Can Strep Throat Cause Neurological Problems In Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport and martial art form that has been utilized for over a century. The sport became a staple of every MMA competitor because of its effective system. Essentially the goal is to take the fight to the ground, establish control, get to a dominant position, and submit the opponent.

Learning Jiu-Jitsu is a never-ending task, and people quite often get addicted to polishing their mixed martial art skills.

Missing even one training session can make a difference. So, what if you have a sore throat? Will you still choose to roll on the mats? Is it good to swallow an antibiotic and still get to training? Can strep throat cause neurological problems in Jiu-Jitsu? 

Because no kicks are involved, the neck and joints are the main targets for attack in Jiu-Jitsu. While experiencing many chokes, strep throat may cause muscular compression and potentially lead to neurological issues. 

This MMAWhisperer breakdown will discuss training Jiu-Jitsu with strep throat and some additional tips to mitigate the problem without getting a bigger infection and worsening your condition. 

Can Strep Throat Cause Neurological Problems In Jiu-Jitsu? 

Strep throat in Jiu Jitsu Practitioners

You committed to polishing your mixed martial arts skills, but you have a sore throat. Now what? Can you continue your journey, or can strep throat cause neurological problems in Jiu-Jitsu? 

Training Jiu-Jitsu with strep throat will not cause neurological problems or brain damage. However, training anything can aggravate your already sore throat and make it feel more like burning.

Because Jiu-Jitsu has a unique approach without punching or kicking, it can already bring a lot of repercussions, like throat scratches and bruises. Additionally, discipline is involved with every move, and this combat sport can prepare you for the octagon or real-life encounters

Hopping on antibiotics and two hoodies while going on a 3-mile jog may help you get the fever out. 

However, when it comes to combat sports, especially Jiu-Jitsu, many chokes can worsen your condition. The sore throat may become more serious, and the infection can grow. Plus, there are fellow mixed martial artists that you have to think about and avoid infecting them.

Strep Throat And Jiu-Jitsu 

Can I train Jiu-Jitsu with a strep throat? 

You can train Jiu-Jitsu with strep throat and gather all your strength for that hour. But the question is whether that is the best idea. Despite popular beliefs that practitioners of this martial art form with a lot of experience are not prone to consequences caused by strangulation, there is surely a reason for concern. 

A sore throat before, during, and after training can not only be the reason to reschedule your next-day appointments but also make your condition a lot worse.

I will quote one of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet George St-Pierre who said, “You can practice basketball, you can practice football, but you cannot practice fighting.”. 

If you have strep throat, fever, and nausea before stepping on the mats, you should give your body some time to rest. One week of bed rest would be the most advisable thing to do. 

After all, one bad move in Jiu-Jitsu may lead to brain injury, and that is not something that you can just “walk off” and continue to train. 

How can the condition affect my Jiu-Jitsu performance?

Training with strep throat can increase your pain, and you may experience fever and swollen tonsils. While sparring and utilizing multiple choking moves, you can lose consciousness. The pressure may become too hard to handle for your body, and you may need some antibiotics afterward to help you get back on your feet. 

You have heard it, and we have heard it – “No Days Off”. That is the popular online saying and an often-used hashtag by Jiu-Jitsu advocates and fitness influencers. But knowing when to rest and recuperating are also highly important aspects of training. 

Strep throat differs from a virus but can mess up your training performance. If you have pain when swallowing, fever, and swollen tonsils, it goes without saying that you will not be the best version of yourself, and you will quickly become a target on the mats. 

In a worst-case scenario, if you are unconscious from a choking move for more than five minutes, you may experience neurological damage that may lead to loss of motor skills, partial blindness, and potential death. 

What are the risks of training with strep throat? 

Many types of bacteria can cause strep throat, such as allergies and viruses, but the primary infection originates from streptococcus. The condition has multiple levels of pain and inflammation. 

One minute you can drink a lot of tea and feel invincible, and the second, you are back to square one with trouble swallowing. 

Because the bacteria can enter the human body through an open wound, by droplets of sweat, or when a person coughs or sneezes, you should definitely avoid going to Jiu-Jitsu training during that period. 

The risks of training do not only involve worsening your condition and all the symptoms, but you will also feel guilty about spreading the bacteria to your classmates. 

Despite infecting many people around you, you can also aggravate your throat more and experience high fever, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, etc. 

Training Jiu Jitsu With Strep Throat

Can I infect my partners? 

Coming from Japanese roots, Jiu-Jitsu translates to “gentle martial art”. The combat sport focuses on groundwork, vascular triangles, takedowns, joint locks, chokes, and many other moves that can make the opponent submit the fight. 

However, there is also a lot of respect and discipline between fellow practitioners, and the sport is known for its efficiency and competitiveness. On top of that, it keeps everyone humble, and each training lesson is a chance to become a better version of yourself

Because almost every move is made in a close and uncomfortable position, such as strangulation, headlocks, and other movements, the chances that you will pass the infection to your partners are pretty high. 

