Reduce Your Risk of Wrist Injuries During Cheerleading

reduce wrist injuries during cheerleading
By Fara Rosenzweig

The sport cheerleading has evolved into a gymnastic-like sport with lots of tumbling and stunting. It’s the only sport that places complete bodyweight and sudden movement onto the wrist.

The constant stretching of the wrist ligaments, with the amount of weight, pressure and torque placed on them, can cause a great deal of discomfort—leading to sprains and strains.

As with any sprain, the proper treatment is RICE (rest, ice, compress, and elevate). If you have severe pain, you should see a doctor and get x-rays for proper diagnosis. The wrist has many small bones and ligaments that can sprain or tear easily, especially in cheer. Two key solutions to avoid wrist injury during cheerleading is strengthening and supporting.

Strengthening the Wrist

Being a base or tumbling can easily overstretch the hand. To strengthen the wrist, cheerleaders can use an electric muscle stimulator, like Compex, to activate the small muscles and help them recover quickly.

Another easy exercise to prevent wrist pain, take a newspaper page and hold it in one hand at the corner. Try to crumple it up into a ball that fits inside your hand as fast as you can with only using that hand. It may sound easy, but it’s actually challenging.

Supporting the Wrist

Bracing will help support the wrist from overstretching during stunts and tumble routines. A wraparound neoprene brace, like the Procare Universal Wrist O Prene, provide compression and support for wrist sprains and strains.

The DonJoy Performance ProForm Double Wrap, is a double wrap design meant for weak, unstable wrists. It’s ideal for recovery and to wear during activity (if cleared by doctor). It’s sporty, provides compression, and stabilizes the wrist during tumbling or stunting.

If your wrist is injured, it’s important to immobilize the joint with a brace or splint to prevent further injury. Immobilizing the wrist will help you prevent it from moving unnaturally or out of place. Wrist supports are ideal for tendonitis or sprains.