Acrobatic gymnastics injury: occurrence, site and training risk factors

Phys Ther Sport. 2010 May;11(2):40-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Feb 9.


Objective: To determine the incidence and risk factors for injury associated with the performance of acrobatic gymnastics.

Design: Retrospective injury and training survey.

Setting: New South Wales acrobatic gymnastics clubs.

Participants: Surveys were completed by 73 acrobatic gymnasts (69 female) aged 8-26 years.

Main outcome measurements: Data on injury incidence and frequency for injury site were collected. Multiple-regression and ROC curve analysis were used to evaluate training-associated injury risk factors.

Results: Half (50.7%) of the participants had sustained an injury associated with acrobatic gymnastics in the past 12 months, with 28.8% of participants affected by chronic injury at the time of the study. Age of onset for acute and chronic acrobatics-related injury averaged 13.9 (SD +/- 3.03) and 14.7 (SD +/- 3.85) years, respectively. Injury sites were predominately the knee, ankle and wrist. Risk factors for injury were having an age of >or=13 years and training for >or=8 h per week at age 11 years.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the 11-15 years age period is critical for the occurrence of injury in acrobatic gymnasts. This is possibly due to the adolescent growth spurt which may create an increased vulnerability to injury if training volume during this time is above a certain threshold.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gymnastics / injuries*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult