VCSST_Competitive Cheerleading, Gymnastics, & Dance

2820 Waterford Lake Dr. Suite 103 Midlothian, VA 23112 MON - THURS | 8 AM- 7 PM FRI | 8 AM - 5 PM

NEWSLETTER Helping You Feel, Move, Play & Live Better

AUGUST ISSUE: • Competitive Cheerleading, Gymnastics, & Dance • Injury Prevention & Performance Enhancement • Patient Spotlight • What Are You Doing for You This Month? • Specialist Spotlight: Welcome Dr. Ashley Redden! COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING, GYMNASTICS, & DANCE COMMON INJURIES, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION FOR

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(804) 249-8277

Common Injuries, Treatment, and Prevention for COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING, GYMNASTICS, & DANCE by Dr. Ashley Redden, PT, DPT Cheerleading, gymnastics, and dance are popular sports for youth athletes. Intensity and frequency of training that includes repetitive impact landings, jumping, stunting, and twisting can result in a number of common injuries. These injuries most commonly occur from overuse due to high frequency training regimens. Although specific movements and skills are unique to each sport, many injuries are common to all three sports.The most common injuries found in these sports occur at the wrist, shoulder, lumbar spine, knee and ankle joints. Causes of Common Overuse Injuries Many injuries occur from repetitive stresses often seen in all three sports. Overuse injuries often occur in these sports due to repetitive movements which are often performed on one side of the body more than the other (kicking, turning, twisting). Athletes have an increased risk of injury if they do not possess the adequate amount of flexibility, strength, power, balance, and endurance that is required for successful performance of the skill. Poor technique and improper diets can greatly increase the risk of an athlete sustaining an overuse injury. Athletes may also be suffering with lingering previous injuries that were not managed properly. Common Injuries Athletes from all three sports use their arms and legs to complete skills, therefore putting them at risk for injuring almost all joints in the body. Injuries can range on a severity continuum from low grade strain/sprain injuries to more serious injuries that are sustained through a direct mechanism of injury. These may include: • Concussions • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear

are competition ready. We are happy to communicate with your coaches if you wish. Goals of recovery and treatment: • Relative rest from sport • Rehabilitation • Addressing predisposing factors (i.e strength and flexibility deficits) • Correcting technique starting with addressing basic sport specific fundamental shapes and skills Tips on Prevention Like any other sport, proper training and conditioning can help prevent injuries. Sport-specific musculoskeletal screenings can often address issues before they cause problems. • Address injuries early. Athletes that experience soreness for more than 48 hours should be evaluated by a physical therapist. Do not perform through pain, as it may be an indicator of underlying injury • Get plenty of sleep and fuel your body with proper nutrition • Wear proper fitting shoes and replace when wear is extensive • Practice skills on all surfaces that you will perform on. When moving to a harder trainingsurface (springfloor todeadmat) it is important todecrease the intensity of training initially. This decrease allows the athletes body to adapt to the training surface Services We Offer • Sport specific muscular and neuromuscular screening after the start of each new competition season • Direct access to physical therapy treatment for up to 30 days without a prescription from a physician/PA/NP (state law requires a prescription for treatment beyond 30 days from initial eval) • Differential diagnosis and skilled therapeutic intervention • Correction of sport specific fundamental skills or technique correction Dr. Ashley Redden, PT, DPT has over 20 years of experience including participating, coaching, and now specializing in the treatment of youth cheer and gymnastics athletes. Her experience includes 11 years of competitive cheerleading including being a member of Fame Super Seniors, college athletic cheerleading, coaching and coordinating strength/conditioning and flyer balance/strength classes at a local cheerleading gym.

• Ankle/knee/wrist sprains • Achilles tendon strain/tear • Non-specific back/knee pain • Spondylolysis • Shoulder instability • Shoulder/elbow dislocations • Muscle sprains in legs, hips, and back Recovery and Treatment

Our goal at VCSST is to help you return to 100% participation in your given sport. We will be with you from the time of your initial injury to when you

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(804) 249-8277

INJURY PREVENTION & PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT Participation in any sport carries a risk for injury but typically the benefits and enjoyment of participation outweighs the risks. Once an injury occurs, the risk of re-injury is significantly higher, so the primary goal should be injury prevention. Athletes, coaches and parents may easily see value in performance enhancement training, but the concept of injury prevention training is often seen as boring and perhaps even a waste of practice time. Practices may focus on execution, drills, and game play, while often overlooking development of basic body skills necessary for fundamental movement patterns. the repetitive loads and avoid extraneous or aberrant movements that lead to injuries. Many of the injuries seen in doctor’s offices and from rehabilitation professionals are easily avoided with a basic strengthening program. 4. Better balance enhances performance by conserving energy through improved body control as well as improving the ability to sustain contact better. For example, an athlete that is strong and balanced can sustain contact and stay on their feet better than an athlete that isn’t as strong or as balanced. Put another way, you’d prefer to be a brick wall rather than a house of cards on the fields of play.

