Cheerleading And Foot Health
If you believe that cheerleading is a dainty sport; think again. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, 65% of all youth sports injuries occur in cheerleading.
In fact, ankle and foot injuries account for the most cheerleading-related injuries. Common injuries acquired during cheerleading range from blisters and bruises to shin splints, ankle sprains or even peroneal tendinitis.
Regardless if you are on the humble, middle school cheer team or the elite University of Kentucky cheerleaders, everyone must practice safe foot health when cheerleading.
Types of Common Injuries
According to American Academy of Pediatrics, ankle sprains are the most common. It is likely to happen when a cheerleader lands on the outside of the foot or twists the ankle. This causes injury to the ligaments or the bone. Someone with an ankle sprain has trouble walking, ankle pain and excessive swelling.
Also known as tibial fasciitis, shin splits are another common injury for athletes. Causes of shin splints include overuse, overtraining or a failure to properly stretch. Someone with shin splits has swelling and localized pain around the shin muscle.
Peroneal Tendinitis is most common with athletes that overuse their ankles; such as dancers, runners and cheerleaders. It is caused by stress on the peroneal tendon which stabilizes the ankle and runs under the arch of the foot. Someone with peroneal tendinitis has swelling, stiffness and uncommon warmness of the area.
Tips for Safe Cheering
- Warm Up: Warming up before any type of cheerleading practice or performance is essential to your body’s health. Get your blood flowing with a short jog, jumping jacks, or a few quick trips up and down the stairs. Most importantly, stretch before anything else.
- Get the Proper Shoes: Shoes that fit your feet are critical for foot support and can prevent a number of foot-related injuries. Cheerleading shoes with orthotics are the way to go. Look for shoes with removable insoles, adequate cushioning, and plenty of room for the orthotics.
- Know Your Surrounding: Most cheerleading injuries happen during practice, so practice in a safe, open space. For your foot safety, practice on shock-absorbant floors. Be sure to have proper supervision and spotters to prevent any sort of accident.
If you are experiencing sports-related problems with your feet, call our office at 859-264-1141. We’ll get you in quickly and take steps to help your injury heal properly.