Cheerleading Injuries Take Hospitals by Storm


Photo by: Rachel Hartley

The Adams Girls Varsity Cheer team performs stunts at a recent competition.

Emily Blust, Staff Writer

According to United States Sports Academy, cheerleading holds the number one spot in catastrophic injuries for women’s sports.

The sport itself has transitioned from the sidelines to being center stage at competitions. It has become more focused on how high teammates can throw one another and who can stick the best landing, instead of standing on the sidelines and cheering others on.

The pressure to make routines more complex and physically taxing takes its toll on the their bodies. As one could guess, their plan to catch each other is not bullet proof. While they do the best they can, mistakes are made and at the risk of the flyer’s body.

According to, the most catastrophic injuries come from lifts or from falling off the top of a pyramid. These dire injuries include concussions, skull fractures, and spinal injuries, something Amanda Warner, flyer on the Adams Varsity cheer team, can relate to. She has taken a couple falls while performing stunts leading to spinal injury.

“I fractured my back from being dropped too many times to count,” said senior Amanda Warner.

The more they challenge themselves with stunts, the more at risk they become for injuries. The stress from these stunts builds up on their joints due to the constant tumbling routines. According to Children’s Hospital Colorado ,more than half of cheerleading injuries come from strains and sprains, and of these, the most common is sprained ankles. Cheerleaders also come across more severe injuries – tearing a ligament, pulling a muscle, or breaking a bone –  

taking them out of the competition for awhile.

“I have had a tear in my Achilles three times and have permanent wrist and back pain,” said senior Kaley Nelson.  

As for the Highlanders, they shed blood, sweat, and tears to be the best they can be, refusing  to let injuries stand in their way. The pain and injuries almost every cheerleader on the team goes through is a bit of an inconvenience; however, their stunts remain nearly flawless.  They see injuries ranging from head to toe. For many, these are repeated injuries always coming back to haunt them.

“I’ve torn the same hamstring three times,” said senior Brooklin Lambrecht.

Meanwhile, others have injuries that never seem to heal. Many decide to cheer on despite these unsolved mysteries.

“I have stress fractures in both my wrists that never heal,” said senior Maggie Mccain.

Never ending cycles of injuries and chronic pain seem to be a theme for cheerleaders. Visits to the doctor and x-rays are starting to become part of their daily routines. Despite all the tribulations, the majority of athletes decide to carry on, pushing themselves to reach their full potential and seeking victory at their upcoming competitions.