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Mixed Martial Arts (MMS) Cage Fighting is an up and coming extreme sporting event that has emerged by combining karate, boxing, wrestling and jujitsu. The MMA cage fighter competes in an octagon-shaped cage. The fighters will compete following local cage fighting rules. The fighters will engage in full contact fighting until their opponent is knocked out or submitted. There is a great deal of injuries experienced by the fighters. Most fighters experience sprains and strains of their extremities and spinal column. Some fighters experience grade three concussions in the form of knock outs. Internal organ contusions and other injuries are also encountered. Some fighters suffer with severe spinal trauma such as whiplash of the head and neck, spinal dislocations or spinal fractures.

Doctors of Chiropractic diagnose and treat subluxations of the spine and extremities. A subluxation is a misalignment or malfunction of a joint within the spine or extremities of the body. If a person has subluxations in their spine or extremities they usually experience a decrease range of motion and increased pain sensation Subluxations that are not resolved lead to degeneration of the spine and extremities prematurely. Diagnosing and treating subluxations of the body can allow that individual to physically perform at a higher level decreasing the severity of injuries sustained during extreme full contact sporting events.

The number of professional and Olympic athletes that use Doctors of Chiropractic has greatly increased over the years. The athletes increase their performance with the increased power, balance, strength and speed experienced after the Doctor of Chiropractic treats the body to decrease subluxations. When the body has less subluxations there is less NOCI receptors (pain fibers bombardment to the spinal chord). The body can recuperate faster allowing for a shorter recovery. The athletes can perform at a higher level.

The MMA cage fighter has a short time to compete. The body will eventually start to give and secom to injuries. The fighter, as well as other athletes, must train to prevent injuries. Knowledge, training and conditioning are of essential. Doctors of Chiropractic can help decrease injuries sustained by athletes by resolving subluxations prior to and after sporting events.



Three local MMA cage fighters were chosen for this study. They are all competing in a local circuit. They all train locally. All three fighters are amateurs converting to professional fighters. All three fighters are under 25 years of age. They all have a wrestling background. They have all experienced past traumas to the head, neck, and spine. All three fighters are currently participating in a local circuit. All fighters have given written and oral consent before participating in the study.

Study Design

Three Mixed Martial Arts cage fighters were observed over a 9 month period. One fighter received pre fight and post fight spinal adjustments. One fighter only received pre fight spinal adjustments. One fighter received no spinal adjustments.


Full spine x-rays were taken at the beginning of the study and at the end of the study with a Bennett x-ray system. Dual petrometers were used to document ROM of the spine at the onset and conclusion of the study. A Doctor of Chiropractic examined and palpated to diagnose subluxations.

Data treatment and analysis

Subjective and objective data was documented. X-rays and examinations were given. Spinal traumas were documented for all three cage fighters. They were all charted and compared.


Cage fighters that receive chiropractic adjustments prior to, and post fighting events did suffer with subluxations that could be resolved with spinal adjustments. They did not suffer with severe spinal trauma such as dislocations, fractures, and grade three concussions. As a cage fighter transitions from amateur to professional the skill level increases. The more skilled the cage fighter is the less spinal trauma the fighter will endure. The cage fighter that received pre and post fight spinal adjustments experienced less subluxations and had less symptoms. The cage fighter that only received pre fight spinal adjustments suffered with more subluxations of the spine and experienced more symptoms. The cage fighter that had no spinal adjustments pre and post fight complained with symptoms of full body muscle soreness. None of the three cage fighters experienced severe spinal traumas such as spinal dislocations, spinal fractures, or grade three concussions.


MMA cage fighting is a full contact sport. One might think that the injuries sustained during these fights would be serious and untreatable. The sport has evolved to protect the fighters from serious injuries. The referee is trained to stop the fight if one fighter cant intelligently defend themselves. There is usually a cage side Doctor and an EMS crew in attendance. The average MMA cage fighter trains daily. The skill level and conditioning of these athletes is continually improving. They must be in peak physical shape to compete in this sport. When a fighter competes with an injury they usually end up with a worse injury. A fighter with a sore neck or back has a higher probability of injuring their neck or back. When the neck or back is out of alignment (subluxated) the severity of spinal trauma increases. Minor spinal adjustments can be made to reduce spinal subluxations which will in turn decrease severe spinal traumas such as dislocations, fractures or grade three concussions.


M.M.A cage fighters that receive chiropractic adjustments prior to, and post fighting events still experience spinal traumas exhibited as subluxations that could be resolved with spinal adjustments. They did not suffer with severe spinal traumas such as spinal dislocations, spinal fractures, or grade three concussions (knock-outs).