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Archive for Injuries


Preventing Cheerleading Injuries

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As the debate as to whether cheerleading is a sport continues and as cheerleading statistically continues to be considered one of the more dangerous high school sports, it is important to note that many cheerleading injuries can be prevented. STOP Sports Injuries, a campaign started by famous sports professionals and well-known national organizations, has an entire section of their website devoted to sports specific injury prevention, treatment guidelines, videos, and resources. Cheerleading is one of the sports for which they have valuable information for parents, coaches and cheerleaders.

The information available on STOP Sports Injuries that pertains to cheerleading specifically, includes:

  • What types of injuries are most common in cheerleading?
  • How can injuries be prevented?
  • How are cheerleading injuries treated?

Visit the site and download the printable cheerleading injury fact sheet for more information.

Categories : Cheerleading, Injuries
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According to Dr. Susan Brown in her OsteoBlast newsletter, hopping 100 times a day will help bones get stronger, making them less susceptible to injury:

Remember jumping rope and playing hop scotch as a kid? Well, it’s time to think about those activities again, because hopping and jumping are great bone builders. As it turns out, bone strengthens in response to the load placed upon it, and high-impact activities like jumping load bone much more than low-impact activities like walking. Studies among children and adults show the bone benefits of this simple form of high impact exercise. Ten to 15 minutes of heel drops, hopping, or jumping three days a week helps to increase bone density and strength.

Coaches – you can help your athletes get 100 hops in by setting up return stations and drills that incorporate jumping, bounding,  punching through the feet and hopping on one foot. Make an obstacle course, draw a hopscotch field, or come up with your own version of Simon Says.

Athletes – you can certainly get hopping on those days off! Grab your jump rope, make your own jumping circuit or make a game of hopping everywhere a few minutes each hour.

Don’t forget to stretch before you start and your bones will thank you!


Categories : Injuries
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Tea bags to help treat gymnast hand rips

A gymnast's hand rip after it has been treated using tea bags.

At our gym when one of the pre-team girls comes to us with her first “rip”, the coaches usually make a big deal about it, letting her know she is now an official gymnast. Seems silly, but rips from swinging bars is part of the sport of gymnastics. But once a gymnast has a rip, how do treat it?

  • Have the gymnast go to the bathroom and wash her hands to remove any chalk and surface germs. Yes,it stings, but it still has to be done. Pat the rip dry with a paper towel.
  • Have an adult carefully trim any excess skin using sterilized scissors and apply Neosporin or similar antibiotic ointment. Cover with a bandage and then wrap the bandage with athletic tape to keep the bandage in place. This should get the gymnast through the remainder of practice.
  • Once at home, we swear by tea bags to reduce the pain and speed the healing of the rip. Prepare a cup of black tea using a tea bag according to the package directions. Remove the tea bag and place it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool. Apply the tea bag directly to the rip and leave it on there for 20 minutes or so. The tannic acid that occurs naturally in the tea is an amazing pain reliever! The tea bag will discolor the rip area, but only for a few days. It also helps speed the development of the new layer of skin.
  • Over the next few days be sure to keep the rip area moisturized to prevent cracking and reopening of the wound. My daughter uses vaseline or her favorite lip balm – like Carmex or Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment.
  • During practice, cover the rip with a bandage and athletic tape or make a tape grip so your gymnast can continue training. It really is good practice for gymnasts to learn to swing bars with a rip because undoubtedly at some point in their gymnastics career they will get a rip right before a meet and need to know how to work through it.

The tea bag method is not the only way to treat rips, however, it is the one that most of the gymnasts in our gym use. You can also treat rips with Vitamin E applied directly to the rip, Neosporin + Pain ointment, and some gymnasts will tell you that Preparation H works well (since it contains medication for pain and to reduce swelling).

Once your gymnast is ready for grips – don’t worry, her coach will let you know when – she still may get rips.  For some girls, working bars with hand grips (I only recommend dowel grips) makes a big difference in their ability to swing bars and cut down on the number of rips.


Categories : Gymnastics, Injuries
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