If your daughter has recently made the cheerleading squad, your weekends are soon to be filled with football games and competitions. Unfortunately, it could also include injuries and injury treatment services. The potential for cheerleading injuries is worse when you don't know what could be coming. Here's a look at some of the most common injuries associated with cheerleading and what you need to know about them.
Sprains, Strains, And Muscle Injuries
Muscle pains, strains, and sprains are some of the most common injuries that cheerleaders can suffer. One of the most common areas for muscle pain in cheerleaders is the back. In fact, back pain can even be caused by muscle strains in the back. In addition, overuse of the muscles in the back, as can occur during periods of significant training, practice, and competition, can lead to decreased muscle control and decreased core strength. When this happens, even simple cheerleading tasks, like tumbling, can lead to significant pain.
In addition to back pain and muscle problems in the back, cheerleaders can also suffer sprains or strains in the ankles, knees, wrists, and neck. These happen most often during routines, especially when practicing something new. It is essential that your child learn proper form from the start and maintain this form at all times to ensure safety.
When you're dealing with a sprain or a strain, proper treatment starts with icing the area and resting. From there, you need to apply some compression. Depending on where the injury is, elevate the area when possible, too. While minor sprains or strains can easily be managed, treated, and recovered from at home, more serious ones may require surgical intervention. This is particularly true if it results in a tear of any kind. It's always important to seek medical attention after an injury like this, even if just to confirm its severity.
Dislocations Or Fractured Bones
Dislocated joints and fractured bones are also common among cheerleaders. With so many cheerleading formations involving heights and unusual positions, one wrong move can lead to a fractured bone or a dislocated joint. Some of the most common dislocations include the ankles, wrists, shoulders, and elbows. As for fractures, these often occur in many of the same places, such as the ankle, wrist, arm, leg, or even the lower back. Fractured vertebrae are a very real risk as well.
Both of these types of injuries will require medical intervention. Dislocated joints will need to be reset and then immobilized with a sling or a brace. Fractures will need to be examined to be sure that the bone is still lined up, set if it isn't, and then immobilized with a cast. Because of the immobilization required for healing, may cheerleaders who suffer injuries like this have to go through physical therapy afterward to restore their range of motion and rebuild their muscle tone before they can return to the field.
Although less common, concussions are another real risk for cheerleaders. With many cheerleading routines involving elevated stunts, including pyramids, aerial tumbles, and more, the risk of a cheerleader landing wrong and striking their head is real and also serious. If your daughter takes a fall like this on the field and strikes her head, you need to have her evaluated for the risk of a concussion right away. The sooner you seek injury services, the better. Concussions left untreated can lead to lasting cognitive and medical problems, so you need to have your child evaluated as soon as possible for the potential of a concussion.
If your daughter is interested in cheerleading, you need to be prepared for the safety concerns. These are some of the most common injuries that can occur and what you need to know about them.