Cauliflower Ear - Potential Martial Arts Injury

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Cauliflower Ear - Potential Martial Arts Injury

A cauliflower ear is an injury that can result from repeated damage to an ear. This injury is often associated with grappling martial arts where an ear can be struck by an opponent's head or rubbed into the mat. It is also associated with martial arts such as boxing where boxers can suffer repeated punches to their ears.

According to WebMd, "The most common cause of cauliflower ear is a hit to the ear — or repeated hits to the ear — that leads to hematomas, or small collections of blood that clot and block the flow of blood and nutrients… When blood flow is blocked, the affected cartilage may die and, without the supportive tissue, fold in on itself. Scar tissue may form, contributing to a swollen and deformed look".

Martial artists try to protect themselves from this type of injury by wearing protective padded headgear that covers the head and ears or wrestling-inspired equipment that shields the ears from "rubbing" injuries, etc.

This site does not provide medical advice. If you get hurt or are in pain, please see a doctor!!! It is very difficult to self-diagnosis. You should always have a medical professional examine any injury. For other potential injuries, please visit the wiki's Martial Arts Injuries section.



Example of a Cauliflower Ear


Source - Wikimedia Commons



Example of Wrestling Headgear


Source - Amazon Wrestling Headgear Section



Example of Boxing Headgear


Source - Amazon Boxing Headgear Section



Reference Sources

  1. WebMD, Cauliflower Ear, http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cauliflower-ear-symptoms-causes-treatments#1



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