BJJ Mat Burn On Knees: Ultimate Guide to Preventing and Treating

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It’s an intense sport that requires precision, technique, and strength.

Unfortunately, like in any physical activity, injuries can happen. One of the most common injuries in BJJ is mat burn on the knees.

What is BJJ Mat Burn?

BJJ is a popular sport that has many health benefits, but it also comes with risks.

One of those risks is mat burn on the knees, which can be painful and uncomfortable. A mat burn is an abrasion caused by friction between your skin and the mat surface. It happens when you slide or drag your knee across the mat without proper protection.

This friction can cause small abrasions on the skin, which can become infected if not properly treated.

The combination of pressure and rubbing can lead to a painful rash that may make it difficult to train.

mat burn on knees
Mat burn on knees wrestling and BJJ; Google Images caption

Why BJJ Practitioners Need to Protect Their Knees

The resulting friction creates heat which can cause redness, inflammation, and even blistering on your skin. Protecting your knees during BJJ practice is crucial for preventing mat burn as well as other more serious injuries such as ligament tears or joint damage.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, it’s important to take precautions to avoid unnecessary pain and injury so you can focus on improving your skills and enjoying the art of BJJ without discomfort or setbacks caused by mat burns.

In this article, we will explore why it’s so important to protect your knees during BJJ practice and how to prevent and treat mat burns effectively.

Explanation of how mat burn happens on the knees during BJJ practice

When performing BJJ techniques such as takedowns or sweeps, practitioners often use their knees to create leverage and control their opponent. This means that there is a lot of pressure placed on the knees when training on hard surfaces like mats.

In addition to the pressure, there is also friction involved when moving around on the mats.

As you slide your legs across the surface during drills or rolling sessions, your skin rubs against the mat fabric which causes irritation leading to mat burn.

Importance of protecting your knees from mat burn

Protecting your knees from mat burn is crucial in order to avoid pain and discomfort while practicing jiu jitsu.

If left untreated or ignored for an extended period of time, these minor injuries can worsen and develop into more serious conditions like infections or open wounds.

Additionally, inadequate protection for your kneecaps may disrupt training schedules especially when you are dealing with acute knee injuries such as burns which could take up days before they heal completely preventing one from stepping back into training for a while after sustaining such injury.

Therefore it’s important to take preventative measures like wearing knee pads or compression sleeves in order to protect yourself from mat burns on your knees while practicing BJJ.

mcdavid 410 knee pad with sorbothane insert
McDavid 410 knee pad with Sorbothane insert

Friction burns on knees after first BJJ lesson

Friction burns on the knees are quite common after your first jiu jitsu lessons.

It’s a result of the intense training, grappling, and groundwork that you engage in during your session. They just happen due to the nature of the sport.

BJJ involves close-contact grappling fighting, where your knees constantly come into contact with the mat as you maneuver and transition during training.

While they may be uncomfortable initially, they are a common part of the learning process in BJJ.

However, don’t worry! They’re a temporary part of the learning process and a sign that you’re actively participating and putting in the effort on the mats.

With time, your body will adapt, and your technique will improve, resulting in fewer friction burns. Embrace them as battle scars that demonstrate your dedication to the sport and keep pushing forward.

Types of Mats that can cause Mat Burns

The type of mats used in training can have a significant impact on whether or not you experience mat burns.

Some types of mats are more prone to causing friction and irritation than others. For example, mats made from foam tend to be softer and more forgiving than harder surfaces like vinyl or carpeting.

bjj puzzle mats
Soft EVA BJJ puzzle mats

A common type of mat used in BJJ practice is called a tatami mat. Tatami mats are popular because they provide excellent traction for grappling and offer cushioning for falls.

However, tatami mats are also notorious for causing mat burns due to their rough texture. The surface can be particularly abrasive after prolonged use or when it has become damp from sweat.

tatami bjj mats
Tatami jiu jitsu mats

Prevention Tips for BJJ Mat Burn

Wearing Knee Pads or Compression Sleeves

Wearing knee pads or compression sleeves are great ways to protect your knees from mat burn during BJJ practice.

Knee pads act as a cushion between your knees and the mat while compression sleeves help to reduce friction and pressure on your skin.

When selecting knee pads, it’s important to choose ones that fit well and won’t shift or slide during practice.