Your training partner’s health and welfare should also affect your decision on whether or not you should train. 

We fully understand that when it is competition time, everyone is worn down, and nobody likes to take a break from training, but you have to respect your partners. Jiu-jitsu is far from a solitary sport, and even if you have a small cold, you must think about the welfare of the people around you.

Can I kill someone? 

Well, this is a tricky one. Almost every move in Jiu-Jitsu can knock you unconscious and cut the oxygen flow to the brain. The longer you stay “asleep”, the larger the chances for a neurological issue and brain damage are. 

Training with strep throat means you will be off your game and not have the same energy levels you normally would. The chances that you can pass on the bacteria to some of your fellow mixed martial artists are obviously high, but no, you cannot kill someone by infecting them with strep throat. 

In a worst-case scenario, your Jiu-Jitsu partner will experience the same symptoms as you, such as fever, headache, throat pain, and swollen tonsils. 

don’t forget to check the top bjj gis: beginners and competition

Experiencing Strep Throat And Taking Time Off From Jiu-Jitsu 

Time Off in Jiu Jitsu

You should avoid training when your body is fighting an infection because your immune system is already fighting and experiencing some kickbacks. Once the body starts exhibiting symptoms of strep throat, the virus is already in your bloodstream, and you need to do everything possible to treat the condition. 

Therefore, taking some time off from Jiu-Jitsu until you feel completely healthy again is a great move. If you train sick, your body pumps the same blood to your body muscles. 

Additionally, the metabolism rate drastically increases to the point where the body cannot fulfill the energy already used to fight the bacteria. 

This eventually drains the immune system and makes the body even more vulnerable while exposing it to more infections. If you train Jiu-Jitsu with strep throat, your condition may worsen, and you will need more time to recover. 

When should you resume Jiu-Jitsu after experiencing strep throat?

The answer is simple; you should return to the mats when you feel capable and your body has restored 100% of its energy. If you cough, you may still carry the contagious infection. 

Therefore, there is no specific time frame for you to return to training. It all depends on the power of your immune system. 

Typically, strep throat can stay in your body for 2 to 5 days. You will initially experience throat pain, swollen tonsils, and maybe a fever. Once you have antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, you can start to fight back and eliminate the infection. The process may take an entire week. 

You can always ask for advice from your physician about the best time to return to training. 

If you have a cold or the flu, the problem could be resolved without medical assistance, but strep throat is a condition that is tough to fight against with hot beverages and fruit. The infection is serious, and if not treated properly, it can lead to sinusitis or bronchitis.

The best course of action is to stay at home and heal completely before you start choking and grappling with other Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. 

Can missing Jiu-Jitsu training because of strep throat slow down your progress? 

When you have a sore throat, you will have to rest and take some time off from training. As we mentioned earlier, the recovery time frame varies from person to person, but the progress will continue. 

Once you feel 100% healthy, you can come back and fight for that black belt

BJJ black belt

Resting for a few days can benefit your mind and body. You will get a chance to recover and think about how you can work on your weaknesses once you get back on the mats. 

Missing one class does not mean that others will pass you. When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, everyone is on a different journey, and as long as you strive for improvement, the results are bound to appear on the surface

You can ask to be re-taught and easily catch up with the concepts you missed out on while resting. Your Jiu-Jitsu instructor can help you recap the knowledge from the previous week alongside your teammates. As we mentioned, this combat sport is based on discipline and respect

What to do while experiencing strep throat and taking time off from training? 

Honestly, even if the workouts are tough or our job becomes too stressful, nobody likes to get sick and rest in bed. Strep throat can mess up your daily routine, and you must pause your regular practice.

But there is nobody to blame, and the weather and environment around us have a way of draining our immune systems. Here are some activities you can do while you are forced to take some time off from training. 

Rest properly 

Refrain from using the time to eat pizza and play video games. Such activities will furthermore make you dizzy and hard to get back on your feet. Proper nutrition and full rest are crucial to overcoming strep throat.

Watch Jiu-Jitsu videos

By watching Jiu-Jitsu videos, you can stay inspired and see things from an entirely different perspective. If you are a white belt, you can learn about the path and how to implement more discipline by purchasing an instruction manual.

Light exercise (if you feel you can handle it)

After the first few days, laying around is not exciting anymore, and you should try to do some light exercises and stretch. 

BJJ And Strep Throat Final Thoughts  

Can strep throat cause neurological problems in Jiu-Jitsu? Well, it might, but the chances are extremely slim. You would have to push the limits so far and be unconscious for more than 400 minutes. 

Hopefully, our article cleared some things concerning training Jiu-Jitsu with strep throat. Now you know your next move inside and outside the academy. 

Any neurological problems can be avoided by paying extra attention to every maneuver on the mats and implementing discipline in your everyday life. Also, missing a few days of training because of strep throat is not that big of a deal! Rest and recovery should always be a priority.

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