Cheering for your favorite football team is a hype. The adrenalin rush and the festive atmosphere in the stadium can bring a euphoric excitement. The same thing goes when watching gymnastics. The swirls, turns, backflips, and impossible bodily routines are merely unique. Watching a cheer dance competition is the same thing. The synchronized routines, handstands, backflips, and Arial twirls will make you hold your breath. But behind the amazingly impossible feat, footballers, gymnasts, and cheerleaders are exposed to risks for injuries. Even though how careful you are, injuries can happen, but the possible dangers can be avoided. If you are engaging in contact or competitive sports like football, gymnastics, and cheerleading, a regular visit to sports injury chiropractic will help you prevent injury risks.
What are common sports injuries?
American Football is one of the most popular and most watched competitive sports. Young and old flock to the football stadium to feel the rush and bathe in the crowd’s excitement as they cheered for their favorite teams. However, football also records a high number of injuries per year. The possible causes of such injures are the following:
- Over-training can cause back pain and knee injuries. Footballers and those who engage in competitive sports often train themselves beyond their abilities. Pushing yourself to exhaustion seems familiar for an athlete, causing knee problems, and back pains.
- Concussions due to traumatic impact are also one of the most common yet severe injuries. If you have traumas, watch out for these symptoms: headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, numbness, loss of balance, blurry vision, and if you are having difficulty concentrating. If are you are feeling two or more symptoms, immediately seek medical treatment the soonest.
- Traumatic injuries in the knee, specifically in the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament, and the knee’s cartilage, are common in football. This injury should not be taken for granted since it could affect the athlete’s long-term performance, which is why a regular visit to a sports injury chiropractic is essential.
- Heat injuries from intense physical activities due to the extended period of outdoor training. Prolong exposure to summer heat can lead to sweating that depletes the body of water and salt. Regularly drinking water or sports drink to replenish lost water and salt is good, but in some cases, too much heat exhaustion can lead to an untimely death.
So, how do you prevent possible football injuries?
- Don’t forget to warm-up before and cool-down after your training.
- Take time for stretches and strength training.
- Hydrate properly and adequately to minimize cramps.
- Keep yourself active during summer to prepare your body.
- Correctly wear protective equipment like pads, helmet, and mouthguards.
- Visit your chiropractor in Odell for pre-season health, wellness, and concerns about sports injuries.
- Talk to your coach or athletic trainer for injury concerns and prevention.
Gymnastics requires rigorous physical and emotional training. The complex routines also lead to potential injuries, especially in the feet, ankles, lower back, wrists, knees, and hands. Although gymnastics are often not severe, leaving it untreated for an extended period can lead to a more severe injury that can also lead to chronic pain and possible bone fractures. The possible causes of gymnastic injuries are the following:
- Labral tears or sometimes called SLAP tears, make bar and ring gymnasts susceptible to such injuries. Although the wound can heal on its own, it can recur when a gymnast goes back to training. If this happens, it is best to have an MRI to know the real cause and extent of the injury.
- Wrist Injuries are common as gymnasts exert too much stress on the wrists during training and competitions. To prevent this, plan your training so that you won’t overdo it. But if you are already injured, a visit to a sports injury chiropractic may be needed. A brace or a cast may be even necessary.
- ACL injuries can be caused by over-rotating while dismounting, tumbling, or vaulting. An athlete may hear a “pop,” which could be followed by swelling in the knees. To confirm ACL injury, an MRI may be needed.
- Foot and ankle injuries are common, which usually comprises minor injuries like sprains. However, swelling, tenderness, and bruising can be signs of a more severe injury. If the damage is minor, love in the tissue may only happen, but when significant swelling starts, it needs an evaluation by a sports health professional.
- Achilles Tendon injuries are common to gymnasts, which can result from the repetitive stress of landing and jumping. The calf’s soreness as aggravated by constant jumping and landing often needs an ultrasound to see the extent of the damage. Proper stretching before the training, calf exercises and activity modification are required.
- Muscle strain, ligament sprain, and disc disorders can cause frequent lower back pain, worsening with training and physical activities. Lower back pain from straining a muscle or a sprain in the ligament can be naturally treated by enough rest and physical therapy. A visit to a chiropractor in Odell to address the muscle strain and lower back pain may be necessary, especially if the problem persists. An MRI may be needed to rule out other injuries.
So, how do you prevent possible injuries from gymnastics?
- Have a spotter on stand by when you are trying to learn a new routine
- Don’t forget to do warm-up exercises like jumping jacks and stretching.
- Ensure that equipment like padded floors, mats, and safety harnesses are in good condition
- Don’t forget to wear safety gear during training and competitions. Wrist guards, footwear, elbow and ankle braces, hand grips, and pads are necessary.
- Don’t endure the pain and seek medical care or help from a chiropractor the soonest.
- Ensure that there is an available first aid in case you need it
Cheerleading is fun and exciting to watch competitive activity, especially that it combines dance routines and gymnastics. Twirls, turns, backflips, and other stunts to form a pyramid and other complicated formations can be risks for injuries. Although the wounds from cheerleading may not be as often compared to the sports injuries from football and gymnastics, the injuries can be severe or catastrophic.
The possible causes of gymnastic injuries are the following:
- Most injuries experienced by a gymnast like muscle strain, SLAP tears, wrist injuries, ACL injuries, foot and ankle injuries, and Achilles tendons are common injuries in cheerleading. So, pain and muscle strains in the head, neck, wrists, shoulders, and ankles are common.
So, how do you prevent possible injuries from gymnastics?
- Stunt restrictions are put in place to prevent catastrophic injuries to cheerleaders. The limits include height in the human pyramid, ratio or flyer-to-thrower, and the required number of spotters present and available for each flyer or person being lifted. For example, in a human pyramid, the restriction in height is limited to two body lengths for a high school category, while two and a half or 2.5 body lengths for a college category. A base supporter must also be present and stationary, while the flyer is not allowed to be rotated or inverted when on the dismount.
- Guidelines are in place for a particular stunt, like the basket toss that can sometimes be as high as 20 feet require to have four throwers, while the flyer is refrained from dropping the head below a horizontal plane. While doing the basket toss, one of the throwers must position and remain behind the flyer.
- Consistent use of protective mats during practice, especially if you are trying out a new routine. If the cheerleader is feeling sick, refrain from attending and attempting training. Training and doing the exercises even though you are not properly focused and not in a tip-top shape can cause sports injuries, proving to be fatal or catastrophic.
- Proper training under the supervision of a qualified coach is also essential and least to say critical. Thus, your coach must have a coaching certification to ensure that the coach can train and supervise young athletes. With this said, supervision during stunts, especially when learning a new cheerleading routine is a must.
In conclusion, any sport maybe football, gymnastic, or cheerleading, which may lead to sports injuries. However, there are ways to prevent injuries by proper warm exercises and using the right gear and equipment. Training under a certified coach’s supervision is also necessary, especially if you are learning a new routine. More so, you also need to listen to your body to avoid overtraining and straining yourself. Training beyond your physical capacity can lead to sports injuries, which can be irreversible if not cared for.
Learn resistance training to train your lower back, shoulders, and stomach to prevent injury. Before your activity, proper stretching is needed. You can try yoga and pilates to improve your flexibility. If you are feeling sick, don’t push it. Illnesses can disorient you and can lead you to lose your focus, which can cause injuries. Lastly, regular visits to your sports injury chiropractic clinic will ensure that you are getting the right chiropractor treatment from Odell.