Compression Sleeves knees
Compression Sleeves for Knees

Some great options include neoprene knee pads with extra padding, gel-filled pads, or even volleyball knee pads. Compression sleeves are also a popular choice because they provide a snug fit while still allowing for full range of motion.

Using Proper Technique When Executing Moves

Using proper technique when executing moves is crucial to prevent mat burn on your knees during BJJ practice.

For example, when performing takedowns, be sure to keep your weight centered over your feet rather than putting too much pressure on your knees.

Additionally, when executing sweeps or transitions, try to use your entire body rather than relying solely on your knees. This will not only help prevent mat burn but also reduce the risk of injury.

Choosing the Right Type of Clothing

Another key factor in preventing mat burn is choosing the right type of clothing for BJJ practice. Avoid loose-fitting clothing that can get caught on the mats and cause friction burns on your skin.

Instead, opt for form-fitting clothes made from materials like spandex or nylon that will help minimize friction and protect against mat burn.

It’s also important to avoid clothing with zippers, buttons or other hard embellishments that can scrape against the skin during grappling sessions.

By incorporating these prevention tips into your BJJ training regimen, you can ensure that you’re protecting yourself against painful and irritating mat burns on the knees.

Remember, prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to injuries.

Treatment for BJJ Mat Burn: How do you fix a mat burn in BJJ?

Cleaning and disinfecting the affected area

Once you’ve identified a mat burn on your knee, the first step in treatment is to clean and disinfect the affected area.

  • Use soap and water to gently wash the wound, being careful not to cause further irritation or damage.
  • After washing, pat the area dry with a clean towel. To disinfect the wound, use an antiseptic solution like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply a small amount of solution to the wound using a cotton ball or swab. This will help kill any bacteria that may have entered through the broken skin.

Applying ointments or creams to promote healing

After cleaning and disinfecting the mat burn on your knee, it’s important to apply an ointment or cream that will promote healing.

Look for a product that contains ingredients like vitamin E, aloe vera, or tea tree oil – all of which have been shown to aid in skin healing.

What ointment is good for mat burns? One of the popular ointments for this case is Neosporin.

neosporin for mat burns
Neosporin ointment for mat burns

Apply a thin layer of ointment or cream over the affected area twice daily until fully healed.

Be sure to follow any instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist and look out for any signs of mat burn infection (such as redness, swelling, pain) that may require additional medical attention.

Resting and avoiding further irritation

It’s important to rest your knee and avoid further irritation while it heals from mat burn.

This means taking some time off from BJJ practice until your skin has fully healed over (usually 1-2 weeks). During this time, be gentle with your knee – avoid kneeling on hard surfaces or wearing tight clothing that may rub against the affected area.

If you must continue practicing BJJ while dealing with mat burn on your knee, consider wearing protective gear like compression sleeves or lightweight knee pads that will help cushion and protect the affected area.

And always listen to your body – if you’re feeling pain or discomfort, take a break and focus on healing your knee before jumping back into practice.

Conclusion: Protecting Your Knees from Mat Burns

Recap Importance of Protecting Your Knees During BJJ Practice

Mat burn is a common injury that can happen during BJJ practice.

It occurs when the friction and pressure between your skin and the mat create a painful burn, most commonly on the knees. While it may seem like a minor injury, it can become infected or lead to further complications if not treated properly.

Protecting your knees from mat burn is important for both short-term and long-term health. Knee pads or compression sleeves are essential gear to have on hand during BJJ practice.

They protect your skin against abrasions and provide additional padding to reduce pressure on your knees. Proper technique is also crucial in minimizing the risk of getting mat burns.

Encouragement to Take Preventative Measures Against Mat Burns

Don’t wait until you get a mat burn to start taking preventative measures!

There are several ways you can protect your knees before an injury occurs. First and foremost, invest in quality knee pads or compression sleeves.

You may even want to consider wearing them during warm-up exercises as well as during actual sparring sessions.

Additionally, make sure you’re using proper technique when executing moves that require you to put pressure on your knees.

Avoid dragging them across the mat or leaving them exposed for too long. Choose clothing made from materials that don’t grip the mat too tightly.

By following these preventative measures, you’ll be able to enjoy BJJ practice without worrying about painful injuries like mat burns on your knees! Stay safe and have fun out there.

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