Preventing Gymnastics Injuries
Gymnastics is a very demanding sport that requires considerable dedication and strenuous preparation in order to compete at the highest levels of international competition. Injuries to young gymnasts occur at an alarming rate, with many thousands of doctor visits necessitated each year. While many of these injuries are the result of accidents, a large number of them can likely be prevented with some common sense approaches.
Young gymnasts are particularly prone to these types of injuries:
- Fractures—Too much sudden pressure can cause a bone to crack or completely break. Another type of fracture caused by repetitive motion is the stress fracture, which occurs over time and frequently affects the metatarsal bones in the toes.
- Ankle sprains and strains—An inward or outward rolling of the ankle is a frequent occurrence in gymnastic training and competition. If the ligaments and tendons are stressed excessively, a painful injury can result with a concomitant increase in swelling and bruising.
- Strained muscles—While stressed out ligaments and tendons can cause a variety of complications, muscle strain is also a major cause of debilitation among gymnasts.
Preventing these types of injuries involves:
- Safety measures—Special footwear, harnesses, and various orthotic and padding devices may be used. Spotters should be on duty for difficult maneuvers. Protected floors are also a huge benefit.
- Warm ups—Stretching and warming up before training and competitions are essential to avoiding injury.
- Regular checkups—Seeing a podiatrist for treatment before symptoms become worse is an excellent proactive measure.
Many of these common injuries can be avoided with care and diligence, but having an experienced podiatrist in your corner is invaluable when injuries do occur. For more expert advice on treatment for gymnastics injuries, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!