T Nation

Ring My Bell (Head Injuries For One)


Ooookay...got my bell rung while working on some boxing at the MMA club last night. Headgear and 16oz. gloves were used, but I still walked away with a mild concussion.

I'm not looking for a second opinion, but rather some thoughts from the guys in the trenches(fighters, rugby/football/hockey players)...How long do you guys usually wait before coming back?

The doc. said to wait until I had been symptom free for 48 hours and then try a high intensity cardio workout to see if my brain was back to normal. I'm going to try some weights tomorrow just to test the waters, but nothing intense...it's an Upper DE day.

So, how do you guys (and gals) approach this kind of thing?

I hope I didn't dain my bramage, any thoughts?


Really? Nobody's ever had their cage rattled? Bell rung? Clock cleaned? Oh well...Nobody?


I got my nose broke a week ago. I'm not doing anything until the swelling is gone, cause I keep getting nose bleeds.


Why not listen to your doc? Do you make a living bench pressing or kung fu fighting?


I boxed for about a year. I had one toughman contest and had to fight a chick (moose) who was 45 pounds heavier than me. I gave her a run for her money at my very fit 135 pounds at the time. I stuck with it and had a 4 - 4 minute round match later at the gym where I trained. During that fight I got hit in the side of the head pretty hard. I didn't go down or anything, but it felt funny for a few days. We used headgear and 16 oz. gloves too. I tried to train the next day, but when I hit the bag it made my head hurt. I really liked to box and was pretty good at it for a beginner and a girl, but I came to the realization that my job and brain were more important to me and my family than boxing.
My 2 cents. Take care of yourself and get well before going at it again.


Looks like you could use a little more time off.


I've been training in muay thai since I was 13. So I've had a few concussions, I'd say just take it easy for a few days. If you really feel like you need to train just hit the bag preferably a softer one so you don't rock your brain around when you bang on it. And one more thing, GET USE TO IT! Its gonna happen now and then.


Thanks for the input folks...definitely listening to the doc, but working the weights till I feel a bit sharper-brain wise. And yes indeed, these things happen from time to time.

Thanks again.


Definitely listening to the doc...just wanted to hear how other folks have dealt with this kinda thing...


48 hours symptom free seems short to me. In the NHL, players often have to wait two weeks after symptoms resolve.

Head injuries are serious things...especially for those of us who have to think for a living. Seemingly minor head injuries can result in subtle, but long lasting, cognative deficits. These can become very frustrating, and failing to heal up can make them last longer...or make them worse.

I understand the desire to get back to training. I also train MMA in addition to weight training, and usually start back from injuries too soon. But I would never fuck around with a head injury.


Ive taken a couple of mild concussions playing rugby. Was back doing running and weights etc after about 2 days as well, but didnt get back to full contact for about a week. I double checked with the club physio before full contact as well.


I've had my bell rung a few times. Here is my advise.

If you think you have the package to take it all the way, then follow doc's orders and continue your path.

But, if you lack the skills or the desire, adjust your training. You don't need to go balls out when throwing leather to keep your skills up. Find guys to do moderate sparing/kickboxing with, keep up the grappling, and stay conditioned. Heavy bag and speed bag work will do wonders for you.

Why do I think this you ask? Have you ever looked at the guys who made a living fighting? They are way old before their time. The pros I've know live on ibuprofren and speed, and walk like they're 60 when they are in their 30's. I have no desire to feel like that.


Be careful, and aware that there will be long term consequences for repeated head injuries. I played women's field hockey in high school and college way back in the 70's, suffered 2 mild concussions and one broken jaw ( talk about spitting teeth!!! )

I've had problems with headaches and most recently, some vision problems due to a partially detached retina. Looking back, I never reported what I thought was "temporary" blurred vision for several days after the injury, hoping that it would just "go away". Perhaps there was something that could have been done then to save my vision now. 20 20 hindsight!!!!!


I boxed for two years in the army. Although I loved the competition, it was probably the worst spent two years of my life. Nothing like taking 40-50 shots to the head in one night. I suggest you take max time off, if not leave the ring altogether. MMA is safer than boxing, find a new art to practice.


seriously if doctors had their way youd spend your life in a draw with a helmet on and a big old stash of paracetamol and asprin. In Gypsy fighting circles, going to the doctors was known asarse magic`, you know when its time to get back in there, doctors have to worry about law suits and worse case scenarios and such so they are gonna say to take it easy, they still gonna get paid, you need to get your 5-0-0 (5K0) so start light training straight away.

Do shadow boxing while underwater, its good because its easy on the joints, Tunny did it, Marciano did it, Emelianenko does it. Liston fought with broken knuckles, they heal eventually, and stronger too, it was like getting hit with 4 golf balls nailed to a cobble stone.


Thanks for the responses...I can tell right now that I'm still at least a week away from being symptom free as light-headedness seems to be almost continual, with occasional nausea but no puke (sorry for the detail). After the symptoms clear I plan on checking with a doc before going back.

Thanks again for the posts


Jesus Murphy...Thanks for the story, I thought field hockey was more genteel...Off hand, how did they check your retina?


Use the time you're taking off to recover yourself. Take care, renew your goals, re-asses where you are in your goals and redevelop your plans of action. The reason they say wait until you are symtom free is because if you take another shot to the head, it can turn you into a vegetable for life-- not cool.

Whoever mentioned the NHL, they wait 2 weeks because they NEED to be 100% to play in games. If they are just hundreds of a second off, it can be the difference between getting another concussion or being alright.


Just got back from the doc...there's a trip to a neurologist and a CT scan in the near future...


Doctors don't know everything. You should just jump right back in there start hammering. It wont hurt your brain brain go away. I did it and look at me, I'm okay 1-2-3- go! WHO SAID THAT?!