Article by Nadine Stewart
Common dance injuries include sprains and strains, where your muscles and ligaments are overstretched or twisted.
Additionally, dancers can also sustain impact injuries – such as bruises caused by falling, collisions or trips and slips. Ill-fitting shoes can cause foot and toes injuries.
Most dancers train between 6 to 35 hours per week. Due to the number of training hours and repetition involved in ballet, many of the injuries sustained by dancers are overuse injuries rather than acute injuries. This means that the injury is the result of gradual wear and tear that progressively worsens over time, rather than being caused by one specific incident. It is very important to have these types of injuries treated early, and the cause of the injury corrected so that the injury doesn’t worsen to a point where it is restricting everyday activities, including dancing.
Often overuse injuries can be caused by a number of factors including growth spurts, muscle imbalance, incorrect technique, a change or increase in usual training load, a change or increase in usual rehearsal and performance schedule or incorrectly fitting footwear esp. pointe shoes.
The most common overuse injuries in dancers fall into three categories including; tendinopathies, sprains (injuries that involve ligaments) and strains (injuries that involve muscles). Some common overuse injuries for ballet dancers include:
- Back - low back pain - muscle imbalance, back stress fracture, spondylolisthesis, SIJ dysfunction, pars injury, scoliosis.
- Hip - iliopsoas tendinopathy, snapping hip, trochanteric bursitis, labral tear.
- Knee - patella tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain, Osgood-Schlatter disease.
- Leg and Ankle - Achilles tendinopathy, Sever’s disease, posterior ankle impingement, shin splints, FHL tendinopathy.
- Foot - trigger toe, bunions, sesamoiditis, MTPJ inflammation, stress fracture.
Dance injuries and prevention strategies are best developed with the assistance of a dance physiotherapist.
Common Dance Injuries
Dance Injury Treatments
Dance Injury FAQs
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Last updated 18-Apr-2019 01:49 PM
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