Gymnastics is a rigorous sport, requiring long hours of practice and complex physical movements. In addition to the weight-bearing stresses placed on the upper body during many gymnastic moves, the countless twists, flips, and landings put gymnasts at risk for injury.
Some of the more common upper body injuries include overuse of the tendons that support the shoulder, elbow dislocations, cartilage injuries, and gymnast wrist (inflammation of the growth plate).
Fractures, sprains, and strains frequently occur in the lower body, most often affecting the knees and ankles. The bends and twists required in many gymnastics movements can lead to lower back injuries, including stress fractures.
Several strategies can help to prevent gymnastics injuries, from vigilant spotting to properly maintained equipment. Read more.