How gymnastics impacts on the feet
Because gymnastics is unique, being performed with minimal, if any, foot support, the feet are more at risk of injury than most other sports. Nearly every activity in gymnastics is considered high impact.
Gymnastics requires tremendous strength and flexibility. Gymnasts are prone to a wide range of injuries due to their superior flexibility, which allows them to move beyond the normal range of motion. It also requires a lot of balancing on the feet and hard landings.
Gymnasts have among the highest injury rates of all athletes.
Potential problems and when to seek the help of a Podiatrist
Gymnastic Injuries can either be acute traumatic or chronic overuse. The most common foot and ankle injuries seen in gymnasts are:
- Ankle Injuries – ankle sprains and even fractures are common among gymnasts. They can easily land off balance from jumps or on the edge of the mat. Many ankle injuries occur when gymnasts perform twisting motions during floor exercises, vaulting, and dismounts from beams.
They can also be the result of falling from an apparatus or missed moves during practice.
- Achilles Tendon Injuries – gymnasts can suffer from a variety of injuries to the Achilles tendon as a result of the repetitive stress of jumping and landing. Gymnasts tend to perform most of their manoeuvres with a pointed toe, which can lead to decreased elasticity of the tendon. The repetitive nature of the sport, especially during practice, also increases the risk of chronic tendon problems.