Without a doubt, one of the hardest and most confusing things for everyone in artistic gymnastics is how to return a gymnast to training safely following a back injury.
Issues ranging from simple muscle strains all the way to more complicated stress fractures, spondylolethesis, and symptomatic disc bulges with irritated nerve roots can me really intimidating to come back from.
In such a complex sport like gymnastics that has high force, high repetition, and a huge range of skills/equipment to use, many people are (understandably) lost on where to start.
Everyone involved (medical providers, parents, coaches, the gymnast) asks the same questions
- What do I do after I’m “cleared” by a doctor?
- What skills do I do first?
- How many of them?
- How many days per week?
- What equipment or surfaces should I start on?
- Does it matter what type of injury I had?
These are overwhelming questions for someone to tackle, especially rehabilitation professionals who are often in charge of giving gymnasts advice on getting back into the gym safely. Other sports like baseball or running have really good progressions based on years of research, but as of now gymnastics is not so fortunate.
Without a slow, step by step progression of forces and skills, this time period is sadly when many gymnast’s pain comes back and they start sliding downhill. Everyone gets more scared about long term health, and if returning to gymnastics is going to happen at all.
So, in an effort to help people out, I have combined my last 5 years of reading gymnastics injury and biomechanics research, my experiences working with well over 500 gymnasts for back pain, and the work of some fantastic mentors I am lucky to have working in other professional /Olympic sports.
I took all of this information and hand built Gymnastics specific protocols for skill progressions following different types of lower back pain. I have been using these exact protocols for the last few years with great success, and now that I have put them through much trial and error, I wanted to make sure people had access to them. (Download them for free below!)
I want everyone in gymnastics to have them, so that they can also help gymnasts who are struggling to make a plan for getting back into training after a back injury.
These protocols are a very small piece of my entire new course I am releasing on Monday, April 22nd, “Recent Advances in Evidence-Based Evaluation and Treatment of Lower Back Pain in Gymnastics” (Click here to get exclusive updates)
Recent Advances in the Evidenced Based Evaluation and Treatment of
Lower Back Pain in Gymnasts
Available Monday, April 22nd, 2019
I have made return to sport progressions for artistic gymnasts following a back injury that outline
- Event by event progressions over 4 Phases after clearance from doctors and rehabilitation
- Specific progressions based on the type of injury (Extension, Flexion, Compression, Traction)
- Estimated timelines, loading recommendations, and skill number recommendations for highest risk skills
- Recommendations for types of equipment, surfaces, and skill progressions
Just put in your email below, and I will send you them for free. I hope they help!
Download SHIFT's Free Lower Back Pain Return To Gymnastics Protocols
Step by step return to gymnastics progressions specific to men's and women's events
4 Phase progressions based on specific types of injuries (Extension, Flexion, Compression, Traction)
Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS