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Most Common Injuries that Occur in Cheerleading Exam Practice

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Health & Medical

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Logan Pasker
Injury Assignment
I will continue to examine the sport of cheerleading and the most common injuries that occur.
1. Concussions
a. The first injury is concussions. This is a fairly common injury sustained by fliers on the
cheerleading squad. This injury is a traumatic brain injury often caused by a blow to the
head causing the brain to move around inside the skull. Rapid deceleration of the head
causes the brain to slam into the skull thus creating the trauma. Rather than causing
structural damage, concussions result in neurological damage and general cognitive
impairment.
b. Some common signs and symptoms of a concussion are nausea, vomiting, dizziness,
brief loss of memory either before or after the traumatic event, ringing in the ears,
difficulty sleeping, difficulty staying awake, elevated levels of depression, and sensitivity
to bright lights. These signs will rarely be physical and mostly just neural. With that
being said, it is important to listen to how the athlete is feeling to determine if they
have a concussion.
c. Causes of concussions in cheerleading are often when stunts are performed incorrectly.
Most often fliers, those who are at the top of stunts and thrown in the air, are not
caught correctly. Their heads might make contact with the ground or perhaps another
person’s limb will accelerate into the athlete’s head. Another common way of receiving
a concussion is getting kicked in the head during pyramid stunts or aerial stunts.
d. With concussions, refraining from physical activity is the best solution to returning to
play. Additionally, avoiding focusing and mentally demanding tasks is essential. This
may include not going to school. Avoiding bright lights and screens will help the healing
process. Total time until return to play will depend on how the athlete feels but may
usually be anywhere from 7-10 days.
e. There is not much to prevent concussions because as it was stated before they result
from the brain hitting the skull. Possible preventative exercise could be neck and upper
back work to prevent a whiplash effect. If we think about the head/neck structure like a
tree, with the brain as the fruit, the neck as the trunk, and the shoulders and traps as
the roots, we can try to keep the fruit in the tree by strengthening the trunk and roots.
Just like a tree, a strong neck and shoulders will be more resistant to injury than a weak
neck and shoulders.
f. Immediately upon suspecting a concussion, the athlete should be removed from
competition or practice regardless of what the athlete says. It is better to be safe than
sorry. If there is a loss of consciousness, a cervical spine injury should be suspected.
Later at an appropriate time, a concussion test such as the IMPACT will need to be re-
administered to clearly decide if the athlete has sustained a concussion.
2. Superior Labral Tear From anterior to Posterior (SLAP Tear)
a. A SLAP tear is damage to the uppermost labrum. This is the same area where the biceps
tendon attaches to the labrum. As the name states, this labrum tear occurs both
anterior and posterior to this attachment point.

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b.
c. Athletes may feel a pop or grinding in their shoulder at the instance of injury. Other
symptoms of injury include pain with shoulder movement, pain while lifting objects
overhead, decreased range of motion, and a feeling that their shoulder is going to pop
out of place.
d. Possible causes for this injury in cheerleading would be poor catching technique during
stunts. When an athlete catches a flier incorrectly, they will only use their arms to slow
down the flier rather than using their whole body to decelerate the flier. While using
the improper catching technique, the athlete will receive a sudden violent downward
movement at the shoulder joint. This violent force will cause the tear in the labrum.
e. Initial treatment of the injury will be applying ice and anti-inflammatory medication to
reduce pain and swelling. If the injury is not severe, physical therapy can be applied to
strengthening the shoulder area. If the injury is severe, surgery may be required at
which point the surgeon will repair the labrum either by removing the torn part of the
labrum or by reattaching the torn part with stitches. After surgery, a period of wearing
a sling will be necessary for up to 4 weeks. Afterwards, physical therapy will be applied
to regain range of motion and function of the shoulder.
f. Prevention of this injury is twofold. The first way is to learn proper catching technique.
This means using your entire body, including your legs, to absorb the force of a falling
flier. This will prevent the majority of SLAP tears. The second way is through proper
strength training. This involves strengthening the upper back and shoulder area will lots
of rowing or pulling exercises. A good rule of thumb is a 2:1 ratio of pull to push
exercises.
g. At the instances of injury, the athlete should be taken out of competition/practice and
the injury assessed to determine severity. If indeed it is a SLAP tear, the athlete will be
taken out of activity for the remainder of the event. The first priority is to not further
aggravate the injury so we would seek to immobilize the injury through a sling and take
pressure of the shoulder area. Next, if available ice and anti-inflammatories should be

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Logan Pasker Injury Assignment I will continue to examine the sport of cheerleading and the most common injuries that occur. 1. Concussions a. The first injury is concussions. This is a fairly common injury sustained by fliers on the cheerleading squad. This injury is a traumatic brain injury often caused by a blow to the head causing the brain to move around inside the skull. Rapid deceleration of the head causes the brain to slam into the skull thus creating the trauma. Rather than causing structural damage, concussions result in neurological damage and general cognitive impairment. b. Some common signs and symptoms of a concussion are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, brief loss of memory either before or after the traumatic event, ringing in the ears, difficulty sleeping, difficulty staying awake, elevated levels of depression, and sensitivity to bright lights. These signs will rarely be ...
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