Incidence of injury in relation to limb dominance in Arizona State University men's and women's gymnastics teams

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Previous research on gymnastics injuries has examined several differences in the types of injuries and event/location where injury is most likely to occur. This research shows that male gymnasts are

Previous research on gymnastics injuries has examined several differences in the types of injuries and event/location where injury is most likely to occur. This research shows that male gymnasts are more likely to have more upper body injuries compared to lower body injuries whereas female gymnasts are more likely to have lower body injuries. The majority of all gymnastics injuries are sprains that are most likely to occur during the landing phase on the floor exercise during routine performance or competition. Gymnastics injuries are also more prevalent in older gymnasts, like those at the collegiate level. However, there is limited research on the effects of limb dominance on injury occurrence in both male and female gymnasts at the collegiate level. This study was designed to examine the effect of both upper and lower body limb dominance on injury occurrence in Division I male and female gymnasts at Arizona State University during competition season. Thirty-seven subjects were recruited from the Arizona State University Men's and Women's Gymnastics teams. Athletic trainers/coaches from each team were asked to record injury incidence during the 2013 competition season from January through April. Injury type, body location, event of occurrence, and location of injury (practice or competition) were recorded along with the gymnast's upper and lower body limb dominance (right or left). Statistical analysis shows that there is a significant difference between male and female gymnasts in that female gymnasts are more likely to be injured than their male counterparts (P = 0.023). However, there were no significant findings between limb dominance and injury incidence. Limb dominance did not show any relationship with side of injury, but a trend in the data shows that right-sided dominant athletes, both upper and lower body, were more likely to be injured overall than left-sided dominant athletes. A trend in the data also shows that injury is more likely to occur on the floor exercise than any other gymnastics event for both men and women.