What Injuries Are Most Prevalent In Cheerleaders?
Although cheerleading injuries might not be as frequent as in other sports, they seem to be more severe. It has been estimated that cheerleading injuries make up more than half of the catastrophic injuries in female athletes. Injuries have been noted to affect all areas of the body, but are most commonly seen in the shoulders, wrists, ankles, head, and neck.
How Can Injuries Be Prevented?
While many injuries occur during stunting it is very important that proper training and education be presented to the athletes and their designed job to best prevent injuries. For example, the flyer in the stunt must be very tight and in the event she/he does fall out of the stunt they must remain tight and cradle into a position to best be caught be the cheerleaders underneath them. The bases and especially backspots responsibilities are to catch the flyer at all costs, even if this means they will be injured in doing so because the possible injuries that might occur in bases/backspots are likely to be far less severe than what can incur if their flyer hits the ground from the air. A stunt should not be attempted without proper training and the cheerleaders are confident and comfortable. In addition cheerleaders should avoid stunting or tumbling if they are injured, overly tired
, or sick as this may disrupt their focus. Coaching education is also critical. Supervision should be provided at all times. Lastly, proper conditioning and strength training can greatly minimize injury
How Can Injuries Be Treated?
More often than not an ankle or wrist sprain/strain is the most common injury to see in cheerleaders. The immediate action for treatment in these situations should be the Acronym RICE. REST the injured site for at least 24 hours. ICE the injury for roughly 20 min at a time. COMPRESS the injured site with elastic or bandage for 48 hours, and ELEVATE the injured limb for at least 24 hours. Please note that immediate medical attention is necessary for any cheerleader with a suspected head or neck injury.
Thank you for reading and we hope you gained a greater awareness about cheerleading injuries and prevention within your facility. Good luck and stay safe.