When you think of dangerous sports, football, hockey and even surfing come to mind. The potential for injury in these two full-contact sports as well as the potential for getting attacked by a shark in the third aforementioned sport, can make many people choose to become spectators rather than athletes. But, when you think of gymnastics, you may hardly think of the potential dangers and risks involved. Here are some common gymnastic injuries and their recovery times.
Upper Body: Shoulders, Elbows and Wrists
Wrist sprains, shoulder tears and elbow dislocations are some of the most common gymnastics injuries because so much weight is put on the upper body of the gymnast. As the gymnast progresses and his or her routines become more difficult and complex, the risk of injury increases. Overuse and stress to these areas of the body as a result from intense practicing can cause injury over time. If left untreated, they could lead to chronic pain and even bone fractures.
Treatment for Upper Body Injuries
After seeking medical treatment for such injuries, recovery usually includes reducing training hours so that the athlete can begin healing. Once the diagnosis has been made, the gymnast should avoid putting pressure on the injured area and only participate in activities that do not cause pain.
It can take up to six weeks for a wrist, shoulder or elbow to heal properly, so using the recommended brace or cast to immobilize the injured area is essential to the healing process as well. A more extreme injury can involve the head. Hitting your head on a beam, bar or on the floor can cause a traumatic brain injury. Even if it seems that pain has been relieved, seek a medical professional as brain injury can be silent and deadly.
Lower Body: Knees, Ankles and Feet
Some of the most common lower body injuries for gymnasts include ACL injury, Achilles tendons, and foot and ankle issues. These types of injuries usually happen as a result of landing wrong after a dismount from the beam, bars, or vault. An ACL injury often occurs when the gymnast over-rotates his or her knee during tumbling or dismounts. An injury to the Achilles tendon in the back of the heel happens as a result of repetitive jumping and landing also.
Treatment for Lower Body Injuries
ACL injuries are usually serious and the gymnast will have to undergo reconstructive surgery to completely correct the problem. Often a brace is used to give extra support to the injured knee. This recovery time can be a long and painful process depending on the severity of the injury.
Feet and ankle sprains take less time to heal if they are minor and can usually be wrapped until swelling, bruising or tenderness dissipates. As with all injuries, the athlete should discontinue the activity until he or she can participate with pain-free results. For minor sprains or bruises, the gymnast may heal as quickly as one week. If the injury is more serious or chronic pain occurs, seeking medical attention is a good idea.
In very rare instances, a gymnast may sustain injury that leaves them disabled for a long term. In this very unfortunate circumstance, contacting long term disability insurance lawyers may be a necessary step if the insurance company does not compensate you fairly.
If you or your child sustain a gymnastics injury, it is always best to seek the advice of a medical professional. If the injury is severe, and you suspect it is a result of faulty equipment or poorly maintained facilities, you may want to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional. As with any sport, always take the necessary precautions to warm up properly and obey all safety rules while participating.
About the Author: As the mother of a gymnast, Melanie Fleury is not naive to the dangers the sports presents. As a woman with a disease that could cause long term disability, she is not naive to the fight that insurance companies often give. Seeking the help of long term disability insurance lawyers like Marc Whitehead & Associates can ensure that you are well represented against insurance companies that do not compensate you fairly.