Treatment for Performance Sport Injuries in Bel Air MD
Cheerleaders, Dancers & Gymnasts
Cheerleading, dancing and gymnastics activities are based on extreme and repetitive motions; and typical uniforms provide little protection. In fact, Cheerleaders alone are 25 times more likely to be gravely injured than football players.
Performance sports are a highly demanding activity, with up to 90% of dancers experiencing some form of injury in their lifetime. Every performance requires extraordinary flexibility, balance, power and endurance. To execute technical movements, the body takes on positions that place a lot of stress on bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments, which can lead to high injury rates.
Dancers and Gymnasts are often barefoot or in shoes that provide no support. When jumping and leaping there is no shoe to cushion or absorb the stress of impact or to provide stability through movement.
Flexibility good or bad?
Both. Flexibility is good for range of motion but these athletes are often super flexible. Normal flexibility is an asset in a typical athlete however super flexibility takes the joints farther than they are designed to go and these athletes do it over and over again. Allowing for injuries beyond normal limits and complicated healing.
Treatment for dancers , gymnasts and cheerleaders
Treatment is as diverse as their sport and activity. First, a detailed examination is performed to find the extent and severity of the injury. Then a custom treatment plan is prescribed.
Have a performance sports injury? Call us today!
Dr Lee is not only a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, but is a Dance Dad too.
Who gets injuries from performance sports?
Injuries from dance and gymnastics span all ages, but the risk of injury is greatest during growth spurts when a child’s bones are the weakest, which places them at high risk for fractures. The growth spurt is also a time when bones are growing faster than the muscles. This results in tight ligaments and loss of muscle strength, which growing dancers frequently perceive as loss of flexibility and coordination.
- Sleep- your body heals while it sleeps
- Stretching & conditioning. Strong, flexible tissues are harder to injure
- Working out opposing muscles because balance is key
- Proper nutrition- good health fresh foods provide fuel for the body. Protein, being the building block of muscles is key. Hydration is very important. We often do not think to hydrate for inside activities.
- Proper technique- technique is key for body placement and proper alignment. Practicing good technique is preventing injuries.
- Proper footwear while not performing- wear good supportive tennis shoes while you are not performing.
What are common performance injuries?
While acute injuries do occur in dance, gymnastics and cheer; overuse injuries are the most common because of the repetitive nature of training and performance; common ones being:
- Foot and ankle injuries:
- Excessive repetitive movements lead to inflammation of the joints resulting in tendinitis.
- Stress fractures in the foot are also very common.
- Ankle sprains are seen often in ballet dancers more so when they go on point.
- Knee injuries:
- Techniques requiring unique positioning of the foot and hip places repetitive stress on the knee, which can lead to overuse injuries such as patellofemoral pain or jumper’s knee.
- Back injuries:
- Sprains to back muscles
- Disc injuries
- Hip injuries:
- Snapping hip syndrome is caused by movement of a muscle or tendon over a bony structure, if left untreated it may worsen to painful tendinitis and Ilio-Tibial issues.
- Poor nutrition:
- Studies show that dancers consume less than 70 to 80% of the recommended daily allowance of calories, and those they do consume are generally ‘junk.’
- When the body’s nutritional needs are not met, peak performance is altered as the body starts to break down muscles and bone.
- This places the athlete at risk for injury.
- Poor nutrition can also delay healing of chronic injuries and fractures.