Common Cheerleading Injuries & How We Prevent Them

Cheerleading is a demanding sport that requires discipline and skill. Injuries from cheerleading can be serious, so it’s crucial for these young athletes to understand how to prevent them from happening. Taking care to properly warm up and exercise keen awareness when performing a jump, pyramid, or any maneuver appropriately safeguards cheerleaders from increasing risks of injury. The following list of injuries common for cheerleaders and ways to prevent them equips parents and athletes to avert any potential injury.

Common Cheerleading Injuries

Injuries common to cheerleading consist of sprains and strains to wrists and ankles, back and knee injuries, and concussions. Sprains and strains to ankles are the most common injuries in cheerleading and occur when the landing foot twists improperly, causing swelling and pain that may require x-rays. Knee, wrist, and back injuries are slightly less common and usually follow an incorrect landing. Lower back injuries and pain, causing stress fractures to occur in the spine called spondylolisthesis, ordinarily manifest in athletes that do complicated, multiple jumps, gymnastic movements that require repeated back-bending, and tumbling. The most serious injuries for cheerleaders are head injuries that often result in concussions, causing normal brain function to be interrupted. Seeking medical treatment for common to more severe injuries is an absolute requirement for maintaining the health of the cheerleading athlete.

How to Prevent Them

Kids are particularly at risk for injuries, as they often are much more physically active than adults and also often don’t recognize risks. So our professionals take measures to protect your child’s health. All athletes are evaluated before being allowed to participate in intermediate tumbling or higher, reducing their risk for injury. Other factors play an essential role in preventing cheerleading injuries, such as proper athletic conditioning, consisting of exercises that stretch and strengthen important muscle groups needed for performance and increased flexibility. Taking appropriate precautions during outdoor practice sessions in the event of inclement weather improves training conditions and reduces injury risk, as does having a qualified coach who is certified to supervise and create routines. With the rising risk for injuries, restrictions have also been placed on the complexity of stunts that cheerleaders are allowed to perform in competition.

Adhering to safety guidelines and exercising good judgment are the keys to keeping cheerleading athletes from experiencing unnecessary and painful injuries. Knowing what injuries could occur prior to performing any stunt increases awareness and the ability to spot and prevent accidents before they happen.

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