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Do team gymnasts compete in spite of symptoms from an injury?


Background: Gymnasts practise many hours a week, and symptoms from injuries do not seem to stop them from continuing with practice. They may even compete with symptoms from injuries, which could increase the risk of reinjury, or of the occurrence of a more severe injury.

Objectives: To investigate whether team gymnasts compete at high level in spite of symptoms from an injury.

Methods: 188 male and female competitors participating in the Swedish Cup for juniors and seniors answered a questionnaire about symptoms from injuries on the day of the competition.

Results: More than half the gymnasts (58%) competed despite having symptoms from an injury on the day of the competition. More seniors than juniors competed in spite of symptoms from an injury (p = 0.006). Two of three team gymnasts (65%) reported symptoms from the lower extremities and around one in five (22%) reported back symptoms. Fifty five per cent of the gymnasts reported recurrence of an injury at the same site (reinjury).

Conclusions: There was a high prevalence of symptoms from injuries on the day of competition. This did not stop the team gymnasts from competing.

  • competition
  • injury
  • reinjury
  • team gymnastics

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