Dr. Nessler shares his calling and passion for injury prevention and performance enhancement using the most current research and technologies available. As a passionate educator, he is driven to share with all the latest peer reviewed journals in sports medicine and orthopedics and what that means to how we train and treat our athletes.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Injuries in Cheerleading - Q & A with Trent Nessler, DPT
The following blog was an interview with Trent Nessler, DPT (member of the USA Cheer Safety Council) for a online medical education provider done in Nov. 2012. It is reposted here for educational purposes.
What are some of the most common injuries
encountered in cheerleading?
Cheerleading injuries affect all areas of
the body — most commonly the wrists, shoulders, ankles, head, and neck.According to a 2009 study of 9022
cheerleaders on 412 US cheerleading teams the most common area for injury is
lower extremity accounts for 30%, and strains and sprains are the most common
(53%). Collegiate cheerleaders were more likely to sustain a concussion and All
Star cheerleaders were more likely to sustain a fracture or dislocation than
were cheerleaders on other types of teams.
How has the risk of injury changed in recent
There has been a dramatic improvement or decrease in injury rates. Through increased education, safety standards
and regulations set by AACCA(American
Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators) and safety campaigns
like the USA Cheer Keep It Safe Campaign (www.usacheer.net) and Stop Sports Injuries (www.stopsportsinjuries.org) by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, injury rates
in cheer have decreased.In high school
athletics, football has the highest severe injury rate per 1000 (athletic
exposures) AEs, followed by wrestling, girls’ basketball and girls’ soccer[i].According to the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission, cheerleading led to 16,000 ER visits in 2002, with significantly
more reported for football, basketball, soccer and softball.That said, cheerleading has the 17th
lowest injury rate out of 20 HS sports, lowest rate of concussion over 10 other
HS sports and catastrophic injury rates are down 75% since 2005.According to a 2009 study, injury rates for
practices, pep rallies, athletic events, and cheerleading competitions were
1.0, 0.6, 0.6, and 1.4 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, respectively.
What can coaches and athletes do to prevent
2.Make sure your
coaches and gyms are AACCA certified.This ensures that safety standards are taught, followed and practiced
3.Cheer is a
sport.Prepare your athlete for the
level of physical exertion required and that their conditioning program addresses
the most common weaknesses that lead to these types of injuries.
How important is conditioning to injury prevention?
Critical.Cheerleading is a sport.Like any sport, you must physically prepare
for that.Studies have shown that
participation in a conditioning program can reduce potential for injury by
88%.In our most current study, we are
actually showing that improvements in strength and endurance in certain key
areas not only result in reduction of injuries but also improvements in athletic
performance.So, they not only reduce
your risk but also make you a better athlete.
[i]Darrow, C; Collins,
C; Yard, E; Comstock, D.Epidemiology
of Severe Injuries Among United States High School Athletes: 2005-2007.Am J
Sports Med. 2009 37:1798-1805.
Cheerleading-Related Injuries in the United States: A Prospective
Surveillance Study. J Athl Train. 2009 Nov-Dec;
[i]Earl, J; Hoch,A. A
Proximal Strengthening Program Improves
Pain, Function, and Biomechanics in Women WithPatellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Am J Sports Med. 39:154-165.
Gordon AM, Huxley AF, Julian FJ: The variation in isometric tension with
sarcomere length in vertebrate muscle fibres. J Physiol (Lond)184:170-192, 1966
Chappell, J. D., Herman, D. C., Knight, B. S., Kirkendall, D. T., Garrett, W. E.,
and Yu, B.Effect of Fatigue on Knee Kinetics and Kinematics in Stop-Jump Tasks.
J Sports Med. 33:1022-1029, 2005
[i]Butcher, S; Bruce, C;
Chilibeck, P; Spink, K; Grona, S; Spigings, E.The effect of trunk stability on vertical takeoff velocity.J Orth
& Sport Phy Ther.2007;37:223-234.