic floor problems, such as:

  • Bladder and bowel issues
  • Antenatal and postnatal pelvic floor
  • Pregnancy related back pain
  • Pre and postnatal exercise
  • ProlapseTears during child birth

Sarah consults from our Rhodes clinic.



Wilson graduated from University of Sydney as a physiotherapist and he has always been keen on learning new things so that he can do what is best for patients. On top of ongoing professional development, he completed a Master in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy from University of Melbourne to gain further knowledge.

Wilson has worked in various private practices in the past and managed a variety of clienteles, from acute musculoskeletal and sports injuries to pre/post-op rehabilitation, and from injury prevention to performance enhancement. He has also done a range of sports coverage as a physiotherapist, such as City2Surf and Sydney Half Marathon etc.

Wilson has done extensive training and obtained certifications in multiple techniques and areas, below are some examples but not limited to:

  • Dry Needling
  • Mulligan’s Concepts
  • McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Sports Level 1 and 2

When Wilson is not working and not injured (if injured, rest and doing own rehab), he plays competitive table tennis. He is also a recreational road and trail runner.

Wilson can speak Cantonese and Mandarin.

Jay Kasthuriarachchi Senior Physiotherapist

APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist
Masters of Sports Physiotherapy (La Trobe)

Jay is a relaxed yet attentive and thorough physiotherapist whose passion lies in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He has worked in private practices in North Sydney and Richmond, as well as doing sports coverage work over a variety of sports including Gridiron, Football (Soccer), Rugby Union, Rugby League, AFL and is currently the lead physiotherapist of the West Tigers Under 21’s (Jersey Flegg). This opportunity has allowed him to spend time with the NRL squad, assisting with the rehab of their injured 1st grade players. He was also recently part of the medical team working at the GoldCoast Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Jay has recently completed his postgraduate qualifications in Sports Physiotherapy at La Trobe University. This course allowed him to learn of senior physiotherapists at the GWS Giants, and Rugby Australia, learning their rehab techniques and long term injury prevention strategies. Jay is extremely knowledgeable and skillful with the ability to lead you to excellent results. He will find out why you cannot perform at your peak and develop a treatment plan that addresses your goals.

Jay also has had experience playing cricket, having played 1st grade cricket for the North-West Sydney Hurricanes in the Sydney Shires Competition and understands the frustration that “weekend warrior” athletes have with missing out on playing sports due to an injury.

He has completed advanced training in:

  • Advanced Hip and Groin
  • Sports Level 2 (APA)
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Level 2