Learn more about preventing cheerleading injuries

Cheering your team to victory is usually a harmless activity. However, when a pyramid collapses or a stunt goes awry, concussions can occur.

Did you know most cheerleading concussions occur during practice? Learn more below.


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Facts About Cheerleading and Concussions

The overall injury rate in cheerleading is low, but concussion is the most common injury.

Percent of all cheerleading injuries that are concussion: 31.1%

Unlike other sports, most cheerleading injuries (78.8%) occur during practice rather than during game time.

The following skills make up the largest proportion of concussion injuries:

  • Stunts: 69%
  • Pyramids: 15.7%
  • Tumbling: 9.1%
  • Other: 6.2%

When it comes to positioning during stunts, being at the bottom makes you most susceptible to concussion:

  • Bases: 45.5%
  • Flyers: 36%
  • Spotters: 9.8%
  • Other: 8.6%

These are the most common ways to get a concussion during cheerleading:

  • Contact with the playing surface 37.9%
  • Contact with another person: 58.9%
  • Due to:
    • Elbow
    • Head
    • Foot


About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.