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Kabbadi is a high impact sport with highly fit players to take on the extremely physical nature. It has its fair share of injuries, due to the constant contact of the players and the rough playing mat.

Common Injuries

  • ACL Tear

The sudden movement like stopping, bending, twisting etc., brings out the chances for ACL tear leading to excruciating knee pain with swelling and tenderness.

  • Ankle Sprains

Ligament injury surrounding the ankle occurs from an awkward landing or stepping on an uneven ground with overstretching of the ligaments causing them to be partially or completely torn.

  • Ankle Fractures

Ankles are prone to fracture because of lots of ankle twisting, Ankle Hold, and constant jumping where the entire bodyweight is concentrated on the ankle.

  • Strains

Being a contact sport with lots of pushing, pulling, jumping and twisting actions and repetitive actions, brings strains on body parts. The symptoms include, muscle spasms, swelling and cramping.

  • Calf Muscle Injuries

The calf muscle when overstretched tears the muscle tissue. This is called Calf strain and they are classified as degrees depending on the severity of the strain.

  • First degree is damage to a few muscle fibers.

  • Second Degree is damage to more number of muscle fibers.

  • Third Degree is complete rupture of the muscle.

  • Head and Facial injuries

Continuous contact between players and the hard mat leads to

  • Minor cuts and bruises

  • Facial fractures

  • Penetrating eye injuries

  • Broken teeth

  • Concussions that brings headaches, concentration problems and fatigue.


Kabbadi players are prone to injury at the different stages of the game, like:

  • When the defenders try to stop the raider from getting back to his base, by holding onto his ankle or leg:

    • Ligament or muscle sprain due to traction injury to ankle or knee

    • Twisting, falling and landing on head or back while trying to escape from the defenders.

    • Rotation of knee or ankle leads to injury of crucial ligaments.

  • When defenders tackleby diving on the raider before he reaches the midline, which can lead to:

    • Fracture of wrist, elbow, arms or shoulder or sometimes just a joint sprain or muscle strain.

    • Falling of a heavier opponent on a body part

  • Raider’s Toe Touch maneuver, to reach the midline using his toe, causes legs overstretching straining the thigh muscles.

  • Falling on outstretched arm by the raider while trying to touch the midline cause dislocations.

  • The raiders push defenders back during defense, causing a back concussion or knee injury.

  • Defender sustains face cuts or bruises or dental injuries when raider’s kicks trying to escape the defenders.

Prevention and Treatment

The common preventive measures to prevent Kabbadi injuries are:

  • Medical, muscoskeletal and fitness assessment of the player must be done to identify existing weakness and potential injury.

  • Playing on an even surface helps prevent most injuries.

  • First aid and icing arrangements must be provided during training and matches.

  • Player must be tested for leg strength and agility since legwork is an important ability.

  • Protection for the skin is advisable to prevent abrasions or cuts during practice and matches.

  • A face-mask to prevent the abrasions and nose injuries.

  • Elbow and knee protection will help prevent the injuries to these joints.

  • Taping the ankle and knee can act like antiseptic to prevent injuries.

  • Perform proper warm-ups and cooling down and take adequate rest after matches or training

Authored by Dr Banarji B.H - Shoulder Surgeon, Bangalore

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Baby Das

Last one year I was suffering from acute shoulder pain on my left shoulder. I went to several doctors, but not diagnosed.

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