Concussions are the most common cheerleading injuries. Concussions are mild brain injuries that result from hard hits to the head. Cheerleaders have a high risk for concussions through stunts and any other falls that hit the head. Concussions account for one-third of all injuries related to cheerleading. While concussions are common in falls during stunts, cheerleaders holding up the stunt group are at risk for concussions through head hits from the flyer. Concussions need to be evaluated and require time out for recovery.
Ligament sprains are the next most common injury in cheerleading. The most common types of ligament sprains in cheerleading occur in the knees and ankles. Ligament sprains are common due to the constant jumping, landing, dancing, and flying of cheerleading routines. The knee and ankle ligaments are typically harmed the most as they are affected by each jump and landing. All sprains need to be treated and given proper recovery time in order to avoid serious injury complications.
Muscle strains are very common injuries for cheerleaders, as are they for most athletes regardless of sport. Muscle strains in cheerleading are common in the hip, lower back, and legs. Strains occur from muscle stress that could be prevented from stretching and proper warm ups. While not stretching is the most common way that strains occur, they can still happen from bad form or accidents. Cheerleaders are at risk for these injuries from their quick movements, jumps, splits, and twists. Strains are common because of how easy they are to occur and their recovery is simple.
Fractures are common injuries for cheerleaders and many different types of fractures are common. The most common areas for fractures are ankle and foot fractures, back fractures, and hand and wrist fractures. Ankle and foot fractures can occur from a bad fall or landing. Back fractures may occur if a stunt is not completed and the flyer falls on their back. Back fractures are one of the more serious types of cheerleading injuries that typically occur during stunts. Hand and wrist fractures, on the other hand, are common for tumbling and stunt group bases as those skills put a lot of pressure on the hands and wrists of cheerleaders.
Back injuries are very common amongst long time cheerleaders. Cheerleading can be dangerous with tumbling, stunting, and other quick dance moves that can lead to some minor to major back injuries. Most commonly, back pain can occur from the constant stress on the lower back. Leading to more risk, stress fractures on the lower back can weaken the spine and create serious complications. Spondylolisthesis is a back injury where the vertebrae slips out of place. This can occur in long time cheerleaders with already harmed backs and can end their cheerleading career. Back pain should be closely monitored in cheerleaders to avoid any serious injuries.