Gymnastics is the kind of sport that requires coordination, endurance, and strength. The ability to mold and bend the body into different movements and positions display an individual’s ability to balance and control parts of the body such as the arms, legs, shoulder, back, chest and abdominal muscles. However, if the body is not appropriately conditioned, bending and stretching the body at a certain angle could cause serious injury.
In gymnastics, failing to achieve a particular position affects the points given in competition and could negatively impact a gymnast’s career. Therefore, flexibility or bending and stretching at a certain angle plays a vital role in such a sport. Flexibility helps improve your balance and increase your strength and stability. However, if you are not properly trained or conditioned, you can permanently damage your body.
Common gymnastics injuries include:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear. One very common injury gymnasts suffer from is an anterior cruciate ligament tear, commonly known as an ACL tear. It occurs in the knee, when making rapid changes in direction. In an ACL tear, one of the main ligaments in your knee is torn. Among gymnasts, this type of injury may be likely to occur during tumbling, vaulting, or dismounting.
- Achilles Tendonitis. This tendon injury occurs when a tendon the back of the lower leg – usually at the back of the heel – is irritated or inflamed. The Achilles tendon, or calcaneal tendon, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The injury often occurs when there’s repetitive stress from jumping and landing. Treating Achilles tendonitis may involve ultrasound, stretching, activity modification, and calf exercises.
- Ankle Sprain. Ankle sprains are extremely common. They occur when you land awkwardly on your foot, especially after a jump. When you twist your ankle in this way, what you’ve done is stretched or torn ligaments that attach bones to muscles at the joints. You will feel the effects of an ankle sprain right away – and may not be able to put any weight on the affected ankle. Surgery is rarely needed to treat ankle sprains, but it can sideline you for a while until the ankle is strong enough to return to the gym. Once you sprain your ankle, you are susceptible to re-injuring the area in the future.
Preventing Gymnastics Injuries
Gymnastics is one of the most physically challenging sports. It requires intensive training, which itself requires that you be in good physical condition to avoid injuries or damages to the body.
To avoid injuries and fractures, make sure to warm up properly and stretch regularly before strenuous routines or practices. Muscles and ligaments require conditioning; and muscles need to be warmed up before are flexible enough to properly stretch.
Pay attention to your body. Gymnastics or any type of athletic activity requires you be in good shape enough for the activity before you begin it. To stay healthy, you must be constantly aware of any changes, damage, or injury. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, see an orthopedic specialist right away.
Orthopedic Care in Colorado
If you are in Colorado Springs and you happen to have a concern regarding your bones, muscles, joints, or any orthopedic-related issue requiring diagnosis and treatment, visit the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.