Why Physical Therapy Is Common For Gymnasts.

Gymnastics is the second leading cause of serious sports injuries in female athletes.. According to Elsevier Global Medical News, more than 86,000 injuries occur annually in the sport of gymnastics due to children beginning the sport at earlier ages, spending more time practicing, and performing more difficult skills. Additionally, an increased routine complexity translates into increased potential risk of injury.

Common gymnastics injuries include:

  1. Concussions
  2. Ankle Sprains
  3. Wrist Sprains/Strains
  4. Back Pain- Spinal Fractures & Herniated Discs
  5. Knee Ligament Sprains
  6. Shoulder Joint instability

When does an ache/pain turn into an injury that should needs medical attention? Let’s look at two different types of pain.

Acute pain:

  • A pain that begins in practice that typically goes away the next morning
  • Does not last longer than two weeks
  • Pain is intermittent and not constant
  • Does not interfere with daily life (chores, school work, PE class)

Here, physical therapy can be used to improve flexibility and muscle imbalance to prevent further injury. Rest from the sport may also be needed.

Sub-Acute Pain:

  • Pain that continues for several days after onset
  • Lasts longer than 2 weeks up to several months
  • Pain starts to become constant and never really goes away
  • Pain begins to interfere with daily life (pain while sitting at school, during PE class, and during gymnastics)

Here, physical therapy and medical attention are needed to ensure a severe injury is not present, and to improve overall strength and stability. Rest from the sport is almost always needed.

If you have any questions about gymnastics injuries or aches/pain, please contact a physical therapist for more information.