Wrestling Injuries Among High School Students
High school wrestling is not the typical sport that gets attention for injury potential, but it does have certain risks. Evaluating the potential types of wrestling injuries and the sources of injury are important. Finding ways to identify any prevent injuries is wise. Among people between 13-17 years of age, Wrestling, Boxing and Martial arts ranks sixth in the number of sports injuries – right between Gymnastics, Cheerleading and Dance and Softball. Over 90% of the injuries that occur in wrestling happen to males. If wrestling is your high school students’ sport of choice, here are the most common injuries for high school wrestlers.
Sprains and strains make up nearly half of all injuries reported by high school wrestlers. Shoulder sprain or strain injuries are the most common among high school wrestlers. Treatment for the vast majority of these is easily managed at home. Approximately 40% of these students return to the mat within a week of the injury.
Recommendations for recovery include staying off the mat for a few days. Training and workout focus should be on stretching, strengthening, balance exercises as well as heat/ice as appropriate. If the injury persists, consultation with a medical professional is advised.
Fractures are the second most common injury among high school wrestlers. They account for 15% of the injuries and require immediate care from a medical professional. Fractures are infrequent, but they do occur.
Fractures require a very long time to heal and necessitate time away from the mat. A fracture is most likely season-ending.
Approximately 10% of the injuries sustained by wrestlers in high school are dislocations or subluxations. These are urgent injuries and require immediate treatment from a medical professional. The most likely parts of the body to experience this type of injury are the shoulder, elbow and patella.
A dislocation or subluxation injury will require extended time away from the mat. This may be a season-ending injury.
About 8.5% of injuries sustained by high school wrestlers are skin infections. Of these, almost half are known to be herpes. A little over one-third of the skin infections are impetigo. The remainder of the skin infections were reported to be Tinea corporis, cellulitis and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
The majority of individuals with skin infections return to the mat within a week. All wrestlers with skin infections should be evaluated by medical professional for appropriate treatment as dictated by National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Wrestlers will need medical clearance to return to wrestling practice and competition. Wrestlers may also want to contact their doctor for preventative treatment options for conditions such as herpes.
Approximately 5% of the injuries sustained by high school wrestlers are concussions. All concussions should be treated seriously and the student should be evaluated by a medical professional. Most concussions resolve within a week but some may require considerable time away from the sport. With all the literature and studies performed on concussions attained through sports, it is widely advised to have all head injuries examined by your doctor just as a precaution.
The best way to prevent injuries is to work with a skilled, qualified coaching staff. In any sport, injuries can occur, but having the best trainers and coaches in your wrestler’s corner are the best defense. Takedowns and sparring have been noted as the activities that were occurring most often prior to injury. Injury rates have also been noted to be higher in matches than in practices. Most wrestlers will experience bruises and cuts on occasion as well as the more serious injuries discussed in this article. The vast majority of injuries in the sport are sprains and strains and most of these are minor. At Affiliated Healthcare, we take your student and their sports injuries seriously. Contact us with any questions for your student.