Overuse Injuries in Young Gymnasts - Causes Of Overuse Injuries

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An overuse injury is caused when you use a specific body part repeatedly for a long time. It can be also said as a repetitive strain injury and it can happen to muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons. In the case of gymnasts, overuse injuries can most commonly happen to shoulders, wrists, elbows, cartilage, knees, ankles, and the lower body.

These are the body parts that they have to move more and the sudden agile movements if done by an improper technique can also injure them. Sometimes, even if you are following the right technique the repetitive strain on the body parts can develop injuries. In this article let us read about the overuse injuries in young gymnasts.

What Are Overuse Injuries In Young Gymnasts?

Here are some of the overuse injuries commonly occurred for young gymnasts:

Wrist Fractures

A wrist fracture is a very common overuse injury in gymnasts. In the case of young gymnasts, they are still in the growth phase and have not completed the growth. This means that they have open growth plates which place them at a higher risk of having a wrist injury, often referred to as a Gymnast's wrist. It happens by applying a repetitive weight caused by a handspring or vaulting in gymnastics.

ACL Tear Injury In Young Gymnasts

Cartilage Damage

Cartilage damage happens in gymnasts as they are required to bear weight almost every time while performing the sport. This repetitive stress can cause damage to the cartilage which is just above the bone. Most of such injuries are seen in the elbow joints. 

Ankle Sprains

This injury can happen to any gymnast and it can not be predicted when you are going to face this. There are three grades of an ankle sprain, the first one is when there is a slight inflammation and bruising with no ligament disruption and no pain or slight pain, the second one is when the ligaments are stretched with bruising and inflammation and mild pain and the third one is when the ligaments are fully torn with inflammation and bruising and severe pain. 

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability can be due to the overuse of the shoulder muscles. There will be pain in either the front or top of the shoulder joint or both parts. Repeated overhead actions are the reason for this. 

Also Read:- Common Injuries In Female Athletes – Know More!

ACL Tears

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears

ACL is a band of tissue that connects the thigh bone and the shin bone. The reason for the tearing of the ACL can be due to the over-rotation while ovulating or dismounting. 

The reason for the various injuries in gymnastics can be poor balance, lack of required flexibility, strength imbalance, and reduced strength in the arms, legs, or core. In the case of overuse injuries, it can be due to kicking on one side more than on the other, always landing with one side first, or giving more force to one side when you do a movement. When a particular side is used more than the other side, it can cause an imbalance in flexibility and increase the risk of gymnastic injuries.

To Take Away

Young gymnasts are more prone to overuse injuries as they are still in the growing phase. Most of the body parts will be still developing and having a repeated strain on any muscles or ligaments during this time can place them at a higher risk of injuries.

The best way to prevent such injuries is to know what kinds of injuries you might have on the basis of your workout session and your gymnastic acts. Preparing the body, practicing rehab exercises, and even if you get injured after all these, make sure that you get the right treatment at the right time. 

FAQs

Q. How do you prevent overuse injuries in gymnastics?

It is always recommended to prepare the best before you start. Before you start the practice session or the competition, you can take time to cool down and stretch to avoid any kind of muscle soreness and to maintain muscle flexibility. 

Q. How do you fix overuse injuries?

The primary treatment for overuse injuries is by the RICE method, that is, - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. You are to get help from a medical care expert soon after. 

Q. How do you treat gymnastics injuries?

You can try the RICE method as an initial treatment. Other than that, you can try physical therapy and also medication.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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