If you watched Jordyn Wieber's floor routine at the last week's gymnastics event finals, you may have noticed that the champion gymnast looked a bit off. But even more disconcerting than the shaky landings was the look of pain on Wieber's face.
As you might guess, Wieber wasn't making those grimaces for the fun of it. John Geddert (Wieber's coach) later confirmed that, as concerned viewers suspected, Wieber had indeed suffered an injury. Although no official diagnosis was made, team doctor Larry Nassar identified the injury as a stress fracture. According to Geddert, Nassar's quick diagnoses are " right, 99 percent of the time." Geddert added, "She's had soreness. And now there's a lump there. So it's all the signs of a stress fracture. She's going in a boot tomorrow."
Talk about an unfortunate ending to the Olympics! Although Wieber's chances of returning to Team USA in 2016 may be slim (few gymnasts compete in multiple Olympic Games), she should be able to make a full recovery and return to gymnastics in a few months.
Wieber's injury is nothing unusual in the world of gymnastics. Dancers and cheerleaders are also prone to these injuries. If your suffering is in line with that of Jordyn Wieber, you can expect to undergo the following during the stress fracture recovery process:
As tempting as it may be to get back to practice, you'll have to stay on the sidelines for awhile. Make that six to eight weeks. Any sooner and you risk making the injury worse. In addition to swearing off practice, you will also have to back off on other athletic activities. If sitting still really makes you crazy, try doing a little Pilates floor work.
Pictures have emerged of Jordyn Wieber wandering around London in a protective boot. The plastic boot is a standard accessory for anyone in stress fracture recovery mode. It reduces the amount of stress put on the bone while also easing the pain that typically accompanies a stress fracture.
Jordyn Wieber may already possess an incredibly strong body (as do you, most likely, if you're involved in competitive gymnastics, cheer or dance) but after two or more months of rest, her injured leg will be considerably weakened. Targeted strengthening exercises should rebuild the muscle and help to prevent future injuries.
S.G. Gustafson spent most of her childhood in dance and gymnastics studios. She later competed with a nationally ranked college dance team for four years.
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- Jordyn Wieber
- stress fracture