Epidemiological study of injuries in club-level Rhythmic Gymnastics
Hobson, Anita Jane
A prospective study on club-level Rhythmic Gymnastics injuries was conducted over a six-month period on Australian rhythmic gymnasts ranging in age from 13 to 20 years. Complete responses were returned from ten gymnasts. The following data were analyzed: the number of hours trained per week, anatomical location of injury, side of body, nature of injury, type of injury, timing of injury, cause of injury, missed training, and current health status. A total of 38 injuries were reported, 10 of which were sustained by the lower-level gymnasts (1.89 injuries per 100 hours) and the remaining 28 were sustained by the higher-level gymnasts (1.65 injuries per 100 hours). Of the 38 injuries, 24 were chronic and 14 were acute. Most injuries occurred to the leg. The most common injury classification was strains. The majority of all injuries occurred during a training session versus competition and while gymnasts were practicing skills rather than practicing routines. Gymnasts sustained more injuries during warm-up than during any other segment of training and perceived the primary cause of their injuries to be due to overuse or fatigue. Although the sample size was too small to allow statistical conclusions to be reached, the trends were evident in the data. It appears that club-level rhythmic gymnasts who are most at risk of injury are characterized as being: (1) at a high-level of club gymnastics, (2) warming up, (3) training in a session three hours in length, and (4) training when fatigued.