Friday, April 20, 2012
Medical Reports: Girl Power
For a long time dance and cheerleading weren't really considered a sport, and athletes who were injured had a hard time getting the medical care they needed. But now, a special rehab is geared towards these young athletes is giving them the girl power they need to get back out there and compete.
WSVN -- Francesca is a very talented athlete. The 13-year-old loves competitive cheerleading but was recently sidelined by an accident.
Francesca Reicherter: "This girl fell and she landed on me."
She suffered a cervical sprain.
Francesca Reicherter: "It felt like needles were stabbing in my neck."
Lucia Reicherter: "She couldn't lift her arms and she didn't really have range of motion in her neck."
After weeks of rest the family took Francesca to You 18 Sports Medicine in Coral Springs.
Whitney Chambers: "We focus on sports medicine and adolescent athlete injuries."
Therapists there say they're seeing a rise in the number of young female athletes coming in with injuries.
Whitney Chambers: "The level of injuries has been increasing because of the increased demands that these sports are placing on these young women."
Whitney says girls tend to excel at sports like gymnastics, dance and cheerleading because of their natural level of flexibility.
Whitney Chambers: "But it can also intermittently be a risk when you put lots of stress to their spines and joints."
Doctors are seeing injuries ranging from strains and sprains to fractures.
Eric Eisner: "Some of the younger female athletes are able to flex and extend in ways other athletes are unable to do so."
So these girls need specialized rehab to heal properly and get back to their sport.
Eric Eisner: "Our focus was to regain her mobility and to reduce her pain."
Francesca's therapy regimen focused on joint mobility and reducing muscle spasms. Then, she progressed to pilates type exercises for core strength and stability.
Six weeks after starting therapy Francesca is back to doing flip flops and straddle jumps with ease, and most importantly she says she's ready to get back out there and compete.
Francesca Reicherter: "I feel stronger and just happy to go back out."
"We wish Francesca good luck at this weekends big cheerleading competition in Daytona."
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