Common Injuries and Rehab Exercises for Gymnasts | Sydney Sports Medicine Centre

6 Figtree Drive Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

Common Injuries and Rehab Exercises for Gymnasts

Dr Scott Burne

Sprained (Rolled) Ankle -> ligament tear

  • Because of the force often associated, it is very common for there to be double ligament injuries (usually involving the main two lateral ligaments: anterior talofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament). Double ligament injuries do take longer to heal depending on the grade of the tear.
  • Essential to get the rehab correct to ensure further ankle ligament tears are minimised as much as possible.
  • Rehab:
    • Proprioception: wobble board, s/l balance/squat control, incorporating hand/eye coordination (particularly for ball sports) i.e. standing on one leg and throwing ball against wall (also specific to gymnastics regaining single leg control)
    • Strength: calf rises, single leg hops
    • Stretching to restore range of motion
Learn ankle sprain rehab exercises    

Hamstring tears

  • Commonly due to over stretching / end of range ballistic pull during running
  • Rehab:
    • Icing for 3-6 days depending on severity, compression bandage
    • Bridging – helps to coordinate gluteal and hamstring activation once pain free
    • Single leg mini dead lift/ arabesque (towards end of rehab)
    • Gluteal function /strength work– to have a strong base down the kinetic chain
Find out more about hamstring injuries    

Low back pain

  • Stress fractures that could lead to spondylolisthesis if left untreated
  • Common in gymnasts and other sports involving repeated extension ie. cricket bowling, high jumping due to their spinal position – lumbar lordosis in conjunction with control issues over the spine
  • If pain presents on extension – limit extension based activities until symptoms settle
  • A scan may be appropriate to confirm the diagnosis
  • Rehab:
    • Pilates based exercises working on deeper muscles to control the skeleton, strengthen lower back muscles towards the end of the rehab once symptoms have settled
Find out more about lumbar spine stress fractures    

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Rhodes NSW 2138

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