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Wrestling Injury Risk Factors

There are intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for injury. Intrinsic factors are a child’s individual musculoskeletal issues, which can include skeletal immaturity (bones and joints that are still developing) or muscle weakness. Extrinsic factors are the environment in which an athlete performs, which can include the level of competition: how much, how hard and how long play lasts.

Other common risk factors for wrestling injuries include:

  • Shoulder and knee injuries tend to cause the most severe damage and are responsible for the most time lost from play, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
  • Impact with the mat, floor, or other players can result in injury.
  • Skin infections, including MRSA, have become increasingly common in schools. The three most common skin infections in wrestling are: herpes simplex, ringworm, and impetigo.
  • Wrestlers with an infection may be allowed to drill and participate in workouts, but need to avoid contact with teammates because infections can rapidly spread through a team.
  • Dehydration from training sessions tends to occur in hot and humid rooms.
  • Eating disorders can occur related to attempting to “make weight” to wrestle in a certain class