With all of the tumbling and jumping that comes with the territory of cheerleading, it is no surprise that injuries are a common occurrence. While many of the injuries aren’t serious in nature, there are a host of nagging ailments that cheerleaders need to be aware of. Here are a few proven tips to help you to recover quickly from cheerleading injuries.
Identify the Type of Injury
The first step in treating and recovering from an injury is identifying the precise issue. It is important to know when to see a doctor and when you can treat the injury on your own. This is no substitute for a doctor, however, if the pain persists see a physical therapist, who can perform a variety of tests to objectively identify and fix deeper injuries. Physical therapists are also recommended as a source of continued treatment. Regular visits to a physical therapist can also serve as a preventative treatment to avoid injuries in the future.
Isolate the Injury
Once you have a confirmed injury diagnosis, you may need to isolate the injury. Isolating the issue will help to control the pain and also prevent further progression of the injury as the athlete returns to cheering. By limiting the range of motion, the stability of the joint will also improve. The best way to isolate an injury is through taping. This treatment can also be used as a preventative measure if the cheerleader is prone to injuries in specific parts of the body.
Don’t Use RICE
RICE used to be the golden rule of injury treatment in just about any sport, including cheerleading. But if you suspect a sprain or strain, resist the urge to start RICE treatment. The principles of this treatment employ the use of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, studies show that rest can prolong the recovery process. Ice delays healing and interferes with athletic performance, as well as potentially causing some harmful side effects. Compression and elevation are still useful, but as long as it doesn’t inhibit mild movement of the injured area.
Although injuries are never fun, there are certain steps that you can take to accelerate the healing and get back up on your feet sooner. The proper care and treatment of the injured area will pay off big dividends as you seek to return to competition.
Looking to put your young athlete into cheerleading? Send them to the United Elite Summer Camp to learn tumbling, stunting, and more!