Sprains, fractures, and tears, are common injuries among gymnasts. Therefore it’s not surprising that concerned mothers often ask their physician, – “My daughter competes in gymnastics – how I can I aid in reducing bone stress injuries and fractures?” The answer is not a simple one, as research reveals that bone stress injuries and fractures occur more frequently among females that suffer from a condition known as the ‘female athlete triad.’
Causes of bone stress injuries and fractures in female athletes
Studies carried out indicate that many of the girls and women who participate in sports like gymnastics that require a lean physique, are susceptible to the female athlete triad.Gymnasts regularly perform routines that see them having to ‘fly through the air,’ and many of them believe that they can be more easily accomplished, if they are smaller and slimmer.
Achieving that physical ideal often requires restrictive eating, which is one of the prongs of the female athlete triad. However, the desire to eat less and become thinner has some serious side-effects such as low energy, and diminished bone density. This often ends up hurting sporting performance, as it leads to stress injuries and fractures.
Preventing stress injuries and fractures
Stress fractures are often the result of overuse, and inadequate nutrition that causes the bones to become weak, and unable to handle added stress. The key to preventing fractures therefore lies in avoiding overuse, and maintaining a proper diet that will keep the bones strong and healthy .
If you are concerned about your child developing bone stress injuries and fractures, then it is best to consult an orthopedic surgeon. Clients in south Florida can contact Frank McCormick, MD, of the SOAR Institute. Call 866-956-3837 to schedule an appointment.