March 1st kicks off National Cheerleader Safety Month! While cheer-leading can be a wonderful sport, it can also have negative impacts on the body. The most common injuries for cheerleaders are ankle sprains, followed by strains or sprains of the back, neck, knee and wrist. Besides immediate injuries, the sport can also put repetitive stress on the body leading to long term injuries. Below is a list of suggestions that your cheerleaders can do to decrease risk of injuries:
• Be sure to include warm up and cool-downs
• Make sure to use soft mats to decrease the risk of injuries with falls
• Spotters should be trained properly to provide optimal safety during stunts or jumps
• Off-season strength training and conditioning including weight lifting and core strengthening
For additional resources on cheer-leading safety, take a peek here https://www.cheersafe.org/about/national-cheerleading-safety-month
If you have any questions about safety during sports, contact a Therapy OPS physical therapist at 651-455-0561!