Cheerleading is a gymnastic activity that is done by trained girls to cheer for their team. In 2002, an estimated 3.5 million people in Unites States participated as cheer leaders. However they are so vulnerable for injuries. Not as frequent as injuries in other sports, injuries in cheerleaders tend to be more severe making up more than half of catastrophic injuries in female athletes. Common injured areas includes head, shoulders, neck, wrists and ankles.
Injuries that commonly occur are ankle sprains, knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament tear and overuse injuries like patellar tendinitis), wrist injuries, low back pain 9spondylosis and stress fracture of spine) and head injuries (concussion). Apart from all this they are prone to catastrophic injuries that can occur if a cheerleader falls from top of pyramid, lift or basket toss. Concussion, skull fracture and spine injuries like fracture or paralysis may occur after severe fall.
What to be done?
- Stunt should be restricted – You should not aim for insane stunts and hurt yourself. Practice and be perfect in it before doing it at your final show. During practice session, mats should be placed on the floor so that impact of fall should be lessened.
- Proper training – Proper training is required before doing any stunt. This should include proper stretching and strengthening of appropriate muscles. You should expertise in your technique in technique training. Before practicing or final game always remember to do warm up and afterwards proper cool down phase.
- Core strengthening – It should be done regularly to keep the core strong and prepared.
- Break time – There should be break for rest from repeated high-impact activities whole session should consist of both high and low impact exercises.
- Physical therapy can do wonders when it comes to injuries in cheerleaders. Consult your physical therapist today if you have suffered any injury while cheerleading.