Dance may look effortless, but it requires a lot of strength, flexibility and stamina. It also comes with a high risk of injuries. Whether you are a dancer, the parent of a dancer or a dance teacher, you should be aware of the most common dance injuries and learn how to avoid them.
Three Johns Hopkins experts, sports medicine specialist Raj Deu, M.D., and performing arts physical therapists Andrea Lasner and Amanda Greene, have valuable information to share about dance injury treatments and prevention tips. Lasner and Greene, both dancers, have turned their love for the art into a means of helping injured dancers.
What are some common dance injuries? A few studies that looked into dance injuries found that injuries from using your joints and muscles too much (overuse injuries) are the most common in dancers. The majority of these overuse injuries involve an ankle, leg, foot or lower back. Some common dance injuries are:
Hip injuries: snapping hip syndrome, hip impingement, labral tears, hip flexor tendonitis, hip bursitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Foot and ankle injuries: Achilles tendonitis, trigger toe and ankle impingement
Knee injuries: patellofemoral pain syndrome
Stress fractures: metatarsals, tibia, sesamoids and lumbar spine
Dancers are also likely to develop arthritis in the knee, hip, ankle and foot
Generally, dancers have a much lower rate of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries than other athletes. One explanation could be that dance training involves much more intense jumping from an earlier age than other sports, which helps improve muscle control.
How can dance injuries be prevented?
The majority of overuse injuries and even some traumatic dance injuries can be prevented. Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of injury:
Eat well and stay hydrated before, during and after class.
Get enough rest and avoid overtraining.
Do cross-training exercises to build strength and endurance in all parts of your body.
Always wear proper shoes and attire.
Always warm-up before training or performances.
Lead a healthy lifestyle and get to know your body.
When injuries happen, address them immediately and get advice from a doctor or physical therapist.
STAY HEALTHY AND KEEP ON DANCING!!!!!