How to Prevent Brain Damage in Boxing

In boxing, a knockout or concussive brain damage occurs when the brain is rocked back and forth in your skull. When your head is struck, your brain sloshes against the walls of your skull and the brain connections are temporarily disrupted.

The disruptions mean you got stunned, buzzed, rocked, or knocked out.

You can’t avoid such injuries totally, but you can take various measures that aid in how to prevent brain damage in boxing. 

Did you know that most boxing players suffer from brain damages and concussions? However, you can prevent brain damage by taking certain measures, the measures include:

  • Do Exercises to Strengthen Neck Muscles
  • Strengthen your neck muscles
  • Wrap a towel around your head during boxing
  •  Use a good mouthpiece
  • Supplementation

Let’s look at how you can prevent brain damage during boxing!

How to Prevent Brain Damage in Boxing

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The following are the various precautions you can take to prevent brain damage during boxing:

1. Use a Good Mouthpiece

A good mouthpiece does not only guard your gums and teeth but also creates a separation between the jaw bone and the base of the skull. 

The mouthpiece acts as a shock absorber and reduces the amount of bone-on-bone contact during boxing. 

It does this by adding an air pocket between your jaw and brain thus reducing the impact of the blow to your head.

Related article: Best mouthguards for boxing

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2. Supplementation

Most boxers suffer from oxidative brain damage which can be prevented by supplementation of antioxidants and intake of vitamin C and E. 

Antioxidants help decrease brain damage to the substantia nigra (the part of the brain that produces dopamine). Intake of Vitamin C and E will help preserve the neurons and will help you to keep thinking clearly. 

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3. Wrap a Towel Around Your Head

Another way to prevent brain damage is by tying a wrapped towel around your head. The towel will provide resistance that will make it hard for you to turn your head when nodding your head.

It is a safe and effective approach as it utilizes natural opposition, force, and gravity to provide resistance. 

Also, you can do bridges, this can be achieved by placing a towel or a pad on the head and resting your head on it. After this, rise up on your toes and balance while using your neck muscles to hold you up. 

Then, rotate your head at all angles and you should do it in a way that you are not compressing your spine. These exercises will put pressure on the neck muscles thus increasing the resistance to brain damage.

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Related read: Best shin guards MMA

 4. Do Exercises to Strengthen Neck Muscles

Having good techniques while boxing is the best form of protection you can employ. One of the things you can do is exercise your neck muscles. The stronger your neck muscles the more they will increase your ability to absorb the impact from each punch. 

Also, strong neck muscles will hold your head firmly such that even after taking a clean blow, the acceleration is reduced and your head brain is protected from the impact.

You can do at least three- ten-minute exercises per week to achieve this. You can exercise by using a traditional neck strengthening device to work out your neck muscles. While using the device, make sure you work out all sides of your neck equally. 

Though doing neck exercises may seem irrelevant, it can have a great effect on your ability to take a punch because it reduces the impact of the blow on your brain.

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5. Know Your Limits

Your health should be the first priority, in case you feel that you are experiencing concussions or other health problems, always consult a doctor. 

There is no harm in being safe, especially where the health of your brain is involved.

Frequently Asked Questions on Brain Damage During Boxing

Can Hitting Your Head Cause a Brain Bleed?

Yes, hitting your head may cause brain bleeding, a condition referred to as Intracranial hematomas. The force from the blow may rupture the brain’s delicate blood vessels, causing the blood to fill the intracranial space.  

The blood compresses the brain and this kills the brain cells by cutting off their blood-oxygen supply. As a boxer, you should regularly go for brain checkups because brain bleeding may occur even when you have not gotten any injuries or lost consciousness. 

The earlier the bleed is spotted the fewer implications it will cause to your brain.

Is Boxing Safe for Your Head?

Boxers are at a high risk of getting brain injuries as a result of repeated blows to the head.  Concussions are the first indications of brain damage and are followed by a more serious condition known as neurodegenerative disease.  

Concussions however occur less in amateur boxing as compared to professional boxing. The reason why amateur boxing is safer for the head is that the match lasts for a short duration and safety considerations are adhered to strictly.

Can One Punch Cause Brain Damage?

One punch may be enough to cause permanent or life-altering brain damage no matter how old, strong, or experienced you are in fighting. 

When one is punched on the head, the impact will cause the brain to hit the skull. The brain may then rebound and hit the other side of the skull causing the twisting of the brain.  

In the process, the neurons and cells making up the soft brain tissue can be damaged and torn apart. 

The conditions that may result from this include:

– Concussions
– Skull fracture
– Damage to the brain stem 
– Swelling of the brain

The brain has a limited capacity to heal itself, as a boxer you should take precautions while in the fighting ring to protect your head from the blows. 

Remember that after you sustain brain damage you may not be able to go back to work and it may also affect the way you do your basic tasks such as cooking, walking, etc. Therefore, take note on measures teaching how to prevent brain damage in boxing.

We hope the text was helpful!

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