Gymnastics Injuries

 

 

 

Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially when it comes to female participation rates. While there are various gymnastic sports, such as rhythmic, acrobatic, aerobic, trampoline, tumbling, and so forth, artistic gymnastics has the highest participation rate.

Many parents start their children off in recreational gymnastics shortly after the child learns to walk. Overall, gymnastics is predominantly a youth sport, with more than 600,000 U.S. children participating in some form of club or school gymnastics. Even most elite competitive athletes only have careers spanning into their early to mid-twenties. Although gymnastics is an activity appropriately touted to increase flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, agility, grace, and stamina, it also simultaneously has the potential to cause injuries.

How Do Gymnastics Injuries Occur?

Most parents and participants don’t view gymnastics as a dangerous sport, but the increasingly difficult skill levels being introduced to children of younger ages; lengthy, high-intensity, and high-impact training sessions; and innumerable aerial events make gymnasts very prone to both overuse and traumatic injuries.

Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates that yearly gymnastic injury rates are 4.8 per 1,000 gymnasts under 12-years-old and 7.4 per 1,000 gymnasts between the ages of 12 and 17. And, these injury rates only represent injuries treated within an emergency room. Countless unreported injuries are treated at home or by the gymnast’s coaching staff.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Injuries In Gymnastics?

Wrist Sprain

Gymnasts place a great deal of pressure on their wrist. Some tumbling routines exert forces two times greater than the gymnast’s body weight upon the wrist. Such forces often stretch or tear the tough bands of connective tissue in the wrist, called ligaments. In the wrist, there are several ligaments that connect the many tiny wrist bones to one another and that connect the wrist bones with the ulna, radius, and metacarpal bones. A wrist sprain is the medical terminology used for a stretched or torn ligament. Sprains are graded based on the degree of injury as follows:

Grade 1 - stretching or microscopic tearing of the ligament fibers.
Grade 2 - moderate tearing of the ligament fibers.
Grade 3 - more than 90% of the ligament fibers are torn.

Grade three sprains may also be accompanied by another injury called an avulsion fracture. This injury occurs when the ligament fibers are completely torn away from their bony attachment and pull a small piece of the bone off with it during the process.

SLAP Lesions

SLAP stands for “superior labral anterior posterior,” which is representative of a front (anterior) to back (posterior) labral tear at the top (superior) of the glenoid labrum. The injury is basically a tear or lesion to the fibrocartilagious rim around the glenoid cavity in the shoulder. Anatomically, it’s important to note that the glenoid labrum is thought to be cartilaginous extensions from the biceps brachii tendon. Therefore, the biceps brachii muscle-tendon unit may also be involved in severe SLAP lesions.

SLAP lesions may occur after a gymnasts misses a landing or otherwise falls with their arm outstretched, but it’s most often a repetitive use injury sustained during ring work.

 

SLAP lesions symptoms include the following:

 

* deep aching pain in the shoulder
* decreased range of motion
* shoulder weakness and instability
* shoulder swelling, redness, heat, and tenderness
* possible clicking, catching, or popping sensation (especially with overhead shoulder motions)

Menisci Injuries

Menisci injuries are often called torn knee cartilage. Menisci are rubbery crescent-shaped pieces of cartilaginous tissue. The knee has two menisci, one on the lateral side of the tibia and one on the medial side. They serve to cushion the ends of the tibia and femur bones inside the knee joint. The meniscus on the medial side is more apt to be injured since it's less movable by being attached to the medial collateral ligament. This attachment also makes menisci injuries more likely to accompany knee sprains.

The menisci may wear away or degenerate as a result of the repetitive jumping and sprinting knee movements involved in gymnastics. It can also become irritated, stretched, and suffer microscopic tearing when a gymnast doesn’t “stick” their landing or when the knee over-rotates during a tumble, dismount, or vault activity. Symptoms of a menisci injury include:

* localized pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, and heat
* a popping or clicking sensation as the knee is bent
* the knee joint may have limited range of motion or lockup if a piece of the torn cartilage is impinged within the joint

Products

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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