Greater Manchester


Physio treatments for Gymnastics injuries

Gymnastics is becoming an ever more popular sport not only because it is an exciting and daring sport but also because it now receives much greater media coverage following the incredible success of British Gymnasts.  We work with many gymnasts and you may be familiar with our patients Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medallists Beth Tweddle and Daniel Purvis

As you can imagine the sport places massive strains on the body but there is not a high level of injury due to the massive amount of physical preparation gymnasts undergo prior to learning complex skills.  Of course there are traumatic injuries ranging from minor to very serious but overuse injuries are much more common and more so to children and adolescents during growth spurts.

Common Gymnastic injuries

Most people would think that all gymnasts sustain similar injuries but this is not the case.  Female gymnastics places most strain on the lower back and legs so these areas are more commonly affected.  Male gymnastics places much more stress on the upper body so this area is more affected.

The most common injuries are ligament tears, muscle strains, inflamed growth plates and various forms of traction apophysitis such as Osgood Schlatter’s disease, Sinding Larsen Johansson syndrome and Sever’s disease.  There are some potentially more serious conditions that need to be identified early such as Spondylolisthesis which is a lower back injury that can cause severe problems if not addressed early enough.

Treatments for Gymnastics injuries

The most important treatment for gymnasts is to ensure they have incredible physical preparation to deal with the huge strains placed on the body.  There is a belief that some of the overuse gymnastic injuries just require rest but the thinking on this has now changed dramatically and there are some simple but effective treatment strategies that can massively speed up the recovery process.  These involve specific massage techniques including a method called myofascial release which mobilises the interweaving connecting mesh of tissue that runs throughout and acts a stabilising structure for the whole of the body.  Specific mobilisation and manipulations can also provide dramatic and quick relief for some spinal conditions.

Byron Clithero

Gymnastics Injury Physiotherapy Specialist

All our physiotherapists can treat gymnasts though Byron is our gymnastics specialist and therefore acts as the first point of contact for all our therapists who may require his expert knowledge in this area, he also provides in service training for the whole team keeping them all up to speed with all the very latest research and techniques in this specialist field.

He has taught gymnastics for over 25 years and was directly responsible for producing great Britain’s first ever European Champion in 2002 – Mark Freeman and Multiple Commonwealth Medallist – John Smethurst.  His career in physiotherapy ran parallel to his career in coaching and therefore gave him an incredible in depth knowledge of the sport of gymnastics as well as the common injuries and causes. He is highly confident there can be very few physiotherapists if any who have the same level of combined knowledge of physiotherapy and gymnastics.

If you would like to specifically see Byron he is located at our Salford / Manchester clinic. He would love the opportunity to show you his expertise in the treatment and management gymnastics injuries – Please click here for details of how to contact us to book an appointment