2. By knowing how to cut, change direction, land, and jump more efficiently performance will be enhanced. Your child won’t have wasted movement, and due to better movement efficiency, will get from A to B faster. Essentially, they’ll be “first to the ball” compared to other kids who haven’t had this training. 3. It will make them stronger and subsequently more powerful. The fastest and most explosive athletes do two things better than anybody: they put more force into the ground and spend as little time on the ground as possible (Weyand et al, J Appl Physiol 2000, 2010; Mann, 2013) . The only way to put more force into the ground is to increase strength. That said, the only way to be more powerful and explosive is to be strong – you can’t be powerful, fast, or explosive without strength first. Strength is the foundation for all athletic performance. That’s right, strength. To run faster, cut better, jump higher, and get to the ball first – you have to be strong! Furthermore, being stronger provides the added benefit of the athlete having a better ability to dissipate forces from jumping, cutting, and running. They won’t work as hard to cover the same distances and do the same activity. This does not mean your youngster has to lift heavy weight – it means that they should be able to perform basic movements like a bodyweight squat, single leg squat, and push up with perfect form. Once they can do that, then they can add weights. Compared to kids who cannot perform these basic movements under control, yours will be at an advantage.

5. More mobility and flexibility enhances performance by maximizing your muscles innate elasticity. Think of a rubber band. The more the rubber band is pulled, the farther is goes on release. Our muscles behave similarly. A joint that moves normally and muscles that are appropriately flexible maximize our ability to move quickly and explosively.

According to Dr. Dan Lorenz, DPT, PT, LAT, CSCS, society needs to start viewing injury prevention as the means to improve performance. It would be erroneous to assume that all athletes of the same team, level, or age-group are working with the same functional foundation of total body strength, balance, flexibility and understanding of proper landing, jumping and cutting. Proficiency in these basic skills is essential for proper fundamental movement patterns which, in turn, are the basis for sport performance. He states that “many kids haven’t earned the right to [performance enhancement training] because they don’t have a basic level of strength and haven’t perfected fundamental movement patterns”. However, he believes that focusing on injury prevention will naturally enhance an athlete’s performance by addressing these fundamental movement patterns. Five Reasons Injury Prevention Training Enhances Performance 1. If you’re hurt, you’re not performing and there is no performance to enhance! Injury prevention exercises help build the strength and body control so the athlete is able to sustain

Patient Spotlight

“I have been so impressed with the office and specifically my therapist Andrew Mann. Everyone at VCSST is friendly, caring, and personable. I had Achilles Tendonitis in both tendons as well as ankle instability. I had been in pain for a year and a half and no longer able to run. Andrew worked with me on nerve, back, and ankle issues - a tough combination. His positive attitude, creative and thorough approach, reassurances, and great explanations to all of the many questions I had paid off. I am now back to running 30 minutes a day and could not be happier!!! Thank you.” - S. V. (5 Star Review via

Each month, VCSST has been making suggestions for ways to enhance your life. In August, we suggest that you just… let … IT… go. Let those small daily annoyances or aggravations of this busy world just dissipate with a deep breath in, and out. Spill coffee on yourself? – don’t let it ruin your day. Rude encounter? – shake it off. Cut off in traffic? – don’t let it steal your joy. If you hang on to the thought, you hang on to the negativity. Hanging on to anger or frustration such that it affects your mood any longer than it needs to has been correlated to increased health risks. In contrast, the ability to chill out and let the myriad of small daily stressors simply go away can have positive health benefits, such as reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, decreasing your perception of pain and improving your immune system. WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR YOU THIS MONTH?

Specialist Spotlight

Welcome Dr. Ashley Redden, PT, DPT

If any of you have seen our “White Board Wednesday” in our reception area or posted on our Instagram (@VCSST_PT) our front office manager, Brandy Price, creatively offers a weekly suggestion for keeping things in perspective. Her artistic words of wisdom are fun reminders for how to not sweat the small stuff and to just...let... IT...go.

Ashley graduated with honors from James Madison University and earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree with highest honors from Old Dominion University. She earned an athletic scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University as a competitive cheerleader, and helped her college team win a National Cheerleaders Association Championship title in 2011. Having been involved with the sport for over 20 years, Ashley has a passion for working with competitive cheerleaders, as well as gymnasts, dancers, and baseball players. Ashley previously worked with us at VCSST as a PT Technician in 2014-15 and we are delighted to have her back with us again! To request an appointment with Dr. Redden, Call Virginia Center for Spine & Sports Therapy today at (804) 249-8277 or request an evaluation online at

(804) 249-8277


2820 Waterford Lake Dr. Suite 103 Midlothian, VA 23112

www. vcsst .com

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