common injuries of gymnastics
You’ve always seen those gymnasts on TV performing amazing feats such as doing flips and stretching out like a rubber band. Then you went to gymnastics class dreaming of being just like them. Eventually, you probably started to do it just for fun or for minor competition. Doing gymnastics can be fun but challenging. Just make sure you do it properly or you might just hurt yourself.
The ankle and foot are the most common sites of injuries in both males and females. But, injuries can also occur in the lower back, shoulder, knee, wrist, and hand. Males are more likely to get an injury in their upper body while females are more likely to get an injury in their lower body.
For the wrist, injuries can occur to the distal radial growth plate. Also a triangular fibrous cartilage complex (TFCC) tear can be caused by recurring impact on the “cartilage pad” of the wrist. Stress fractures can also occur at the wrist. Shoulder dislocation is common in gymnastics.
In the knee, you could get patello-femoral pain syndrome caused by overuse. You could also dislocate your knee.
Sprains, strains, stress fractures, and growth plate injuries are very common in the ankle and foot. Sever’s Disease is also very common in the ankle and foot.
In the lower back, you could get a small stress fracture of the neck of the facet joint caused by repetitive hyperextension. It usually shows by observing positive “stork sign” on exam. This may result in slippage of vertebral bodies.
Who is Getting Injured
People who are at risk of getting injured are:
- high level competitive gymnasts because of their high number of training hours and the complexity of the skills they perform
- elite gymnasts, and those training many hours a week, are at risk of sustaining an overuse type injury
- participants attempting skills that they are not ready for physically or mentally
- older adults have a greater risk of injury due to their decreased balance, strength, and bone density
To prevent most injuries:
- wear appropriate clothing, no baggy clothing,no jewelry, long hair should be tied back, no slippery socks, bare feet, or running shoes
- always warm-up and stretch thoroughly
- be aware of surrounding environment, make sure to look out for wires/chains that may be stabilizing equipment that could be tripped over
- do not try any combinations or skills you or our instructor do not think you are ready for
- make sure the equipment is properly maintained
- the facility should have appropriate floor padding
- mats must be placed under equipment and must be secured properly
- equipment should be arranged to avoid the accidental collision of gymnast with equipment or other athletes during workouts
- have the proper equipment for each event
- have a first aid kit and be able to use it for minor injuries