chapter  38
12 Pages

Clinical injury cases in artistic gymnastics

The big and the small ones
ByBrooke Lemmen

Familiarize gymnasts, their parents, and coaches with clinical injuries affecting women's artistic gymnasts by outlining common mechanisms for those injuries, and possible preventive techniques, to allow for healthy, active participation for gymnasts of all levels. The most commonly injured area for women's artistic gymnastics is the lower extremity – primarily the ankle. Low back pain is common, and often underreported, in artistic gymnastics. Injuries to the low back often occur with athlete growth or in progression to a new competitive level. Prevention strategies to avoid or limit low back pain are beneficial, as up to 65% of female artistic gymnasts complain of low back pain sometime during their career. In women's artistic gymnastics, the wrist is the most commonly injured area of upper extremity. Gymnasts and coaches may recognize decreased flexibility accompanying athlete growth. This places their muscles at risk of injury in the form of strains or tears, especially within the extremes of flexibility required in women's artistic gymnastics.