Head guards

November 3, 2016 by MMA trainer with 1 comment

A good head guard can prevent an ‘agricultural’ cauliflower ear!

A good head guard is quite important if you want to prevent a cauliflower ear. Of course, some people might look at a cauliflower ear as a sort of ‘veteran’ symbol, but if you’re not one of them and you think that having a cauliflower ear may affect your attractiveness to the opposite sex, or may affect your employment opportunities, then you should know how to prevent it.

Before we go forward, we need to describe what a cauliflower is and how it occurs, for those who do not know enough about it.

Cauliflower ear can be caused by striking the ear very hard in a combat sport, or by stressing the ear while extracting the head (for example) in the course of a lock or a grapple. This can cause trauma to the ear that causes blood vessels to burst and fluid to collect inside the ear, which gives it a very distinctive shape.

Cauliflower ear

Draining can be crucial

If you ever suffer from cauliflower ear, please bear in mind that if you don’t want to wear this ‘decoration’ permanently, you need to drain the ear at once. If the ear is not drained quickly, the fluid will harden inside over a course of around ten days, after which it will not be possible to drain the ear and surgical intervention will be necessary.

If you have a cauliflower ear and would like it corrected surgically (that is to say, if you’ve had it for years), you will be glad to know that most surgical interventions are very successful, since the ear cartilage actually tends to more or less retain its shape, and the deformity is the external thing.

However, surgery is a complex system, and is not necessary if you drain the ear immediately after the injury takes place.

Making sure the ear stays drained

Once the ear is drained, you need to ensure that it is properly compressed to prevent liquid collecting once again in the cavity formed. Most athletes will put a pad of gauze around the ear and then wrap it tight to the ear with tape.

This must obviously be done even during sleep until the ear heals, or you will wake up in the morning to find that your ear is full of liquid once again.

Prevention is really far better than the cures

Now, having talked about methods of treatment, let’s go on to the methods of prevention. No method of prevention is better than a good head guard or ear guard. Of course, wearing ear guards can make it more difficult to get out of certain locks or holds, but I believe that adding to the difficulty in these cases actually increases your skills, and the ear guards protect your ears from these unsightly injuries as well.


It’s a perfectly acceptable tradeoff.

There are a lot of ear guards on the market, so you can go through them carefully to see which one suits you best, not only from the point of view of protection, but also from the point of view of being streamlined enough to allow you to escape from most locks and holds relatively easily.

You might need to do a little experimentation before you find a head guard that suits you perfectly, but it’s well worth the trouble. It’s best to use useful protection like head guards, mouth guards and groin protectors, because these pieces of equipment can help prevent the accumulation of injuries that can prevent a person practicing their sport in the latter years of their life. Youth thinks it’s immortal, but the older athlete often regrets carelessness or injury that put an end to the full enjoyment of his sport.




3 years ago

I'd vetrune that this article has saved me more time than any other.

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