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Cheer injuries more severe, less frequent | News

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Cheer injuries more severe, less frequent

CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - High school cheerleading isn't the simple sideline activity it used to be.

A new study that was released on Thursday shed some light on what type of injuries are associated with the sport.

"I was actually tumbling, and when I landed, it kind of just snapped," said Cabot High School cheerleader Laura Davidson, describing a bone in her foot.

The Cabot High School cheerleader said she has spent much of her senior year sitting out after breaking her foot at cheer camp.

"Yeah, there was a lot of pain, excruciating pain."

Davidson's story may sound familiar to the reports made by thousands of other cheerleaders and their parents. Cabot High School Assistant Athletic Trainer Lyndsey Rich said that cheer injuries tend to take longer to heal.

According to Rich, research shows that while cheerleading injuries are lower than other high school sports, the injuries that do occur are more severe.

"We're seeing a lot of things, especially concussions. That's one of our biggest things right now. As well as ligament issues, fractures more so than a lot of other sports where you just see sprains," said Rich.

Rich added that it's the cheerleaders underneath the stunts getting most of the injuries. "More so on the bases when they come down, not the flyer."

For sophomore Payton Davis, it was a round-off back-handspring that put her out for the season.

"I just kind of threw it. I didn't really try, and when I did my back-handspring, I dislocated my elbow then tore my ACL," described Davis.

Despite the injuries, cheerleading still ranks as one of safest high school sports. Davidson said it's all about trusting your other squad members.

"Every single time you come to practice, it's all about trust and just getting to know your teammates. So, you will be able to trust them in all the things you do."

Rules for high school cheerleaders require squads to practice stunts on mats, and for coaches to undergo safety and medical training.