Gymnastics is a demanding and challenging sport. Gymnasts train to be powerful and graceful. Today’s moves have become increasingly technical acrobatic moves with a much higher degree of risk and difficulty. All the stretching, bending, twisting, jumping, flipping, etc., increases the risk of neuromusculoskeletal injuries. Gymnastics injuries are inevitable. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes are common, as are overuse strains and sprains, but severe and traumatic injuries can occur. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Team can treat and rehabilitate injuries and help to strengthen and prevent injuries. The therapy team will thoroughly evaluate the individual to determine the injury/s severity, identify any weaknesses or limitations, and develop a personalized plan for optimal recovery, stability, and strength.
One of the main reasons injuries are more prevalent is because today’s athletes start earlier, spend more time practicing, perform more complex skill sets, and have higher levels of competition. Gymnasts learn to perfect a skill and then train to make their bodies look elegant while executing the routine. These moves require precision, timing, and hours of practice.
Sports injuries are classified as:
- Chronic Overuse injuries: These cumulative aches and pains occur over time.
- They can be treated with chiropractic and physical therapy and prevented with targeted training and recovery.
- Acute Traumatic injuries: These are typically accidents that happen suddenly without warning.
- These require immediate first aid.
Most Common Injuries
Gymnasts are taught how to fall and land to lessen the impact on the spine, head, neck, knees, ankles, and wrists.
- Common back injuries include muscle strains and spondylolysis.
Bruises and Contusions
- Tumbling, twisting, and flipping can result in various bruises and contusions.
- This is the sort of muscle soreness experienced 12 to 48 hours after a workout or competition.
- Proper rest is necessary for the body to recover fully.
- Overtraining syndrome happens when individuals train beyond the body’s ability to recover.
Sprains and Strains
- Sprains and strains.
- The R.I.C.E. method is recommended.
- Ankle sprains are the most common.
- When there is a stretching and tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.
- A sprained wrist happens when stretching or tearing the ligaments of the wrist.
- Falling or landing hard on the hands during handsprings is a common cause.
- Leg stress fractures result from overuse and repeated impact from tumbling and landings.
The most common include:
- Shoulder instability.
- Ankle sprains.
- Achilles tendon strains or tears.
- Gymnasts wrist.
- Colles’ fracture.
- Hand and Finger injuries.
- Cartilage damage.
- Knee discomfort and pain symptoms.
- A.C.L. tears – anterior cruciate ligament.
- Burners and stingers.
- Low back discomfort and pain symptoms.
- Herniated discs.
- Spinal fractures.
- Insufficient flexibility.
- Decreased strength in the arms, legs, and core.
- Balance issues.
- Strength and/or flexibility imbalances – one side is stronger.
Our therapists will start with an evaluation and a biomechanical assessment to identify all the factors contributing to the injury. This will consist of a thorough medical history to understand overall health status, training schedule, and the physical demands on the body. The chiropractor will develop a comprehensive program that includes manual and tool-assisted pain relief techniques, mobilization work, MET, core strengthening, targeted exercises, and injury prevention strategies.
Facet Syndrome Chiropractic Treatment
Armstrong, Ross, and Nicola Relph. “Screening Tools as a Predictor of Injury in Gymnastics: Systematic Literature Review.” Sports medicine – open vol. 7,1 73. 11 Oct. 2021, doi:10.1186/s40798-021-00361-3
Farì, Giacomo, et al. “Musculoskeletal Pain in Gymnasts: A Retrospective Analysis on a Cohort of Professional Athletes.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 18,10 5460. 20 May. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijerph18105460
Kreher, Jeffrey B, and Jennifer B Schwartz. “Overtraining syndrome: a practical guide.” Sports Health vol. 4,2 (2012): 128-38. doi:10.1177/1941738111434406
Meeusen, R, and J Borms. “Gymnastic injuries.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 13,5 (1992): 337-56. doi:10.2165/00007256-199213050-00004
Sweeney, Emily A et al. “Returning to Sport After Gymnastics Injuries.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 17,11 (2018): 376-390. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000533
Westermann, Robert W et al. “Evaluation of Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics Injuries: A 10-Year Observational Study.” Sports Health vol. 7,2 (2015): 161-5. doi:10.1177/1941738114559705
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